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.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Kudos Given for Knox Meeting

UTMB residents and fellows received the highest accolades from JAAD editor and Chair of Dermatology at MUSC (Charleston), Dr. Bruce Thiers, as well as from visiting, well known dermatology academics from Houston who attended this meeting on Saturday. UTMB dermatology residents and dermatopathology fellows presented 21 high quality, rare and complex patient presentations with the support of the UTMB faculty. Dr. Thiers gave an excellent lecture that highlighted the most important articles published by the JAAD in recent years. One of the articles he cited was about the safety of local anesthesia that was co-authored by Dr. Nate Davis, one of the UTMB PGY3 dermatology residents. Special thanks to Dr. Mika Yamazaki, one of the PGY4 dermatology chief residents, for her efforts in organizing this valuable academic effort.

2010 Oceans of Fun Health Fair A Big Hit!

The UTMB DIG volunteers had a blast this past Saturday at the 2010 Oceans of Fun Health Fair! It was held at the new UTMB Pediatric Specialty Center at Bay Colony.

Volunteers provided hands-on activities and educational handouts about skin cancer and sun protection for members of the local community. Our new table displays (pictured below, designed by Lindsey Hunter) taught kids and adults about the appearance of melanoma and the dangers of excessive sun exposure. Special thanks to Rebecca Philips (Left), Donnie Warren (Middle), and Chelsea Altinger (Right) for volunteering!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

By Popular Demand…

Dr. Wagner has just increased enrollment for his Period 13 BSHS Selective DERU-4012 (“Narratives of Skin Diseases”) from 10 to 20 students. Once the earlier student enrollment cap of 10 was reached, additional students contacted him requesting this course. Since DERU-4012 is only given during Period 13, he agreed to double the class size. The course focuses on nonfiction books that are written by authors who have personally been diagnosed with skin cancer, leprosy, vitiligo and psoriasis. Reports are that last year’s class enjoyed the opportunity to read these selections to learn about the impact of various skin diseases. Some waiting list students have already added DERU-4012, so if you are interested, please send your C Form to Ms. Kimberly Cooper ( kjcooper@utmb.edu ) right away.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Volunteers Needed for the 18th Annual John M. Knox Conference Hosted by the UTMB Dermatology Department This Saturday

The UTMB Department of Dermatology is hosting its 18th Annual John M. Knox Conference this Saturday, November 13th at UTMB on the 5th Floor of the UHC Building. Student volunteers are needed to assist in rooming patients starting at 7:45 AM. Patient viewings will end around 9:30 AM, followed by patient discussion, and guest speaker, Dr. Bruce Theirs, the Chair of Dermatology at the University of South Carolina and the Editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Interested in volunteering? Contact Lindsey Hunter at lihunter@utmb.edu to sign up.

We hope to see you there!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Heather Fork, MD (UTMB SOM 1991) Starts Health Blog for Physicians

Dr. Fork, a UTMB alum (SOM 1991) and board certified dermatologist, has started a blog entitled, “Doctor’s Crossing” that is focused on physician health issues. For more information about this interesting website, please go to http://www.doctorscrossing.com/.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Cutoff Criteria for Dermatology Applicants

Many applicants to dermatology and other competitive residencies express frustration that cutoff scores for residency programs are difficult to pinpoint. Why is that? One reason is that while Step 1 and 2 scores and AOA membership are currently very important benchmarks for interview selection from a pool of highly qualified applicants, numbers alone do not convey a complete picture of each applicant’s academic achievements. Programs probably don’t want to be prevented from interviewing and ranking applicants who are outstanding in some other way and have excellent potential to contribute to the residency program, even if their Step scores are lower than other applicants or if they were not selected for AOA. That is why it is rare to find programs that are willing to give applicants an absolute cutoff criteria.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Health Fair Volunteers Needed

The UTMB DIG is looking for volunteers for the following health fairs:

Oceans of Fun
DATE: Saturday, November 13, 2010
TIME: 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. and 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
LOCATION: UTMB Pediatric Specialty Center at Bay Colony, 2785 Gulf Freeway South, Suite 200, League City TX

St. Vincent's Wel-Fair
DATE: Saturday, November 13, 2010
TIME: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
LOCATION: 2817 Post Office Street

Please email Rebecca Philips (rcphilip@utmb.edu) if you are interested in volunteering.

Texas, We Have A Problem

Sadly, it’s too few doctors. Texas only ranks 42nd in the number of physicians per 100,000 population, according to an editorial on the matter published by the Houston Chronicle today (please see http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/7276313.html for additional detail). The Chronicle also points out that Texas is on the low side for postgraduate medical education (residency) positions. In Texas, the ratio of graduating medical students from Texas schools only has a 1:1 ratio to available postgraduate residency positions in Texas. New York and California are doing much better, with ratios of greater than 3:1 and 1.7:1 respectively. The low Texas ratio means that many Texas medical school graduates (45%) leave Texas for postgraduate training opportunities elsewhere, never to return. Since the education of Texas medical students costs over $200,000 per student, this is a huge financial loss to the state each year.

Texas needs to do better in the area of postgraduate medical education by expanding the number of positions it offers. This issue directly impacts the current shortage of dermatologists in Texas. If more Texas medical students were able to find dermatology residency positions in Texas, more would probably stay and practice here.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

UTMB Dermatology Attracts Record Number of Dermatology Applicants for 2011 NRMP

338 applicants applied by the November 1st deadline. 105 are AOA members with at least a 230 Step I score. UTMB will offer between 24 and 30 interviews for applicants from outside of UTMB for 3 advanced dermatology positions in the 2011 NRMP.

Period 13 DERU-4012 (“Narratives of Skin Disease”) Remains Popular

For the second year in a row, DERU-4012, a BSHS selective offered only during Period 13, has filled with 10 UTMB MS4 students. Students in this class read books and essays written by authors who have experienced skin cancer, leprosy, vitiligo, and psoriasis, and wrote about the impact of these diseases on their lives.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Dr. Mika Yamazaki Returns from Pediatric Dermatology Elective in Austin

Many are not aware that the UTMB Dermatology Residency Program offers the option of two week elective during the PGY4 year. The elective must be in some aspect of dermatology that is not offered on the UTMB Galveston campus. In addition, upon return to Galveston, the resident must make a presentation to the dermatology department about their elective rotation. There is no additional funding available for transportation or room and board for the elective resident. Dr. Yamazaki recently elected to spend two weeks in Austin under the supervision of Dr. Moise Levy, a well known pediatric dermatologist at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin. UTMB has not had a pediatric hospital since ours closed following Hurricane Ike in 2008. However, UTMB dermatology residents receive lots of clinical exposure to pediatric dermatology through several pediatric dermatology clinics, general dermatology clinics, continuity clinics, and also through the dermatology hospital consultation service.