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.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ranks Lists are in... Let's help next year's applicants!

Calling all seniors!

Let's help next year's students with their interviews and offer our advice from along the interview trail.

What questions did you get on your dermatology interviews?

We will compile a list to prepare our medical students for the upcoming application season.

Where did you interview? Help guide our future students about places to consider for their away rotations.

Thank you for your help with this project and best of luck to you all!

Please e-mail responses to Lindsey Hunter at lihunter@utmb.edu.

Passing Rates for the American Board of Dermatology (ABD) Certification Examination ("The Boards")

Does everyone pass the ABD Certification Examination on their first attempt? Sadly, no. Data published by the ABD this month indicates that for first time test takers who are taking the test during the same year they completed residency training, 4.5% failed the test in 2009. A higher percentages of this reference group failed in 2008 (4.9%) and 2007 (9.3%). For those repeating the exam and those who did not take the test right after completing dermatology residency, the failure rates were higher for all three years reported. This may be the reason why dermatology residents are studying all of the time during residency!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rare Summa Cum Laude Dermatology Research Honors Awarded

Congratulations are in order for UTMB MS4 Audra Clos, who was awarded Summa Cum Laude Dermatology Research Graduation Honors for her UTMB Honors Research Program Thesis, "Characterization and therapeutic removal of amyloid deposits in cutaneous amyloidosis." This is only the fourth time that this honor has been awarded by the dermatology department, and the first such award since 2005. Nineteen UTMB medical students have completed the Dermatology Research Program since 2001, when this program was initiated.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

DIG Success at Odyssey Academy Science Night

DIG members Michaela Marek and Kenne Ogunmakin enjoyed volunteering at Odyssey Academy's Science Night. The Odyssey students were excited to learn about sun-safe behaviors and make UV bead bracelets.

Thanks to our volunteers and to Odyssey for hosting us!

Want to set up your own Stay Shady! event? Contact our Community Service Officer Rebecca at rcphilip@utmb.edu.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What if I Don't Match into a Dermatology Residency?

Sadly, the national trend is that more and more qualified dermatology applicants are not matching. It is simply a matter of the math. Currently there are many more qualified applicants than available dermatology positions, and this gap seems to be increasing each year as more US medical schools open and established US medical schools continue to increase class size. Less than enthusiastic feedback from the Dean of Student Affairs early in the application cycle may be the earliest warning sign, based on previous medical student matching statistics from your school. Receiving few interview offers during the first dermatology application cycle may also signal difficulty matching.

Reapplication in a subsequent application cycle may be a consideration. Those considering reapplication should critically review their application. Reapplicants with a Step 1 score below the national dermatology average (240 but seemingly trending up) and not AOA may still find it challenging to get a residency position because of the initial applicant screening process at many dermatology programs and a limited numbers of interview spots. Clinical performance during the PGY-1 year is critically important for reapplicants, as is the type of program and the quality of the institution where the internship is taken. For reapplicants, dermatology program directors will usually want an evaluative letter from the PGY-1 Program Director or the Department Chair. Completing and publishing research started during medical school in peer-reviewed dermatology journals may also help some reapplicants match because it is recognized as difficult to accomplish during the internship year and shows strong continued motivation for a dermatology career.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Alison Wiesenthal Gets Grant for Health Fair!

Congratulations to our DIG Co-president, Alison Wiesenthal, for receiving a grant from the Dermatology Education Foundation & Aveeno.

This grant will support our activities at the Galveston County Health Fair on March 6th.

Please feel free to contact Lindsey (lihunter@utmb.edu) or Alison (acwiesen@utmb.edu) to volunteer at this event.

Great work, Alison!

DIG Meeting Recap 2-18-10

Tonight we had a great meeting. We discussed our upcoming community service projects including Miles for Melanoma (April 17th), Galveston County Health Fair (March 6th), and the Skin Cancer Screening (May 15th).

Thank you to Dr. Brent Kelly for his great lecture introducing us to dermatopathology.

We enjoyed having residents Dr. Mika Yamazaki, Dr. Neda Nosrati, and Dr. David Raimer, as well as our youngest DIG member, Austin Kelly. Thanks to all for joining us!

To get involved with DIG and our community service events, feel free to e-mail DIG co-President Alison Wiesenthal at acwiesen@utmb.edu.

Learn More about Experimental Cutaneous Amyloidosis

MS4 Audra Clos will present her UTMB Research Honors Thesis entitled, "Characterization and therapeutic removal of amyloid deposits in cutaneous amyloidosis" on Monday, February 22, 2010 at 8:30 a.m. on the tenth floor of the Blocker Medical Research Building (MRB) in Room 10.141. Everyone is welcome to attend, especially UTMB DIG members interested in laboratory research for their UTMB Research Honors Project. Refreshments will be served.

DIG Meeting Today! Feb. 18 5pm

Calling all DIG members!

Please join us today, Thursday February 18th at 5PM in the Dermatology Department conference room (4.112 McCullough Building) for our DIG meeting.

We are excited to have Dr. Brent Kelly present an introduction to dermatopathology and inflammatory reaction patterns.

Other items on the agenda include planning for upcoming events such as Miles for Melanoma, Stay Shady! presentations and the Galveston County Health Fair.

If you would like to attend the meeting but are not currently in Galveston, e-mail Alison Wiesenthal at acwiesen@utmb.edu, and I will set up a video or teleconference.

We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Interview Faux Pas

The dermatology trail for most dermatology applicants is now over, ranking lists are being submitted to the NRMP, and Match Day is coming soon (March 18th). The UTMB DIG has compiled a list of interview faux pas from several dermatology programs that may be useful for future UTMB DIG applicants.

-Remember, residents and faculty at the program where you are interviewing may overhear you when you are speaking loudly on your cell phone outside of their offices. If they hear you say, "I can't wait to leave (name city or state)" it may not help create a positive first impression.

-Not all interviewers may want to look at the clinical pictures you took while on another dermatology rotation.

-Do not curse at the interview.

-Rehearsed responses may indicate insincerity if detected.

-Not interviewing with everyone on the interview list may signal lack of enthusiasm for that program (this is especially true for internal candidates and away programs that invite rotators to interview while still there).

-Not being in town the night before the interview when distance is an issue. Things can go wrong with same day travel arrangements, especially during the winter. If it is a risk you don't need to take (no interview at another program in a different city the day before where air travel will be necessary), it is safer to arrive in town the night before.

-Writing to programs after the interview that they are "at the top of my list," "in the top three," etc. This lets the program know that they are not your top choice.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

UTMB DIG Co-President Coauthors Case Report!

Congratulations to Alison Wiesenthal, our UTMB DIG Co-President and coauthor of the recently published case report, "A firm plaque on the back of a newborn." The case report was published in the February issue of the Dermatology Online Journal.

We report a case of subcutaneous fat necrosis of the newborn (SCFN), a rare disorder in term or post-term neonates. Although it is often associated with hematological abnormalities such as anemia and hypercalcemia, SCFN in this patient presented with hyperbilirubinemia. The course of SCFN is generally benign and self-limiting, though may be associated with complications secondary to hypercalcemia.

To read more, click on the following link:

11th Annual UTMB Dermatopathology Review

The annual UTMB Dermatopathology Review Course is scheduled for April 10th and 11th this year. For more information please visit the following website: http://www.utmb.edu/dermatology/dermatopathology/Dermatopathology%20Review%20Course.html

Friday, February 12, 2010

Academic Qualifications of Outside Dermatology Applicants Interviewed at UTMB

The UTMB DIG was interested about the academic credentials of non-UTMB MS4 applicants interviewed for the dermatology 2010 NRMP. Twenty-six applicants visited Galveston for their February interviews this year. They came from 15 different medical schools in 11 states, one as far away as California. Their mean step 1 score was 249 (n=26) and ranged from 222-267. Their mean step 2 score was 259 (n=13) and ranged from 210 to 275. All were elected to AOA. One applicant was board certified in pediatrics. One applicant was currently in a dermatology research fellowship. One applicant had done an "away" dermatology rotation at UTMB. All had research/publications. Several had Master's Degrees in other academic disciplines before going to medical school.

This information may be helpful to UTMB DIG members in evaluating their competitiveness for outside interviews at similar dermatology programs.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Grand Opening of University Dermatology At Bay Colony

Although UTMB dermatology residents and faculty have been busy seeing patients at our new Bay Colony Clinic (2785 Gulf Feeway South, Suite 165, League City, Texas; telephone 281-534-3376) for several weeks, Tuesday, March 2, 2010 from 4:30 to 6:30 pm will be its grand opening!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

2010 Houston Dermatological Society Skin Cancer Screening May 15th

Calling all DIG Members!

Volunteer at the annual Houston Dermatological Society Skin Cancer Screening May 15th.

Help out at either of the two locations:

1) Screenings running from 10 am to 1 pm
University Dermatology at Bay Colony
2785 Gulf Freeway South, Suite 165
(next to 24 Hour Fitness at I-45 and FM 646).(281) 534-3376. Fax (281) 337-7035

2) Screenings running from 10 am to 12 pm
Stewart Road Family Health
6710 Stewart Road, Galveston, TX
(409) 744-4030

E-mail DIG co-President Alison Wiesenthal at acwiesen@utmb.edu to volunteer. Thank you!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Congratulations, Dr. Jennifer Vickers!

The UTMB DIG has learned that one of the current UTMB PGY-1 Department of Internal Medicine Residents has accepted a PGY-2 Dermatology Residency position at New York Medical College for July 2010. She will join another formed UTMB medical student, Dr. Laura Speck, who is also in dermatology residency at New York Medical College.

Friday, February 05, 2010

DermHub: Student-created Dermatology Website

DermHub (www.dermhub.com) is a medical student-initiated patient education portal and social networking community that centers around the skin. The site provides brief, concise descriptions of common dermatologic conditions in the hope that patients will better understand their diagnoses. DermHub also appeals to human interest by sharing individuals’ stories and providing dermatologists’ insights. In order to engage a wide array of readers, we reach out to individuals with normal skin by educating them about their largest organ, advocating skin care and sun protection, and explaining the ingredients found in products they may commonly use. DermHub is currently working on a sign-up feature that will allow for a more personalized reader experience.
DermHub is entirely student-run; we receive no outside funding or company endorsements. We are looking for dermatologists who are interested in contributing content (either individually authored or conducted in an interview format), serving on an Advisory Board, editing and reviewing posts, and/or recruiting interested medical students to participate in this educational endeavor. If you are interested in any of the above, or if you would like more information, please contact silvinapugliese@gmail.com.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

DIG Meeting Thursday Feb. 18 5pm

Calling all DIG members!

Please join us Thursday February 18th at 5PM in the Dermatology Department conference room (4.112 McCullough Building) for our DIG meeting.

We are excited to have Dr. Brent Kelly present an introduction to dermatopathology and inflammatory reaction patterns.

Other items on the agenda include planning for upcoming events such as Miles for Melanoma, Stay Shady! presentations and the Galveston County Health Fair.

If you would like to attend the meeting but are not currently in Galveston, e-mail Alison Wiesenthal at acwiesen@utmb.edu, and I will set up a video or teleconference.

We hope to see you there!