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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Austin DIG Elections 4-5-10

Attention all full-time Austin medical students!

The UTMB Austin DIG will be holding elections for the following positions next MONDAY:

Austin DIG President

Austin DIG Stay Shady! Representative

If you are interested in either of these positions, e-mail Alison at acwiesen@utmb.edu.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Learn More About Dermatopathology From the Experts!

Save the weekend of April 10th and 11th, for the 11th Annual UTMB Dermatopathology Review Course. For further information please see the website: http://www.utmb.edu/dermatology/dermatopathology/Dermatopathology%20Review%20Course.html and the course brochure: http://www.utmb.edu/dermatology/pdf_ads/Derm_path_2010_Brochure.pdf
Please note that the course will be held in Levin Hall, and not at the School of Allied Health Sciences and Nursing Building as described in the brochure.

Evaluation Criteria for UTMB Dermatology Honors Research Thesis

Many students interested in the UTMB Honors Research Program wonder how their research is evaluated. How does the ad hoc thesis committee evaluate Dermatology Honors Program Research? The committee looks at multiple factors, such as:

-Was the hypothesis (proposal question, idea) generated by the student with little or no faculty involvement?

-Is the study confirming the results of a previous study, or is it addressing questions not answered by previous studies?

-What is the impact of the study on the area of research?

-What new and novel findings were generated by the study?

-Can or has the study been published in a high impact journal?

-How well presented are the results of the study (both written and oral)?

-Does the student have an in-depth understanding of the research area?

Thank you, Dr. Simon Lewis, for providing this information.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Magna Cum Laude Graduation Honors

Congratulations to MS4 Doug Heiner for his successful defense of his UTMB Dermatology Research Honors Thesis entitled, "Preventing Ultraviolet Light Scalp Injury: Scalp Cancer Awareness and Protective Behaviors."

His dermatology faculty thesis advisor was Dr. Richard Wagner, and his dermatology ad hoc thesis committee faculty were Dr. Sharon Raimer and Dr. Brent Kelly. The UTMB DIG congratulates you for a job well done!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Don't Miss This!

Please remember to see UTMB MS4 Douglas Heiner present his award winning dermatology research at his honors thesis presentation entitled, "Preventing Ultraviolet Light Scalp Injury: Scalp Cancer Awareness and Protective Behaviors" on Monday afternoon, March 29, 2010 at 4 pm in the dermatology conference room (4.130 McCullough Building).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thank You from Odyssey Academy

I received a lovely thank you note from Odyssey Academy this week thanking us for our work with Stay Shady! Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers and sponsors who have made this community outreach such a great success.


Alison Wiesenthal
DIG Co-President

Thursday, March 18, 2010

UTMB DIG Congratulates UTMB Dermatology "Class of 2014"

The results of the 2010 NRMP were made official on March 18th, and the UTMB Department of Dermatology learned that they matched with (alphabetical):

Jason Jones (Texas Tech University HSC SOM, Class of 2010)

Megan Moody (UT Medical School Houston, Class of 2009, Fellowship with Leonard Goldberg, MD, planned for 2010-2011)

Samantha Robare-Stout (Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Class of 2010)

All Texans! This was the first time in 10 years (Class of 2004) that UTMB did not match with at least one of their own medical students. No one matching at UTMB Dermatology today had done a previous "away" rotation in Galveston.

Congratulations! You have matched into a great dermatology residency program! We all look forward to working with you in the future!

UTMB MS4s with 2010 NRMP Dermatology Matches

Douglas Heiner: Roger Williams Medical Center, Providence, RI

Julie Nguyen: University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Oklahoma City, OK

Mike Rains: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Ctr, Austin, TX

Congratulations from the UTMB DIG on your great success! We are very happy for you! Here is the UTMB Class of 2010 match list link:


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What I Really Mean (apologies to REK)

What do many dermatology applicants do after finalizing their rank list? Although often officially discouraged by programs, many applicants decide to communicate anyway with them about their decision. Here are some communications the UTMB DIG has uncovered (with our thoughts inside parenthesis):

"I ranked you number one on my match list." (No real ambiguity here.)

"You are my top choice." (Again, little ambiguity.)

"I ranked you at the top of my rank list." (Not really saying very much. If the applicant ranks 10 programs, number 4 is still at the "top").

"You are one of my top three programs." (Signals that this program is not number 1 on your list. Is that what you really wanted to communicate?)

"I really liked your program and would be very happy to match with you." (Harder to interpret. However, not mentioning that the program is your first choice will not be missed.)

"Let's be friends." (Says it all!)

Bottom line: Does what you write to programs really matter? There is still much debate on this issue. Can it help you match? Maybe. Can it hurt? Also a possibility. How the communication is interpreted is very important. Of course the writer has the most control over this.

Interesting News Report and Response About 2007 NRMP

This article includes references to the 2007 dermatology match.



SDN Discussion:


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

American Skin Association Offers Research Grants to Medical Students

Does your medical student research involve skin cancer or melanoma? If so, the American Skin Association is offering grant support for your research (up to $7000) in 2011. For further information, please see:




UTMB Fills Three Dermatology Residency Positions In 2010 Match

UTMB Dermatology successfully filled its three available match positions. Applicants will learn where they matched on Thursday, March 18th.

Monday, March 15, 2010

ENT Lecture about Nasal Reconstruction following Mohs Surgery

Please join Dr. Francisco G. Pernas (PGY3 ENT) on Wednesday, March 31st at 1 pm in the Vaughn center (7.314 John Sealy Annex) for his UTMB ENT Grand Rounds Presentation about Nasal Reconstruction following Mohs Surgery.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

UTMB's Got Talent!

UTMB's very own Dr. Mara Dacso and Dr. Jennifer Vickers contributed their talents in last Thursday's St. Vincent's Charity Concert, benefiting the St. Vincent's free student-run clinic at the Galveston Grand Opera House. Dr. Dacso and Dr. Vickers performed with the a cappella group, Syncope, singing "Ticket to Ride" and "Yesterday" by the Beatles. Dr. Mara Dacso also wowed the audience with her solo performance of, "I Dreamed a Dream," from the Broadway musical, Les Misérables.

This July, Dr. Mara Dacso will start her dermatology residency at UTMB, and Dr. Jennifer Vickers will start her dermatology residency at New York Medical College.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

National DIGA Meeting Recap

The National Dermatology Interest Group Association held its annual meeting this past weekend in Miami, Florida in conjunction with the American Academy of Dermatology meeting.

UTMB was recognized for being one of only 7 schools who hold annual Miles for Melanoma walks and raise money for melanoma research.

This year, DIGA will be spearheading Psoriasis Walks with the National Psoriasis Foundation.

Please contact Alison Wiesenthal at officers@derminterest.org to become involved in the National DIGA.

First Dermatology Honors Project Approved for UTMB MS3

Congratulations to MS3 Lindsey Hunter for getting UTMB Honors Research Committee approval for her proposal entitled, "Photoactivated Rose Bengal in Chinese Hamster Ovary Cells--A Mutagen?" Her thesis advisor on this research is Dr. Michael Wilkerson (UTMB dermatology faculty). Good luck on this basic science bench research!

Heiner Scheduled Dermatology Research Honors Thesis Presentation

UTMB MS4 Douglas Heiner has scheduled his dermatology honors thesis presentation entitled, "Preventing Ultraviolet Light Scalp Injury: Scalp Cancer Awareness and Protective Behaviors" for presentation on Monday afternoon, March 29, 2010 at 4 pm in the dermatology conference room (4.130 McCullough Building). Everyone on campus is invited to attend, particularly DIG members who are interested in learning more about research opportunities available through the UTMB Honors Research Program for our medical students.

One Week to Go!

"Match Day" is Thursday, March 18, 2010, just one week away. Good luck to all of UTMB's dermatology applicants this year!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2010 Galveston County Health Fair A Success for DIG!

This past Saturday was a huge success for DIG volunteers at the annual Galveston County Health Fair!

Volunteers provided educational handouts and activities on sun protection for well over 150 members of the local community. We had a lot of fun with the kids and adults who made sun visors and UV-bead bracelets at our booth. One lucky winner received the DIG doorprize, a basket full of sun protection goodies. Thanks to everyone who volunteered!

Special thanks to Derm Education Foundation & Aveeno for their support of this project and to MSIII Lindsey Hunter for her tireless efforts.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

6th Annual AIM for a Cure Melanoma Walk!

Join us in our walk against melanoma as DIG will be hosting its 6th annual AIM for a Cure Melanoma Walk! All proceeds will go to AIM, the largest international melanoma organization focused on melanoma research, education, awareness, and legislation.

Date: April 17, 2010
Time: Registration is at 9 AM, Walk to start at 9:30 AM
Location: UTMB Alumni Fieldhouse Track
________215 Holiday Drive
________Galveston, TX 77555

-NO fee to participate, but everyone is encouraged to raise at least $50.
-Register by March 15th to receive a FREE t-shirt!
-Waiver, Pledge Sheet & Donations are due the day of the event.

-To register, click on the following link: http://www.aimatmelanoma.org/aim-for-action/1158/1159/1167.html, and then click on the "Registration" tab.

-Not able to make it out to the event? Pledges can be donated online by clicking on the following link: http://www.aimatmelanoma.org/aim-for-action/1158/1159/1167/1265.html.

-If you know a participant collecting pledges, please submit your donation to them by check payable to "AIM."

We hope to see you there, and don't forget your sunscreen!

Questions? Please contact Janese Laster at jslaster@utmb.edu or Lindsey Hunter at lihunter@utmb.edu.

Monday, March 08, 2010

One Week to Go

Next Monday, March 15th, thousands of MS4s across the country will find out from the NRMP if they have matched for a PGY1 position starting in July and specialty training the following year. Good luck to all of our UTMB medical students who are applying for a dermatology residency! Students will not learn about the specifics of their match until Match Day on Thursday, March 18th.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Austin Dermatology AI Discontinued

Thanks to the UTMB DIG members who first reported the unavailability of the Dermatology Acting Internship in Austin (AI) earlier this year. The name of DER0-4013 has now been changed to "Advanced Clinical Dermatology-Austin" to reflect that this elective is no longer an AI.

UTMB Electives Committee Approves Dermatology Acting Internship (AI) for

Good news for rising UTMB MS4s! The UTMB Electives Committee officially approved the Acting Internship in Dermatology (DERU-4006) for the upcoming academic year. This popular course is now open to student enrollment. This elective was first developed in 2004 due to the initiative of a former UTMB medical student, Amy McClung, who has since completed dermatology residency at Baylor and practices in Austin, Texas. DERU-4006 has been continuously offered at UTMB since 2004, except for an interruption caused by Hurricane Ike during the 2009-2010 academic year.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

It's Official!

Tuesday afternoon, March 2nd was the Grand Opening for the new UTMB Dermatology Clinic in League City (Bay Colony). UTMB President Dr. David Callender and Dean Garland Anderson were present, as well as Dermatology Department Chair Dr. Sharon Raimer, Dermatology Clinic Director Dr. Michael Wilkerson and dermatology faculty Drs. Bernard Gibson, Chris Berlingeri and Richard Wagner, and the dermatology clinic staff. Members of the League City Chamber of Commerce and other UTMB faculty and administrators, including Dermatology Administrator Patricia Birkmeyer were also there. The clinic is already doing very well in its first few months of operation. In February, more dermatology patients were seen at this new location than in the UHC UTMB Galveston dermatology clinic!

UTMB Considers Pay Raises for Residents and Fellows

PGY-2 dermatology residents could get a $1100 pay raise starting in September 2010 to $46,600 if a current proposal to raise housestaff salaries is approved. PGY3 residents would earn $48,208 and PGY4s would earn $50,037. PGY5 dermatopathology fellows would earn $51,424 under the plan to meet the 2009-2010 AAMC Southern Mean Salary at medical schools.

Information about the Austin Acting Internship (AI) in Dermatology for MS4s

Some MS4 DIG members have reported that the Acting Internship (AI) in Dermatology- Austin (DERO-4013) was not always offered each Period during the 2009-10 academic year as currently listed in the online UTMB School of Medicine Elective Brochure https://webmail.utmb.edu/owa/redir.aspx?C=b74f9630969147f5bc5ab0aa6418a812&URL=http%3a%2f%2far.utmb.edu%2f04-05review%2fbdisplay.asp%3frec%3d383. UTMB enrollment services is now reviewing this matter. However according to enrollment services, Austin will continue to offer Clinical Dermatology (DERO-4014) to UTMB and visiting medical students.

New Innovations Comes to UTMB

New Innovations software was adopted by the UTMB Graduate Medical Education Office and went live yesterday on campus. Its purpose it to record resident work hours spent on campus. Each day residents record the time they spent in patient care and in educational activities in 15 minute increments. This new software will help UTMB satisfy the strict ACGME duty hours record keeping requirement for residents, although it has not been an issue for UTMB dermatology in the past. Hours spent at home studying on week nights or on weekends and on-call hours taken from home are not recorded.

UTMB Joins Texas Medical Center

Today UTMB became the latest component of the largest medical center in the world, the Texas Medical Center (TMC). The TMC has over 30 million square feet of built space used in all aspects of medicine, and includes 49 institutions. For more detailed information, please see the article from today's Galveston County Daily News http://www.galvestondailynews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=210745e0a612eb08

Monday, March 01, 2010

UTMB Dermatology Reinstitutes Acting Internship

Good news for UTMB MS4s interested in a dermatology career! The UTMB Department of Dermatology has just requested permission to restart its popular Acting Internship (AI) in Dermatology (DERU-4006) that was suspended in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike (2008). UTMB is currently one of the few dermatology programs nationally to offer an AI. The course is limited to one MS4 during Periods 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 in 2010. This timing allows UTMB faculty to write dermatology letters of recommendation for ERAS based on student performance during their dermatology AI. Students taking this course satisfy the UTMB graduation requirement for an AI during the MS4 year. MS4s interested in this AI should be able to preregister for it in the next several weeks if it is approved.

Dermatology "March Madness"

Yes, it's now officially March and time for the annual dermatology practice boards sponsored by the American Board of Dermatology. Every year participating programs offer their dermatology residents the practice board for dermatology knowledge assessment. Released scores let each resident taking the test and their program know how they tested compared to the same PGY level of dermatology training across participating programs. Doing well on the practice boards usually predicts success on the certification exam that dermatology residents may take upon completion of their residency. This year the practice board is on Thursday, March 25th. UTMB dermatology residents are excused from clinics for the entire day in order to take this test in Galveston. The UTMB DIG wishes everyone good luck on their exam!

Information for Visiting Medical Students Interested in "Away" UTMB Dermatology Electives

Doing an away dermatology elective as a visiting medical student can be confusing. How do I get registered? Are there any associated costs? Where will I live when I am on the rotation? Are dermatology interviews automatically given to visiting dermatology students? Should I bring my surfboard? At UTMB, our Registrar's Office (Enrollment Services, 409-772-1215) will help you schedule a dermatology elective with us in Galveston. For the upcoming 2010-2011 academic year, 4 week rotations begin on Monday, June 28th. A wide variety of interesting dermatology electives are offered. Applications from visiting medical students are now being accepted and applicants will be notified once all of the UTMB MS3 and MS4 students have preregistered, around May 1st. Yes, the UTMB Dermatology Department changed its interview policy late last year and now plan to automatically interview all visiting medical students during their dermatology rotation in Galveston as long as they have completed their ERAS http://www.aamc.org/students/eras/ application for the UTMB dermatology residency. For more information, please visit our Enrollment Services website: http://www.utmb.edu/EnrollmentServices/about/USVisitingMedicalStudents.html