Current Editors: Renat Ahatov, Michael Phan, and Andrea Francis

(Please email editors if there is blog-worthy news that you would like to see shared)

Past Editors: Elise Weisert, Michael Ryan, Keith Wagner, 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.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Free Skin Cancer Screening


GALVESTON, Texas-The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston Department of Dermatology will offer a free skin cancer screening on Saturday, May 7, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Family HealthCare Center. The center is located at 3828 Avenue N, in Galveston. Patients will be seen on a first come, first served basis and no appointment is necessary.

The UTMB screening is part of a national effort, coordinated by the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Cancer Society, to educate the public about the benefits of early skin cancer detection.

UTMB dermatologists will screen for cancerous or pre-cancerous growths. Patients who require further attention will be referred to their own physicians for follow-up care. The clinic will provide sunscreen samples, a list of dermatologists who practice in the Galveston/Houston area and literature on how to spot suspicious skin growths.

As DIG members our role will be to come and help out in any way we can passing out packets, signing in patients, and greeting them with a smile.

NSRF Dermatology Winners

Dermatology Poster Award: Jeanette Waller, UCI, "Relative Effects of Topical Keratolytic Ingredients in Man"
Of note: Ms. Waller was also awarded, NSRF Overall Poster Award, 1st place and the UTMB Clinical Research Award

UTMB Dermatology Oral Award: David Lee, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, "The Role of BRAF Oncogene in the Spitz Tumors"

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Blog Brings Texas Dermatology Students Together

Check out--May 2005 , Vol. 36 , No. 5 of Skin and Allergy News

Blog Brings Texas Dermatology Students Together
by Mary Ellen Schneider

Our blog is featured on pg 58 of Skin and Allergy News

Basically the article talks about the site acts as an electronic newsletter and offers information on research, clinical experiences, and volunteer opportunities within the dermatology community. It highlights achievements by students, residents, and faculty at UTMB.

To view the whole article you can register for free and read that article and many more.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

National Student Research Forum Starts Tomorrow!

Where: Levin Hall

When: Thursday and Friday April 28-29, 2005.



8:00 a.m. INJECTION OF RECOMBINANT HUMAN TYPE VII COLLAGEN RESTORES COLLAGEN FUNCTION IN DYSTROPHIC EPIDERMOLYSIS BULLOSA, B-1 Ramin Ram, DT Woodley, P Saadat, D Keene, K Lipman, W Li, M Chen, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine

9:15 a.m. UVL LIP AND SKIN PROTECTION, AWARENESS, ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOR, B - 6 Joshua R. Dimmick, T Uchida, RF Wagner, University of Texas Medical School at Houston


10:30 a.m. THE ROLE OF THE BRAF ONCOGENE IN THE SPITZ TUMORS, F-3 David A. Lee, M Gill, DN Silvers, JT Celebi, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeon


Poster 10 DRUG-INDUCED PHOTOTOXICITY AT GALVESTON ISLAND BEACHES, Sarah S. Dunn, T Uchida, RF Wagner, The University of Texas Medical Branch


Poster 12 TOBACCO-INDUCED DNA DAMAGE IN AN IN VITRO SKIN MODEL, Megan M. Boysen, A Krtolica, J-P Coppe, CH Sun, BJF Wong, University of California, Irvine College of Medicine

Poster 35 RELATIVE EFFECTS OF TOPICAL KERATOLYTICS IN MAN, Jeanette M. Waller, F Dreher, C Ford, C Lee, S Behnam, T Tiet, G Weinstein, HI Maibach, University of California, Irvine College of Medicine

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Survey Results

Many thanks to all of those that participated in the DIG Web Blog evaluation survey.
We had 13/16 (81%) respond to the survey.

38% find the blog extremely useful
38% find the blog somewhat useful
8% find the blog not very useful and
15% have not opinion

23% check the blog once/day
8% check the blog several times/week
8% check the blog once/month
54% rarely check the blog
8% have never checked the blog

Residency information and monthly posts tie as the most useful feature of the blog, followed by links to dermatology resources and then department announcements.

The least useful feature was the comments section.

As far as comments for improvement these included:

1 I would like the comments section to be more active. In order for this to occur, more ideas need to be made to create discussion rather than simple posts. An idea is to perhaps have a virtual journal club where we review one article per month and then dicuss it and then maybe even invite the authors to leave comments. What do you all think?

2 We have the best DIG blog right now. Please keep up the good work and keep adding innovations like the ones that have been added throughout the first year of this blog.

3 I don't know!

4 The link should be posted on the main SOM organizations website for easier access.

5 no specific ways to improve maybe more posts by students who have matched, etc.

6 I think it's a great site with lots of information and honestly cannot think of things to improve it at this time.

7 I have only used the DIG website once, but the one time I did, I found it very easy to navigate and easy to find the answer to my question. I don't have any suggestions for improvement.

8 Unfortunately, as a first year I did not use the site that often and really do not have any constructive criticisms.

Thanks once more for your participation. Let's work together for another successful year of the DIG at UTMB.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


This new website has resources for students, residents, and patients. In addition, they are the founders of a new online journal called dermatologyreview.com. They are encouraging submissions and quickly publish articles written by medical students as well.

First Annual DIGA meeting February 19, 2005 | New Orleans, LA

Back row: Alex Eshaghian (Vanderbilt), Mark Suchter (Drexel), Matthew Molenda (NEOUCOM), Adriana Schmidt (Vanderbilt), Tasneem Poonawalla (UTMB); Front row: Ann Marqueling (UCSF), Priya Pajendran (UCSF), Jeanette Waller (UC Irvine), Kelly Werlinger (UTSW), Jessica Zmolik (UTSW)

Students from seven schools attended the first annual DIGA meeting on February 19, 2005 in New Orleans, LA. Representatives were present from Drexel University, Northeastern Ohio Universities College Of Medicine, University of California Irvine, University of California San Francisco, University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and Vanderbilt University.

After the members introduced themselves, a general brainstorming session was held to map out the goals of this new organization. Some ideas included increasing medical student participation at national meetings, creating funding sources for research and travel for medical students, improving information dissemination regarding matching into a dermatology residency, and creating a forum for national networking.

All members agreed that one of DIGA’s core missions should be to promote community service. Several potential projects were discussed, but a consensus was reached that DIGA should coordinate a national Miles for Melanoma fundraising effort, in which students run marathons to raise money for the Melanoma Research Foundation. Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (NEOUCOM) initiated this program, and it has been very successful.

The Leadership Award was given to Jeanette Waller of UC Irvine for promoting the “Ask a Program Director” feature on the DIGA website.

A faculty member from NEOUCOM was present briefly to give advice on the challenges of matching into a dermatology program. Members were encouraged to recruit their Program Directors to join the Faculty Advisory Panel.

Miles for Melanoma

The DIG at Vanderbilt has been working on the Miles for Melanoma project based on the one at Drexel University. They have organized a project here at Vanderbilt and have raised a significant amount of money. This was discussed at the DIGA meeting in New Orleans. We can do this at our school to to be involved in the national effort.

Miles for Melanoma is a charity fundraiser where we have representative run marathons, half marathons, etc. to raise awareness for melanoma and to raise money for the Melanoma Research Foundation. For more information, please visit www.melanoma.org.

To begin this project at our school, the first thing we need to do is prepare an organizing committee. Then recruit runners (generally medical students), contact the marathon to inform them of your intent to have represntative run for our cause (check the marathon websites for contact information; for our marathon, for example, it was okay to use the name of the marathon on our brochures, but not the logo), contact Bill Marsch from the Melanoma Research Foundation (wrmarsch@earthlink.net) to inform him of your interest, prepare a brochure (attached, you would have to make a few minor changes such as the name of your race), and distribute them to your community. For more information about the project at Vanderbilt, please visit the activities link on the Vanderbilt Website.

The cities with marathons for our schools follows. Some of the dates have already passed and some are not until next year.

Emory - Atlanta, GA (11/24/2005)
Case Western & NEOUCOM - Cleveland, OH (5/22/2005)
Ohio State - Columbus, OH (10/16/2005)
UTSW - Dallas, TX (5/15/2005)
Duke - Durham, NC (none)
UT Galveston - Galveston, TX (none)
Dartmouth - Hanover, NH (4/18/2005--Boston)
Indiana - Indianapolis, IN (10/15/2005)
UC Irvine - Irvine, CA (3/6/2006--Los Angeles)
Vanderbilt - Nashville, TN (4/30/2005)
SUNY, Stony Brook - New York, NY (11/6/2005)
Drexel - Philadelphia, PA (11/21/2005)
UCSF - San Francisco, CA (7/31/2005)
St. Louis, MO (4/9/2005).

Saturday, April 09, 2005

ASDP Call for Abstracts

The Call for Abstracts for the 42nd Annual Meeting of The American Society of Dermatopathology is open and available for your online submission through the ASDP Web site www.asdp.org. We urge you to prepare your abstract and submit it soon. There are only 9 weeks left until the June 15, 2005 deadline.

If you are a physician in training (resident or fellow in a dermpath fellowship program) you will qualify for the Physician in Training Award. Each year cash prizes are given to two oral abstract presenters and one poster presenter. Additionally, cash prizes are awarded to the first, second and third place winners of the Duel in Dermatopathology Resident Competition.

For those of you who are interested in submitting an abstract for the Dermatopathology First Year Fellows Poster program, please note that the deadline is August 15, 2005.

Check the Web site often for annual meeting updates. The annual meeting preliminary program will be distributed in June 2005 by postal mail with a copy available on the website.

Friday, April 01, 2005

DIG Meeting

The third DIG Meeting was full of information. We had one new member. The members in attendance included 1 first year, and 2 third years.

The 4th years that graciously conducted the Q&A session (Thank you Jamie Strahan, Jennifer Ray and Tasneem Poonawalla) emphasized Grades and AOA, Board Scores, Research, Being Nice to Everyone, Away Rotations.

Some interesting points the matched 4th years made on away rotations included:

Going to different regions to see what parts of dermatology you like for away rotations. For example one of the matched 4th years said that time at a VA hospital allowed for much independence and let him realize that dermatology was perfect for him.

Having research of some sort--does not necessarily have to be dermatology.

Going to foreign countries. One of the matched 4th years had gone to Germany for an away rotation and found that a unique experience to share on interviews.

It is a good idea to do away rotations to obtain recommendations from different programs.

The second half of the meeting was about the community service projects that DIG will be conducting which include:
1.UTMB's free skin cancer screening which will occur on the Saturday of Mother's Day Weekend
2. High school outreach program at Ball High, most likely in May of this year. The committee will meet to further discuss plans to make this happen in the near future.

DIG at Galveston County Health Fair

DIG at GCHF teaching sun safety

Dr. Dolphin at GCHF teaching sun safety

Melanoma is bad

Sun Safety is fun!