Editors



Current Editors: Tim Allen and Keith Wagner



Past Editors: Kristyna Gleghorn, Dung Mac, Alex Acosta, William Tausend, Sheila Jalalat, Rebecca Philips, Chelsea Altinger, Lindsey Hunter, Alison Wiesenthal, Leslie Scroggins, Mara Dacso, Ashley Group, Fadi Constantine, Emily Fridlington, Joslyn Witherspoon, Tasneem Poonawalla.

Monday, April 30, 2012

DIG Bake Sale Fundraiser: Today and Tomorrow!

The UTMB DIG is having a bake sale fundraiser today and tomorrow. Don't miss the delicious cupcakes, cookies, brownies, s'more bars... and more!

Proceeds will go to the UTMB DIG, whose goal is to help raise funds for melanoma research and promote sun protection awareness.

Date: Monday, April 30th & Tuesday, May 1st
Time: 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Location: Outside of Moody Medical Library 


Questions? Please contact Rebecca Philips (rcphilip@utmb.edu).

Friday, April 27, 2012

"Stay Shady!" goes to Ball High School

On Saturday, April 21st, the UTMB DIG teamed with UTMB's TKY medical fraternity to promote healthy lifestyles at Galveston's Ball High School. At the event, DIG members Will Tausend (MS2), Kael Kuster (MS2) and Patrick Armstrong (MS3) introduced our new version of "Stay Shady!, which is specifically geared to a high school audience. Through 6 presentations, they taught approximately 90 high school students about the importance of sun safety.

Will Tausend

Kael Kuster, Patrick Armstrong

Patrick Armstrong, Will Tausend

A huge thank you to UTMB DIG MS2 Representative, Will Tausend, for organizing the event for DIG. And thank you to the students at Ball High School for being such a great audience!

Please email Rebecca Philips (rcphilip@utmb.edu) for more information about our new high school version of "Stay Shady!".

Galveston AIM for a Cure Melanoma Walk


The UTMB DIG's Annual AIM for a Cure Melanoma Walk is just 1 week away! Come help us raise melanoma awareness and support melanoma research by participating.

Date: Saturday, May 5, 2012
Time: Registration at 8:00 AM; Walk begins at 8:30 AM
Walk Location: UTMB Alumni Field House, 215 Holiday Dr., Galveston, TX 77555
Format: Leisurely walk or run
Fee: There is NO fee to participate. Each walker is encouraged to raise at least $50.
Completed pledge sheet, waiver, and donations: Due the day of the event
To Register and/or Donate: Click on the following link: AIM FOR A CURE

Following the walk, UTMB Dermatology Residents and Faculty will be providing FREE skin cancer screenings at the Stewart Road and Bay Colony Dermatology clinics from 10am - noon!

Stewart Road Family Medicine
6710 Stewart Road, Suite 100
Galveston, TX 77551
409-744-4030

University Dermatology at Bay Colony
2785 Gulf Freeway South, Suite 165
League City, TX 77573
281-534-3376

Questions? Contact Donnie Warren (dbwarren@utmb.edu) or Miranda Uzoma (mauzoma@utmb.edu).

Dermatology Certification Examination Criticized

Dr. Douglas A. Perednia authored an article in American Thinker, a national discussion forum, about specialty certification examinations, using examples from dermatology (http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/03/medical_specialty_certification_exams_the_real_scandal.html). He wrote, “…endless layers of deliberately esoteric tests and certifications does nothing to improve patient safety or well-being…” A graph of a normal distribution for certification examination scores based on 300 questions, along with the altered distribution caused by recycling old test questions, is of interest in this article. According to his figure, if old test questions are not re-used for the test, a passing score would be 108/300. However, if questions are re-used and 90% of test takers know the answers to the previously used questions, a score over 156 is needed to avoid the 10% failure cutoff. Comments from readers are welcome on this website.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dermatology Practice Board Scoring: How does 70% Percent Correct Convert into the Lowest Quartile Nationally?

It all starts by matching with some of the most qualified and high achieving medical students that apply for  dermatology residency programs. Most of these students have been top students throughout high school, college, and medical school. They typically have extremely high Step 1 scores compared to their medical school classmates, and half have been elected to their chapter of AOA. Then give them all an annual test where their scores are only separated by a few correct answers because they have all been preparing for the test so diligently. Then rank their percentile correct score against all of the other test takers in their PGY year of residency. That is how to convert a reasonable (and to most observers a satisfactory passing score) into one that will alarm many PGY3 and PGY4 residents and their program director. They know that the looming certification examination will typically fail approximately 10% of examinees. It is a new inverse reality for professionals who were usually on the other side of the curve during previous academic testing.

Is Dermatology Interest in the UTMB’s Annual NSRF Dwindling?

Interest in our 53rd annual NSRF this week appears to be diminishing, at least in the dermatology research community. This year there are only two participants in the dermatology poster section of the event. There was little advance publicity for the National Student Research Forum on campus, and on the first day of this event, it was not even listed on UTMB’s main webpage that featured 10 rotating announcements about other campus activities and celebrations.

Lucky 13!

Join course co-directors Drs. Brent Kelly and Maria Colome, and other dermatopathology faculty (Drs. Alma Berlingeri-Ramos, Matthew Petitt, Palak Parekh, and Kim Hookim) for an excellent board examination review on Saturday, May 12th. Attendance is free to residents, and a cd of reviewed course materials is available for $30. This is the 13th time that UTMB has sponsored this review course. Ms. Cooper may be contacted at kjcooper@utmb.edu for course registration materials.

ABD Released 2012 In-Training Exam Results

Dermatology residents were surprised by the early release of their in-training examination scores this week. They were not expected until May. This annual practice exam provides residents and their training programs with information about their knowledge in the areas of general dermatology, pediatric dermatology, procedural dermatology, dermatopathology, basic science, visual recognition, and “level 1.” Residents are given their percentage score on the exam, and are also compared to others taking the test in the same year of postgraduate training.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

UTMB Dermatology Announces 2012 SOM MS4 Graduation Awards

Beiersdorf History of Dermatology Award: Lauren Douglas , “African Americans with Vitiligo: A Cause for a Race Revolution in 18th and 19th Century America”

Best Original Essay for Skin Diseases Depicted in Cinema course: Alex Holiday, “Film’s Approach to the Early Era of HIV/AIDS”

Edgar B. Smith Endowed Scholarship Award for Excellent Dermatology Research by a Medical Student: Donnie Warren

Thomas B. Freese Award for Overall Excellence in Dermatology: Rebecca Philips

Congratulations to these awardees for their great work in dermatology this academic year!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Congratulations to the New DIG Officers!

We elected the new UTMB DIG officers for the 2012-2013 academic year last week. Congratulations, everyone!

President (Galveston) - Sheila Jalalat
President (Austin) - Jasmeet Kaur

Vice President - Will Tausend

Fundraising/AIM for a Cure Melanoma Walk Co-Chairs - Alison Lowe and André Pitt

Community Outreach:
Head Community Outreach Chair - Alexandra Acosta
Sun Protection/Skin Cancer Awareness Chair - Alexandra Acosta
Contact Dermatitis Awareness Chair - Lindy Ross
Psoriasis Awareness Co-Chairs - Miranda Uzoma and Sandra Victor

MS2 Representative/Advertising Chair - To be elected next year

DIG@UTMB Blog Co-Editors - Sheila Jalalat and Will Tausend

UTMB Dermatology Resident Appointed to Texas Dermatological Society (TDS) Leadership

Congratulations to Dr. Mara Dacso, a UTMB PGY3 dermatology resident, for her recent appointment as a Co-resident representative to the TDS Board.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dr. Lindsey Hunter Named “Outstanding First Year Resident”

The DIG is pleased to learn that last year’s DIG President, Lindsey Hunter, has been named the “Outstanding First Year Resident” by UTMB’s Graduate Medical Education Committee. Dr. Hunter graduated from UTMB in 2011, and is currently completing her PGY1 year in the Department of Internal Medicine at UTMB. In July she will begin dermatology residency at UTMB. She will be presented with her award on May 8, 2012 from 12:00 to 2 pm in the Caduceus Room (6th Floor of the Administration Building).

'12-'13 UTMB DIG Austin Officer Elections

Attention all Austin-based medical students!

We are looking for students to represent the UTMB DIG in Austin during the 2012-2013 academic year. The following officer positions are available:

Austin DIG President
Austin DIG Community Outreach Chair

Please email Rebecca Philips (rcphilip@utmb.edu) by 5PM on Friday, April 20th, if you are interested.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

DIG Officer Elections Tomorrow!

We are holding elections for the 2012-2013 UTMB DIG Officers tomorrow during our last meeting of the year!

When: Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 18th at 5:00 PM
Where: Dermatology Conference Room (4.112 McCullough)

The list of available officer positions is below. If you are interested in running for a position, but unable to attend the meeting, please contact Rebecca Philips (rcphilip@utmb.edu), as soon as possible.

- President (1)

- Vice President (1)

- Fundraising/AIM for a Cure Melanoma Walk Chairs (2)

- Community Outreach (4): includes...
** Head Community Outreach/Advertising Chair (1)
** Sun Protection/Skin Cancer Awareness Chair (1)
** Contact Dermatitis Awareness Chair (1)
** Psoriasis Awareness Chair (1)


- MS-2 Representative (1)

C Form Now Required for UTMB’s Acting Internship in Dermatology

A completed C Form signed by course director Dr. Sharon Raimer will now be required for DERU-4006, UTMB’s Acting Internship in Dermatology. This course is only offered during the first 5 Periods of each academic year, and meets UTMB’s graduation requirement for an acting internship. It is specifically designed for MS4s with a serious career interest in dermatology. With the C Form requirement, only students with a dermatology career interest will be permitted to enroll.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Less Student Interest in UTMB Dermatology Honors Research Program

For the first time since 2007, there are currently no students participating in the UTMB Dermatology Honors Research Program. The program was initiated in the UTMB dermatology department in 2001 by Renee Solis Snyder, MD, who is now in private dermatology practice (San Antonio, Texas). Many student projects have been published in the peer-reviewed dermatology literature.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

DIG Officer Elections and Last Meeting

We will be holding elections for the 2012-2013 UTMB DIG Officers during our last meeting of the year on Wednesday, April 18th at 5:00 PM in the Dermatology Conference Room (4.112 McCullough). The list of available officer positions, including the number of positions available, is below. If you are interested in running for a position, but unable to attend the meeting, please contact Rebecca Philips (rcphilip@utmb.edu).

- President (1)

- Vice President (1)

- Fundraising/AIM for a Cure Melanoma Walk Chairs (2)

- Community Outreach (4): includes...
** Head Community Outreach/Advertising Chair (1)
** Sun Protection/Skin Cancer Awareness Chair (1)
** Contact Dermatitis Awareness Chair (1)
** Psoriasis Awareness Chair (1)

- MS-2 Representative (1)

See you next week!

Where are My 2012 Dermatology In-Training Examination Scores?

Dermatology residents are eagerly awaiting the results of their 2012 practice boards since the February test. The American Board of Dermatology announced today that these results will not be available until May.

Upcoming DIG Events: Volunteers Needed

The UTMB DIG is looking for volunteers for the following events:

“Stay Shady!” High School Presentations
We will use a new version of our "Stay Shady!" presentation to teach local high school students about the importance of sun protection.
Date: Saturday, April 21st
Time: 9:00 AM to Noon
Location: Galveston Ball High School
Please contact Will Tausend (wetausen@utmb.edu) if you are interested in participating.

Bake Sale Fundraiser
Proceeds will go to the UTMB DIG, whose goal is to help raise funds for melanoma research and promote sun protection awareness.
Date: Monday, April 30th & Tuesday, May 1st
Time: 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Location: Outside of Moody Medical Library
Please contact Rebecca Philips (rcphilip@utmb.edu) if you are interested in working at the bake sale or donating baked goods.

AIM for a Cure Melanoma Walk - Don't forget to sign up online!
Date: Saturday, May 5th
Time: Registration at 8:00 AM; Walk begins at 8:30 AM
Walk Location: UTMB Alumni Field House, 215 Holiday Dr., Galveston, TX 77555
Format: Leisurely walk or run
Fee: There is NO fee to participate. Each walker is encouraged to raise at least $50.
Completed pledge sheet, waiver, and donations: Due the day of the event
To Register and/or Donate: Click on the following link: AIM FOR A CURE

Free Skin Cancer Screening with UTMB Dermatology Department
Date: Saturday, May 5th
Time: After the AIM for a Cure Melanoma Walk, 10:00 AM to Noon
Locations: Stewart Road Family Medicine (6710 Stewart Road, Suite 100; Galveston, TX 77551) & University Dermatology at Bay Colony (2785 Gulf Freeway South, Suite 165; League City, TX 77573)
Please contact Rebecca Philips (rcphilip@utmb.edu) if you are interested in volunteering at one of the skin cancer screening locations.

2012 Houston Walk to Cure Psoriasis


Houston's Walk to Cure Psoriasis is this Saturday! Make a difference for the millions of people affected by psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis by participating in the walk event.

When: Saturday, April 14th; Registration at 8:00 AM, Walk at 9:00 AM
Where: Stude Park - Houston, TX
Purpose: To spread awareness about psoriasis, while raising money for psoriasis education, advocacy and research.

Participate in the 1K (.62 mi) or 5K (3.1 mi) Walk: Register to walk
-OR-
Volunteer at the event (Assist with set-up, registration, food table, water station, route monitoring, tear down): Volunteer Sign Up

Monday, April 09, 2012

MS4 Donnie Warren Receives Magna Cum Laude Graduation Honors

UTMB MS4 Donnie Warren successfully defended his UTMB Dermatology Honors Research Program thesis, “Preventing ultraviolet radiation hand injury: hand cancer awareness and protective behaviors,” and was awarded Magna Cum Laude Graduation Research Honors in Dermatology. His ad hoc thesis committee was composed of Drs. Simon Lewis, Richard Wagner (thesis advisor), Sharon Raimer and Brent Kelly. Congratulations to Donnie for this excellent academic achievement!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Time Change for Donnie Warren's Thesis Presentation

UTMB MS4 Donnie Warren will present his Dermatology Honors Thesis at 11:45 am (not at noon as initially scheduled) in the dermatology conference room (4.112 McCullough Bldg) on Monday, April 9th. The UTMB DIG and the Department of Dermatology hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

DIG Meeting Summary – 03/28/12

We had a great UTMB DIG meeting last week!

Contact Dermatitis Presentation
The UTMB DIG would like to give a special thanks to MS2 Sheila Jalalat (’11-’12 DIG Contact Dermatitis Outreach Chair) for her very informative PowerPoint presentation on the topics of contact dermatitis and her experience at the ACDS and AAD annual conferences in San Diego. Please email Sheila (szjalala@utmb.edu) if you are interested in learning more about what was discussed.

Q&A with UTMB DIG MS4s
We would also like to thank MS4s Ryan Riahi, Donnie Warren, and Rebecca Philips for their helpful Q&A session. Ryan, Donnie and Rebecca described their experiences as applicants for a dermatology residency position this year. They discussed strategies for building a strong application, offered tips for getting involved in research, and talked about their experiences in dermatology electives, both at UTMB and at “away” medical schools as visiting students. Dermatology residents must complete an intern year (PGY-1) in a broad-based program before beginning dermatology residency (e.g., Internal Medicine preliminary year, transitional year, etc) – Ryan, Donnie and Rebecca described options for this year of training and explained how they approached this part of the application. Additionally, the “couples match” process was discussed for applicants wishing to link their rank list with another applicant. At the end of the Q&A, they shared a list of the dermatology programs where they received interviews, as well as a list of dermatology interview questions they encountered. For more advice, feel free to contact the UTMB DIG MS4s (Rebecca (rcphilip@utmb.edu), Ryan (rrriahi@utmb.edu), or Donnie (dbwarren@utmb.edu)). And if you would like a copy of the list of 2011-2012 UTMB medical student dermatology applicant interviews and interview questions, please email Rebecca Philips (rcphilip@utmb.edu).

Other topics discussed during the meeting included…

Dermatology Match Results:
Rebecca Philips – UTMB
Ryan Riahi – LSU
Donnie Warren – UT Southwestern – Austin

Recent Community Outreach:
- 2012 Santa Fe High Community Health and Wellness Fair – Saturday, February 25, 2012
- “Stay Shady” presentation to Odyssey Academy 4th graders – Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Upcoming UTMB DIG events: (See future blog post for more details.)
- 2012 Houston Walk to Cure Psoriasis, 1K or 5K – Saturday, April 14th
- “Stay Shady!” Presentations to Galveston Ball High School students – Saturday, April 21st
- Bake Sale fundraiser – Monday, April 30th and Tuesday, May 1st
- Galveston AIM for a Cure Melanoma Walk – Saturday, May 5th
- Annual Free Skin Cancer Screening with UTMB Dermatology Department - Saturday, May 5th
- “Stay Shady!” Presentations to Galveston Elementary and Middle School Students – TBD

UTMB Dermatology PGY-4 Resident and Faculty Annual Teaching Awards
UTMB DIG MS4 students voted on the 2011-2012 dermatology teaching awards. Results will be announced at dermatology journal club on Friday, June 1st. Thank you to all of the Dermatology faculty and residents for your dedicated teaching!

Last DIG Meeting and DIG officer elections: Wednesday, April 18th
Details will be posted to the blog soon!

Questions? Please email Rebecca Philips at rcphilip@utmb.edu.

“Can I Match Into a Dermatology Residency?”

First and second year medical students are curious about the “ROAD” (Radiology, Ophthalmology, Anesthesiology and Dermatology) specialties and wonder if they would be competitive. Other specialties in this group are Emergency Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Radiation Oncology, and Plastic Surgery.

A medical career is demanding by most standards, but ROAD (“Road to happiness”) specialties offer physicians the opportunity for a more balanced personal and professional lifestyle with high income in relationship to hours worked. Since many first and second year medical students seek candid advice about their chances for a dermatology residency from DIG MS4s and dermatology faculty, here are some things to consider.

Currently, dermatology is one of the most competitive specialties due to high demand and a relatively small number of positions each year. This trend appears stable and is unlikely to change.

- About half of the dermatology residency positions will go to excellent academic medical students who have a high Step 1 score (240 or higher) and are members of AOA. Medical students will not know this information about themselves until the end of their second year when they take Step 1 and during their junior or senior year for AOA. However, if you are not getting Honors in most of your classes during the first three years, you will probably not be elected to AOA at UTMB.

- Because dermatology is so competitive, failing any Step examination or failing any class in medical school will make it very unlikely that you will be able to match into a dermatology residency. It follows that students who are required to repeat an entire year of medical school due to failing grades will find it nearly impossible to obtain residency interviews for dermatology. One of our Deans is famous for telling students FAI (“Forget About It”) when the student is unrealistic about residency applications. Failing a class or a Step is usually sufficient academic information to advise FAI for dermatology. If for some reason you are ill or find yourself in circumstances where you are missing class or are unable to study, it is good advice to speak to the Dean and withdraw from classes until the situation is resolved. That way you may be able to avoid having a failing grade in your academic record.

-Although taking dermatology clinical research fellowship for 1 or 2 years following the PGY1 year has helped many solid students obtain a dermatology residency, it is much less likely to help if the student has failed a Step or a course in medical school. The same is true for medical student research—it helps excellent students the most because it helps to distinguish them from other students with superior grades, but no research.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rules. For example, applicants with a PhD and strong publications often are accepted into dermatology residencies with below average (for dermatology) Step 1 scores and without AOA membership.

Save this Date

UTMB MS4 Donnie Warren will present his UTMB Dermatology Honors Research Program thesis, “Preventing ultraviolet radiation hand injury: hand cancer awareness and protective behaviors,” on Monday April 9th at 12 pm in the UTMB Dermatology Conference Room (4.112 McCullough Building). It is the only Dermatology Honors Research Project scheduled for presentation during the 2011-2012 academic year, and it is an excellent opportunity for UTMB medical students to learn about this option to perform substantial dermatology research under UTMB faculty supervision. Historically, most of the Dermatology Honors Research is eventually published in peer-reviewed dermatology journals with the medical student researcher appearing as the first author.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Good News for UTMB Dermatology Residency

The UTMB Dermatology Residency Program received good news from the ACGME Dermatology Residency Review Committee this week. It was granted a 5 year cycle, the longest review cycle currently permitted by the ACGME for dermatology. In addition, a proposal to permanently increase the number of UTMB dermatology residents from 10 to 12 was approved. UTMB plans on adding an 11th dermatology resident to the PGY2 group starting in July 2013, and will start to review completed ERAS applications for the position and start interviewing for the position in November 2012. The 12th dermatology resident will be added to the incoming PGY2 advanced residency positions offered through the 2013 NRMP, when UTMB will be offering 4 positions for the first time. By July 2014, there will be a total of 12 dermatology residents (4 in each PGY class) in our residency program.