Current Editors: Keith Wagner and Michael Ryan

Past Editors: Tim Allen, 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.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Notes from DIG Meeting with Dr. Wagner on 9/17/13

UTMB DIG would like to thank Dr. Wagner for his very informative Q&A session on Dermatology residency and other related topics such as research, fellowships and electives. Below is a summary of the items Dr. Wagner discussed with the Dermatology Interest Group on 917/13.

1. Residency/Applicant Information:
a.   Dermatology is an extremely competitive field. Applicants who match into dermatology often have many publications, research experiences, volunteer activities, superior USMLE Step 1 scores, and belong to the AOA Medical Honor Society.  Many schools have USMLE Step1 cutoff to decrease the application pool. Of note, the dermatology department at UTMB interviews all of their fourth year medical student applicants. Overall, UTMB interviews around 30 applicants per year. In addition, UTMB is one of the few schools that offer the opportunity to do an Acting Internship in Dermatology as well as other courses such as Dermatology in the Cinema.

2. Research
a.   Research is highly encouraged for dermatology applicants and there are many opportunities to get involved in research at UTMB, both within and outside of the dermatology department. The key is to develop a project that matches your interests. There are diverse interests represented in the UTMB dermatology department that you can pursue, such as topics in general adult and pediatric dermatology, dermatopathology, dermatologic surgery and cosmetic dermatology.
b.   It is never too early to start a research project – you can even start during your first year. Working on case reports and reviews is a great way to start learning to research articles and work on writing skills. The UTMB School of Medicine allows you to participate in a summer research elective between 1st and 2nd year. This is a good way to gain a research mentor, compete for various research awards, and perhaps even have the opportunity to get published. You can also participate in the Honors Research Program in Dermatology. The official deadline for the Honors Proposal is 12/31 of the third year, but extensions may be possible with permission from Dr. Simon Lewis. This research is typically completed and presented by April of the fourth year.

3. Step 2:
a.   Some students with lower step1 scores can take advantage of the opportunity of doing very well on step2 and in a sense “make up” for their former standardized test score.
b.   Step 2 scores are not required in order to apply for or to receive interviews from residency programs, but some programs are required to have your step 2 scores in order to rank you.

4. Don’t get in the first time?
a.   If you don't match the first year and dermatology is really your passion, don’t give up. It is very possible to match into Dermatology the second or third time around. There are a number of Dermatology research fellowships in the country that you can pursue after your intern year. The important thing is to be productive throughout the fellowship with multiple publications and the opportunity to become an expert on a particular topic of interest will add to your application. There are also alternative routes to becoming a dermatologist. For example, a pathologist who has completed a dermatopathology fellowship or a pediatrician may be attractive applicants to certain programs.

5   5. Dermatology Fellowships:
     a.   There are a number of fellowships that you can pursue after a dermatology residency, such as Pediatric Dermatology, Dermatopathology, Procedural Dermatology and Immunodermatology.