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, May 25, 2010

UTMB Dermatology Alum Publishes Skin Advice in Triathlete Magazine

Dr. Monica Scheel (UTMB Dermatology Class of 1999) published an article entitled, “Skin Deep” in the June 2010 issue of Triathlete Magazine (pages 108-110, 112). She discussed many skin problems triathletes encounter, such as sunburn, skin cancer, blisters, saddle sores, chafing, and a variety of other topics of interest. She currently is in dermatology practice in Kona, Hawaii, and is a triathlete as well!

KHOU-TV (Ch. 11, Houston) Highlights Recent UTMB Dermatology Free Skin Cancer Screening

Channel 11 television in Houston has issued a press release about UTMB’s free skin cancer screening clinic. For the full article, please go to: http://www.khou.com/news/Skin-cancer-screening-finds-46-percent-with-cancer-or-precancerous-conditions-94802194.html.

Three potential melanomas were found, and all participants with precancers, nonmelanoma skin cancers and possible melanomas were advised to seek further medical attention.

Friday, May 21, 2010

2010 Dermatology Department Awards to UTMB Medical Students

Please join the UTMB DIG in congratulating the 2010 Graduation Award Winners from the UTMB Department of Dermatology:

-Best Original Essay for "Skin Diseases Depicted in Cinema" course: Paul M. Houghtaling ("The Evil Albino")

-Beiersdorf History of Dermatology Award: Marisol Albuerne ("Morgellons Disorder: A Syndrome or a Delusion")

-Edgar B. Smith Endowed Scholarship Award for Excellent Dermatology Research by a Medical Student: Audra Clos

-Thomas B. Freese Award for Overall Excellence in Dermatology: Michael L. Rains

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Next Step: Growing Professionally Contributing to Dermatology Knowledge

There is no doubt that you are an excellent student! You probably did well on the SAT and got into your first choice undergraduate college. You continued to excel academically and had a high undergraduate GPA, aced the MCAT, and got into medical school. During medical school you continued to do well academically and high passed/honored most of your courses, and may even have been be elected to AOA. You also scored well on the Step 1 and Step 2 exams. Your professors think you are great and you have no problem getting enthusiastic letters of recommendation. There is no doubt that you are an excellent student!

While most residency programs would be delighted to interview someone with your academic achievements, many dermatology residencies are looking for even more from applicants. This has occurred because the supply of residency positions in dermatology are much less than the current demand for them. Due to self-selection (and often times the advisement from a wise medical school Dean with recent experience in NRMP statistics from previously successful dermatology applicants from your school), most dermatology applicants have the numbers to match. However, in recent years some of them still have not been successful in obtaining a dermatology residency.

Given the oversupply of capable dermatology applicants, how do programs decide who to interview and rank highly on their match list? Different programs use different criteria. However, many programs are interested in applicants’ transition from excellent student to active contributor. Student professional development and maturation can be demonstrated in a variety of ways. One way is to engage in productive dermatology research at your medical school or through leadership roles in active volunteer student organizations that permit interaction with faculty. Not all medical students have the same research skill sets or organizational skills to engage in complex research or student leadership roles right away, but research skills and leadership, just like study skills can be developed over time if the student is motivated to do so. Try finding a dermatology resident or faculty with an “interesting case” and take the initiative to research the medical literature to see if this patient had unusual or novel aspects to their disease presentation, diagnosis, treatment or course. If you are able to become actively engaged and write up the case report with close interaction and feedback with the team members caring for the patient, you will certainly learn and at the same time develop important research skills that will help you throughout the remainder of your professional career. By going through the steps needed for poster presentation and or publication, you will be sharing your unique experience and helping other dermatologists learn. Based on your early research exposure, you may even become involved in more complicated research projects or even become the Principal Investigator of a dermatology study you initiate. Likewise, leadership roles may be learned by joining a student organization on campus and learning from more senior students. Of course your supervising dermatology faculty will see your research and leadership abilities grow and will be able to provide a more in-depth letter of recommendation that may encourage faculty from another dermatology program to put you on their interview list!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

New E-mail Address for UTMB DIG

The UTMB DIG has a new e-mail address! If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at UTMBDIG@gmail.com.

UTMB DIG Officers

Saturday, May 15, 2010

UTMB Dermatology Screens Over 100 People Today!

Earlier today, UTMB dermatologists, nurses, and medical students participated in the annual Houston Dermatological Society Skin Cancer Screening at the Bay Colony and Stewart Road Family Health clinics. Between the two locations, over 100 patients were screened for cancerous and pre-cancerous growths free of charge. Thanks to everyone who volunteered!

2010 Society for Investigative Dermatology Meeting Recap

The 2010 SID meeting in Atlanta was an intellectually stimulating and memorable experience! Attendees had the opportunity to give and receive feedback on their research, and learn about the latest in dermatology from institutions across the United States and abroad.

With over 800 research posters and back-to-back lectures and presentations, there wasn't a dull moment! The SID meeting was also a wonderful opportunity for networking. There were attendees from all areas of dermatology and cutaneous biology research communities ranging from students and residents to researchers and clinicians.

We learned about ongoing research from all around the world, including thyroid hormone regulation of human epithelial stem cells and novel treatments for basal cell carcinomas in patients with Basal Cell Carcinoma Nevus Syndrome. UTMB students, Audra Clos, MS4 (top left), and MS3s, Lindsey Hunter (top right) and Michaela Marek (bottom), are pictured with their research posters above. UTMB dermatologists, Dr. Michael Wilkerson and Dr. Matthew Petitt, were also in attendance. Michaela was also the lucky winner of a brand new Apple iPad during the BCCNS Life Support Network panel discussion!

Be sure to submit your abstracts for next year's SID meeting, which will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, May 4-7, 2011.


Help UTMB DIG Reach Out to More People!

Are you or someone you know interested in dermatology? Help us spread the word by telling people about our blog!

• Informs students about dermatology events at UTMB, locally, regionally, and nationally
• Increases exposure to dermatology and UTMB dermatologists
• Interacts with students in all classes interested in pursuing dermatology
• Provides information to its members about dermatology courses, opportunities to volunteer and conduct research
• Volunteer events include: sun protection awareness, skin cancer screening, Miles for Melanoma Walk, and more
• Watch the Student News and Notes for our next meeting, or check out our blog for any and all information

To join our e-mail list, e-mail your request to utmbderm@gmail.com with "Subscribe" in the subject line.

Thanks for your support!
-UTMB DIG Officers

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

UTMB Dermatology Alum Featured in May 2010 Issue of Texas Medicine

Dr. Susan Dozier, a UTMB SOM (1989) and Dermatology Department (1993) alumnus, and American College of Mohs Surgery Fellow practicing in Austin, Texas is featured in the May 2010 issue of Texas Medicine in a public health article entitled, “Killer tans: State, feds crack down on indoor tanning” on pages 47-51. UTMB Dermatology Chair, Dr. Sharon Raimer, is also quoted in the article and highlighted for her testimony on TMA’s behalf in favor of HB 1310.

UTMB Dermatology Residents Receive 2010 American Board of Dermatology (ABD) In-Training Exam Results

In-training dermatology resident test scores for 2010 are back, and our UTMB residents did well, with total test percentile scores ranging from 27% to 87%, compared to the same PGY level test takers in other US and Canadian programs this year. One of the UTMB residents scored 100% on the Pediatric Dermatology content area!

Houston Dermatological Society Skin Cancer Screening is this Saturday

Don't forget the annual Houston Dermatological Society Skin Cancer Screening is this Saturday, May 15th! Screenings will be held at two locations. Additional information can be found below. If you would like to volunteer for this event, please contact Lindsey Hunter at lihunter@utmb.edu. See you Saturday!

1.) UTMB Dermatology at Bay Colony: 10 AM - 1 PM
2785 Gulf Freeway South, Suite 165
(next to 24 Hour Fitness at I-45 and FM 646)
(281) 534-3376

2.) Stewart Road Family Health Clinic: 10 AM - 12 PM
6710 Stewart Road, Galveston, TX
(409) 744-4030

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

UTMB Dermatology Announces 2011 Dermatopathology Fellow

Congratulations to Dr. Kim Hookim, who has accepted a UTMB Dermatopathology Fellowship for 2011. Dr. Hookim completed pathology residency at the University of Florida College of Medicine and is currently a surgical pathology fellow at UTMB. The UTMB DIG looks forward to working with you on the dermatopathology service!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Michael Rains Receives Magna Cum Laude

UTMB MS4 Michael Rains successfully presented his Dermatology Research Honors Thesis, “Preventing Ultraviolet Light Ear Injury: Ear Cancer Awareness and Protective Behaviors” and received Magna Cum Laude graduation research honors. His excellent presentation included video. His faculty advisor was Dr. Richard Wagner, and his thesis committee faculty were Drs. Simon Lewis, Sharon Raimer and Ben Raimer. Mike’s thesis was the third completed for the UTMB SOM Class of 2010, tying previous classes in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009. In July he will start Preliminary Medicine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Austin, Texas and remain at the same institution for dermatology residency.

Helping Dermatology Success Happen at UTMB

For many years, the UTMB Department of Dermatology has helped many of our medical students achieve their career goal of becoming a dermatologist. How does this happen? Our department is small enough for UTMB students to have access to our dermatology faculty early in their medical school years. The faculty are friendly, experienced educators who are very helpful to medical students interested in a dermatology career, and they offer a large variety of interesting dermatology courses and research opportunities. There is always lots of research going on in the department and it is one of the most active departments on campus participating in the UTMB Honors Research Project Program. The later program permits our medical students to become the Principal Investigator (PI) on their own, original dermatology research (in our experience, a difficult proposition at many other medical schools) with close faculty mentorship available throughout the process.

UTMB faculty will also “sponsor” your dermatology application when it is time to apply. Although UTMB will not be able to take all of its own medical school graduates for dermatology residency, letters of recommendation from UTMB Dermatology Faculty usually contain detailed personal knowledge about your work in clinics and research activity. These types of faculty recommendations can have a positive impact when applying to other programs. UTMB Dermatology Faculty are there to support your application, whether you get in on the first application cycle, or to provide career counseling if you have to apply several times.

DIG Members Collaborate on Published UTMB Dermatology Resident Research

UTMB Dermatology Residents participate in many research activities during their three years of training at UTMB, and all must complete a scholarly project to graduate. This often presents great opportunities for our DIG members to contribute to this research effort and learn from a dermatology resident. Many times these resident projects will be presented at state and national meetings with you listed as a coauthor, and often the scholarly project will be published in a peer-reviewed dermatology journal. In 2008, Dr. Conner Chan (current LSU dermatology resident) helped publish a resident scholarly project with Dr. Andy Perri, and in 2009 Janese Laster and Donnie Warren helped Dr. Josh Dimmick publish his original dermatology research. MS3 Michaela Marek contributed to Dr. Ryan Matherne’s 2010 publication as well. Check with the UTMB dermatology residents and see if there is a role for you in one of their ongoing research activities. Chances are great that your research interest will be welcome!

MS4 Audra Clos Presents Her Research at Cancer Day

Award winning UTMB MS4 Audra Clos will be presenting her interesting research poster, “Relevance of protein misfolding in cutaneous diseases” at UTMB’s Cancer Center Day on Tuesday, May 18th in Levin Hall. Please plan on viewing her poster. Her coauthors on this research are dermatology resident Dr. Matt Petitt and dermatology faculty Drs. Brent Kelly, Richard Wagner and Michael Wilkerson.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Congratulations Dr. Tatiana Sousa!

The UTMB DIG has learned that Dr. Sousa, a former UTMB DIG member (UTMB SOM Class of 2009) and current UTMB PGY1 resident, has accepted a PGY2 dermatology residency position in July 2010 at Case Western Reserve-Metro Health Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The UTMB DIG congratulates you on this wonderful professional accomplishment!

UTMB DIG 2010 Awards for Dermatology Chief Resident and Faculty Teaching

Each year the UTMB DIG selects a PGY4 dermatology resident and one of the dermatology faculty for our annual teaching award. This year the awardees were Drs. Julie Fridlington (resident) and Richard Wagner (faculty). UTMB-Galveston DIG Co-President for 2009-10, MS4 Jarad Levin, presented the awards this year at Friday’s dermatology journal club. Congratulations on your recognition for excellent dermatology teaching this academic year!

Dermatology Chief Resident Publishes Mohs Research

Dr. Ryan Matherne, one of the current UTMB Chief Residents in dermatology, has published his dermatology scholarly project research in Skin Cancer (2010:25:7-10). The title of the article is: "Predictors of patient wound repair satisfaction following Mohs surgery for nonmelanoma skin cancers." His coauthors on this research were UTMB MS3 Michaela Marek, Tatsuo Uchida (UTMB Office of Biostatistics) and Dr. Richard Wagner (UTMB Dermatology). Dr. Matherne will be one of the 2010-2011 UTMB dermatopathology fellows for the upcoming academic year. He presented his original research project to the UTMB Dermatology Department on April 9, 2010.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Advice for the Away Dermatology Rotation

It’s almost the beginning of the 2010—2011 academic year, and new MS4s across the country who are hopeful about a dermatology career will be taking dermatology electives away from their home schools. Those doing so will probably learn a lot and broaden their educational horizons by visiting different programs across the country or even in the same city, state or region. What distinguishes a good dermatology student from a great one during an away “audition” rotation in the eyes of the faculty, residents, and staff? We polled several dermatology residents and faculty, and came up with the following:

-An excellent dermatology rotator arrives on time in the morning, dresses appropriately, and stays until the last patient is seen in the afternoon clinics. If it is necessary to be absent from any clinic assignment, lecture or rotation, the excellent rotator will let the impacted resident and faculty know about it as soon as is possible.

-An excellent dermatology rotator works hard during the rotation to learn the most possible, including reading about patients seen in the clinic.

-An excellent dermatology rotator shows genuine interest and enthusiasm for dermatology by asking dermatology residents and faculty good questions at appropriate times.

-If an opportunity for research during the rotation becomes available (most often a case report unless the rotation is a planned research elective), the excellent dermatology rotator will volunteer to help research the related medical literature, take the initiative to write up the case and diligently work with the resident and/or faculty, trying to complete the project prior to the end of the rotation or shortly after it. This is a great opportunity for rotators to learn and to create an excellent impression if your interactions, quality and timing of this effort consistently exceed expectations. Be careful not to become too overextended with multiple projects if you don’t think it is possible to complete them in a timely manner with high quality. Faculty and residents understand that no one student can participate in every research idea during a short clinical rotation, and would prefer to see you excel with one project rather than underperform with many.

-An excellent dermatology rotator will avoid drama during all interactions with residents, faculty and staff. Remain professional and positive at all times!

-Past academic performance still counts. Many programs are looking for applicants who have evidenced high academic achievement (high step scores, AOA, published research) but the “perfect” application is rarely achieved. However, the away rotation is an opportunity to create a great first impression that is not possible through impersonal electronic applications. In rare instances, there is nobody applying from a medical school that offers a dermatology residency, so that program must select outside applicants to fill their available position(s). Several dermatology residency programs are not affiliated with a medical school or not closely tied to one in the same city, so they always have to fill with outside applicants.

-If you do well during an away rotation, request a letter from the faculty you worked most closely with, especially if there was research involved. Even if you do not match at that program, the dermatology community is small and that letter may open doors at other programs that are familiar with the writer.

Good luck from the UTMB DIG in your upcoming away dermatology rotations!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

AAD Poster Abstracts Due by June 4th

UTMB DIG members are encouraged to submit their current dermatology research for consideration as a poster at the upcoming 69th Annual American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) meeting in New Orleans (February 4-8, 2011). If interested, please go to this AAD website for additional information: https://secure.aad.org/PosterAbstracts/

UTMB medical students who have presented dermatology posters in the past at the AAD Annual Meeting have greatly enjoyed this educational experience.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Doug Heiner’s Poster Accepted at AAD Summer Academy Meeting in Chicago

DIG member UTMB MS4 Doug Heiner recently learned that his poster entitled, “Preventing ultraviolet light scalp injury: Scalp cancer awareness and protective behaviors” has been accepted for presentation at the Summer American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) meeting this August. His three UTMB coauthors are MS2 Donnie Warren, Mr. Tatsuo Uchida (Office of Biostatistics) and Dr. Richard Wagner. The poster is listed as “P2003” on page 87 of the Scientific Program under “Poster Exhibits” in the Non-melanoma Skin Cancer” category. Congratulations to Doug for this national professional achievement.

Mike Rains Presents UTMB Dermatology Research Honors Thesis

Mike Rains will present his UTMB Dermatology Research Honors Thesis, “Preventing Ultraviolet Light Ear Injury: Ear Cancer Awareness and Protective Behaviors” on Monday, May 10th in the Dermatology Conference Room (4.112 McCullough Bldg). His dermatology faculty mentor on this research was Richard Wagner, MD. His is the 3rd competed Dermatology Research Honors Thesis to be presented from the UTMB SOM Class of 2010. All DIG members, especially those who are interested in participating in the UTMB Dermatology Research Honors Program, are urged to attend in order to become more familiar with the process and to see how a thesis is formally presented, in addition to learning more about ear cancer.

Two UTMB Residents Awarded at Texas Dermatological Society 2010 Annual Spring Meeting

DIG congratulations go out to PGY3 Dermatology Resident Mika Yamazaki and PGY2 Dermatology Resident Neda Nostrati for their recent poster awards in Fort Worth last week. Dr. Yamazaki’s poster, “Capecitabine-induced cutaneous lupus erythematosus and palmo-plantar erythrodysethesia” was awarded 1st place by the judges. Her coauthors on the poster were DIG member MS4 Alison Wiesenthal, PGY4 UTMB Dermatology Resident Dr. Ryan Matherne and dermatology faculty, Dr. Bernard Gibson. Dr. Nostrati’s poster, “Disseminated mycobacteria haemophilum histologically mimicking multibacillary Hansen’s disease in an immunocompromised host” received third place. There were 12 poster abstracts submitted by Texas physicians currently in Texas dermatology residency programs.

MS4 Audra Clos Awarded UTMB Graduation Award

The DIG was pleased to learn that UTMB MS4 and DIG member Audra Clos has been selected to receive the 2010 Dean’s Award for Research Excellence for her groundbreaking work in experimental cutaneous amyloidosis. Following graduation she will stay at UTMB for her PGY1 Preliminary Year in Internal Medicine. The UTMB DIG congratulates Audra on this great professional accomplishment!

MS4 Doug Heiner to Receive Two UTMB Graduation Awards for Dermatology Research

Senior UTMB medical student and DIG member Doug Heiner has been awarded both the 2010 Elias Hochman Research Award and the 2010 Joseph B. Kass Award for Research for his original epidemiologic work on scalp cancer that was conducted on Galveston beachfront last year. His dermatology faculty advisor on this work was Dr. Richard Wagner. Dr. Heiner will begin dermatology residency at Roger Williams Medical center (Providence, RI) in 2011 following a transitional PGY1 year in Spokane, WA at Sacred Heart Medical Center. Congratulations, Doug on your research accomplishments at UTMB!