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.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Presentation About Step 1 Scores at the 2009 Dermatology Teachers Exchange Group (DTEG)

A presentation from Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health (Columbus) at the 2009 Dermatology Teachers Exchange Group meeting in Chicago last week analyzed the correlation between dermatology resident Step 1 USMLE scores and the annual dermatology in-training examination given to residents (Fening K, Vander Horst A, Zirwas M. Correlation of USMLE Step 1 Scores With Performance on Dermatology In Training Exams and Board Examination). The authors found that Step 1 scores explained about 25% of the variability seen in in-training exam scores.

In the DTEG discussion that followed, an audience participant mentioned that it is possible that Step 2 scores may correlate with the visual portion of the actual board examination, but more analysis is needed.

UTMB Dermatology Residents Getting Lots of Surgery Experience

According to survey data presented at the 2009 Association of Professors of Dermatology Annual Meeting held last weekend in Chicago (Lee E, et al, A Survey to Assess Dermatologic Surgery Training in Residency), UTMB dermatology residents are typically in the top group nationally regarding number of Mohs layers taken during residency. Mohs surgery was found to be important in the acquisition of important surgical skills, such as suturing.

Harvard Offers New Fellowship in Derm/Rheum

Candidates need to have completed their PGY-1 year in Medicine for this one year fellowship that will place emphasis on connective tissue diseases and dermatology. To apply send an email to the fellowship director, Dr. Ruth Ann Vleugels (rvleugels@partners.org), along with your CV by October 19, 2009.

Best Ways to Work with Faculty and Residents on Academic Projects

Many medical students desire feedback about how their academic collaborations such as case reports, review articles and research projects are evaluated by dermatology faculty and residents. Here are a few tips about how to be successful in this process. UTMB has very supportive dermatology residents and faculty who will help you get the most of this experience. Many of our current residents have recently completed excellent dermatology research as medical students and they are happy to share their experiences with you. They want you to be successful too!

Good communication is definitely key to this activity. Residents and faculty should receive frequent updates from students about their progress. Successful projects require knowing what you want to do and having the time to do it. If you don't have time for a project or if the topic just does not interest you, be upfront about it. Another project more to your liking may become available, and you might be able to work on it. You could also come up with a project of your own. Those are often the best ones. The residents and faculty and the resources available on campus can help you design a good study using available resources.

Reliability is a close second to communication skills. If you are unable to attend a scheduled meeting, make sure you let everyone know in advance. If you are having problems meeting deadlines, quickly let your supervisors know and they probably will help. Depending on the type of project, sometimes other students are willing to join in with you to get it done. They should be rewarded by sharing the credit.

Requesting feedback on data analysis, the first or revised draft of a research proposal or manuscript and then not responding back again for several weeks or months after receiving a reply from the resident or faculty may be detrimental to the research. By then it is possible that your supervisor will have lost focus on the project and it may be difficult to revive it. Data can get old or get lost. Residents may graduate and now may be too busy to help right away as they transition into their new practices. Following up regularly and responding to feedback quickly is usually the best way to keep your academic project on track, get it completed and ready for submission to a meeting or a journal.

Good luck with your research!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

UTMB Dermatologic Surgery Elective Open for Period 4

Due to a last minute student drop this week, our Dermatologic Surgery elective (DERU-4003) is now open to UTMB 3rd and 4th year medical students or for visiting MS4 medical students from other schools for Period 4. The 4 week elective starts next Monday, September 21, 2009. Please contact the UTMB registrar tomorrow if you are interested in taking this popular course.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

DIG Video/Teleconference Success

DIG held its first combined video and teleconference this afternoon with great success! With the two campuses combined, we had almost 20 people in attendance.

Thank you to Dr. Ashley Group, Dr. Neda Nosrati and Dr. Nathan Davis for sharing their time and insights with us as we embark on our residency applications. We are grateful to have had all the first year residents share their advice.

Please join us at our upcoming Stay Shady! presentation at Odyssey Academy. Contact our Community Service Outreach Chair Rebecca Philips (rcphilip@utmb.edu) for more information.

Future volunteer opportunities discussed tonight include a skin cancer screening at the LPGA golf tournament in Houston, TX Nov. 20-22, our annual Miles for Melanoma Walk in May, and the Galveston County Health fair in April.

Do you have a school in mind that would benefit from Stay Shady! A Sun Protection Children's Education Project? Want to get more involved with DIG and our community outreach?
Contact Alison Wiesenthal at acwiesen@utmb.edu.

DIG Meeting Today at 5 pm: Attend, Call In or Videoconference

Interested in research? Interested in doing a Dermatology Honors Thesis?

Please join us for our DIG meeting this this afternoon at 5:00 PM in the Department of Dermatology's conference room (4.112 McCullough Building). Fourth year students currently involved in honors research will be discussing their experiences with the program. This will be a great opportunity for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students to learn about the process.

Starting today at 4:45 pm, you may call in to 409-797-1298. Access code is DERM (3376).

We look forward to seeing and/or hearing from everyone this afternoon!

If you have any questions, please contact DIG Co-President Alison Wiesenthal (acwiesen@utmb.edu).

"Iked" UTMB MS4 Students Rapidly Recover

Four current UTMB MS4 (senior) medical students have had their Dermatology Research Honors Proposals approved by the UTMB Honors Program Committee. The successful seniors are, in alphabetical order:

Doug Heiner: "Preventing Ultraviolet Light Scalp Injury: Scalp Cancer Awareness and Protective Behaviors in Men" (UTMB Faculty Advisor, Dr. Richard Wagner)

Jarad Levin: "Presentation of Skin Cancers in Latin Americans as Related to Their Access to Healthcare” (UTMB Faculty Advisor, Dr. Brent Kelly)

David Rains: "Ear Protection from Ultraviolet Light Injury at the Beach"(UTMB Faculty Advisor, Dr. Richard Wagner)

Alison Wiesenthal: "Dermal Scatter Reduction in Human Skin to Enhance Efficacy of Laser in Tattoo Removal" (UTMB Faculty Advisor, Dr. Dayna Diven)

Despite Hurricane Ike in September 2008, and the disruption of scheduled third year academic schedules in its aftermath, all four of these senior medical students were able to enter the Dermatology Research Honors Program at UTMB. If all of these students are able to successfully defend their research thesis, the Class of 2010 will have more Dermatology Research Honors Graduates than any previous graduating class! Good luck with your research this academic year!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

DIG to Hold Teleconference September 15

Please join us for a joint Galveston-Austin DIG meeting on September 15th at 5 pm. Austin students please RSVP: Alison Wiesenthal at acwiesen@utmb.edu for further information.

Friday, September 11, 2009

DIG Meeting on September 15th

DIG's next meeting is on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 5:00 PM in the Department of Dermatology's conference room (4.112 McCullough Building). We are excited to have Dr. Ashley Group, current UTMB Dermatology resident, as our guest. Dr. Group will be sharing her personal experiences on the residency interview trail. See you Tuesday!

If you are in Austin and interested in joining us, contact DIG Co-President Alison Wiesenthal at acwiesen@utmb.edu.

Questions? Feel free to contact Lindsey Hunter (lihunter@utmb.edu)

UTMB Plans 2010 Dermatology Residency Interviews for February

In a departure from recent tradition, the UTMB Department of Dermatology has selected February 2010 (Thursday, February 4 and Friday, February 5) as the two interview dates it will be offering to outside applicants. Typically UTMB dermatology does not begin reviewing completed applications until the day after the current application deadline, November 1, 2009. Interview offers to 20-30 outside applicants are usually extended in December, and approximately 10 applicants are placed on an alternate list, with possible later interview offers made on a space available basis. There will be 3 advanced standing position offered in the 2010 NRMP, with matched applicants beginning their PGY-2 dermatology residency at UTMB in July 2011. UTMB Dermatology usually interviews all of its internal candidates informally before the outside applicants are interviewed.

UTMB no longer offers a combined 5-year dermatology/pediatric residency. It was discontinued following Hurricane Ike in 2008.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

DIG's New Google Group

After switching over from Yahoo! Groups to Google Groups, DIG@UTMB's blog posts are now making it to our subscribers via e-mail without any delays! If you would like to re-subscribe to DIG, or if you need help switching over to DIG's new e-mail list, please e-mail Lindsey Hunter at lihunter@utmb.edu.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Leslie Scroggins Markle, MD's Dermatology Research Honors Thesis Accepted for Publication at JAAD

Leslie Scroggins Markle, MD had her dermatology research honors project accepted for publication in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology ("JAAD"). Her research was included in the paper entitled, "The imbalanced expression of matrix metalloproteinases in nephrogenic systemic fibrosis." The authors of this in press publication are Brent C. Kelly, MD, Leslie Scroggins Markle, MD, Jennifer L Vickers, MD, Matthew S. Petitt, DO, Sharon S. Raimer, MD, and Catherine McNeese, MD. Dr. Markle will begin her dermatology residency at UTMB in July 2010, where Drs. Kelly and Raimer are dermatology faculty and Dr. Petitt is a dermatology resident. Dr. McNeese completed dermatopathology fellowship at UTMB and Dr. Vickers is a resident in the Department of Internal Medicine. Congratulations to all of the authors for submitting this interesting research so quickly!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Good News for UTMB!

The Galveston County Commissioners voted 3-1 today to support UTMB through a property tax increase for Galveston County residents. This is extremely good news for the UTMB Community and Galveston County residents because it will allow UTMB to restore the number of hospital beds that UTMB had before Hurricane Ike destroyed much of the campus on September 13, 2008. For additional information, please see http://www.galvestondailynews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=af83557461b1d3ea