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.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Dr. Mara Dacso Selected to Attend Society for Investigative Dermatology Meeting

DIG congratulations go out to Dr. Dacso, a PGY2 UTMB dermatology resident, for her selection to attend the upcoming 2011 SID’s “Resident Retreat for Future Academicians” in Phoenix. Dermatology residents selected to attend this meeting have an opportunity to interact with leading physician-scientists in dermatology research to discuss opportunities in future academic research careers.

Article Published with Useful Information for Dermatology Reapplicants

Erik Stratman, MD (Marshfield Clinic, Wisconsin) and coauthor, Rachel Ness, MD, have published their article in the February 2011 issue of the Archives of Dermatology. Much of the information contained in this article was previously presented and covered by the UTMB DIG on October 11, 2010. The article citation is: Stratman EJ, Ness RM. Factors associated with successful matching to dermatology residency programs by reapplicants and other applicants who previously graduated from medical school. Arch Dermatol. 2011;147:196-202. Six dermatology residency programs (including UT Southwestern) participated in this study by contributing the 221 dermatology residency applications from 2006 for scrutiny. Study subjects were identified as those having a medical school graduation date before August 2005. Of this group, 46 applicants obtained residency positions as confirmed through a complete roster of US dermatology residents that was purchased from the AAD in August 2007. Since 53 “independent applicants” matched in 2006 for a dermatology residency according to the NRMP, the authors concluded that their data included 87% of the applicant population that they desired to study. Step 3 seems to be a factor in this group of applicants because those who matched had a significantly (p less than 0.001) higher Step 3 scores than those who did not (224 vs 207). Completing an MBA seemed to help (p=0.003), although the number of applicants in this category was small. The authors also reported that no osteopathic graduates were successful in obtaining a dermatology residency.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Faculty and DIG Members Publish in the International Journal of Dermatology

Congratulations to former UTMB DIG 2009-10 President, Dr. Alison Wiesenthal, current UTMB DIG President, Lindsey Hunter, MS4, and UTMB Associate Professor of Dermatology, Dr. Michael Wilkerson, for their recent publication in the International Journal of Dermatology! Their review article, titled "Nanoparticles: Small and Mighty," discusses the benefits of nanoparticles in dermatological therapies and skin care products as well as potential disadvantages and possible mechanisms of toxicity. To access the article, click on the following link:
A. Wiesenthal, L. Hunter, S. Wang, J. Wickliffe and M. Wilkerson, Nanoparticles: Small and Mighty. Int J Dermatol. 2011;50(3):247-54.

Santa Fe High School Community Health & Wellness Fair

UTMB DIG Members, Rebecca Philips and Michaela Marek, volunteered at the Santa Fe High School Community Health & Wellness Fair this past Saturday, February 26th. They taught over 50 students and parents about the importance of sun protection and skin cancer awareness using the UTMB DIG Stay Shady! handouts, activities, and displays.

If you would like to participate in future health fairs and/or Stay Shady! events, contact us at utmbdig@gmail.com.

Friday, February 25, 2011

DERU-4011 (Skin Diseases in Modern World Literature) Increases Class Size for all Periods

Due to student demand, Dr. Wagner’s DERU-4011 elective has permanently increased its enrollment from 5 to 10 students starting in Period 9, which begins on March 7th. Previous students who took this elective have enjoyed the opportunity to read famous authors (Camus, Solzhenitsyn, and Updike) who incorporated skin diseases into their famous novels.

DIG Meeting Recap - 2/24/11

At yesterday's DIG meeting we discussed a variety of topics, including:

Upcoming Community Service Events:
1.) Santa Fe High School Health Fair (Feb 26th): This Saturday from 10 - 1:00 PM
2.) Galveston County Health Fair (March 12th): We need volunteers for the 11 - 1:00 PM shift! Contact Lindsey Hunter (lihunter@utmb.edu) to sign up.
3.) 16th Annual Grandkids Festival (April 2nd), Post Office Street between 20th - 23rd Street:  We need volunteers from 10 - 12 PM, 12 - 2:30 PM, and/or the 2:30 - 5 PM shifts. Contact Lindsey (lihunter@utmb.edu) to sign up.
4.) Austin Stay Shady! - Contact Rebecca Philips (rcphilip@utmb.edu) or Melissa Efron (mfefron@utmb.edu) for further information

Psoriasis Walk (1K and 5K):
Date: April 10th
Location: Discovery Green - 1500 McKinney Street, Houston, Texas
Time: Registration at 8:00 AM; walks begin at 9:00 AM
Registration is free! All ages welcome.
Contact Lindsey (lihunter@utmb.edu) to find out how to sign up

AIM for a Cure Melanoma Walk:
Date: Saturday, May 7th
Location: TBD
Want to help plan or set up for the walk? Please contact Auris Huen (aohuen@utmb.edu) or Kenne Ogunmakin (koogunma@utmb.edu) for further information

Upcoming Meetings:
1.) Pig Foot Suturing Session - April DIG meeting. Contact Lindsey (lihunter@utmb.edu) if you are interested in participating in this event!
2.) Officer Elections - April DIG Meeting

Good luck in the match!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

How do I get a dermatology residency interview at UTMB?

Dermatology interviews are completed for the upcoming 2011 NRMP match cycle and MS4s across the country are awaiting Match Day on Thursday March 17th, so it seems to be good time to review applicant strategies for those who are especially interested in the dermatology residency program at UTMB. Dermatology applicants at UTMB fall into four categories:

1)UTMB MS4s: UTMB MS4s are automatically interviewed, usually in December and January of the application cycle. Six UTMB MS4s applied during the last cycle. Four were in AOA with Step 1 scores of 250 or greater.

2) UTMB house staff: UTMB house staff who apply for a dermatology residency at UTMB are automatically interviewed, usually in December and January of the application cycle. Three UTMB house staff applied during the last application cycle.

3) Visiting MS4s who take a dermatology rotation in Galveston: All visiting dermatology rotators are invited to interview with dermatology faculty and residents while they are taking their 4 week dermatology rotation in Galveston. During the last application cycle, there were 3 such visiting students during the 2010-2011 academic year from three different medical schools.

4) Outside applicants: UTMB received over 300 completed applications during the last cycle for 3 NRMP positions. 31 were invited to interview, and 24 accepted. All but one of the 24 were AOA members, with Step 1 scores ranging from 236 to 268 (mean = 255), and Step 2 scores ranging from 241 to 281 (when available). They were from 18 different medical schools in 13 states. There was one re-applicant in this group.

These statistics taken from our home program indicate that there are no pure “cut off” scores, because there are several different routes to a dermatology interview at UTMB that are independent of AOA membership and Step 1 score. However, applicants who are not AOA and who have a lower than average Step 1 score for dermatology programs may possibly find themselves with fewer interviews at programs where they had no prior contact, thus limiting their opportunities for a successful dermatology match. Students from medical schools other than UTMB will be interviewed during their away dermatology rotation in Galveston, so if there is a particularly strong interest in the UTMB Dermatology Residency, an away rotation at UTMB should be considered. Likewise, UTMB PGY1 (and beyond) house staff are automatically interviewed, so UTMB should strongly be considered for the PGY1 year if a dermatology career is the ultimate goal.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Avoiding a “Bad Project” in Dermatology

Most of us have seen them but sometimes it is hard to recognize them before it is too late. The “interesting case” that can never be published as a case report because its subject matter is too banal is probably one of the more common examples of bad projects at medical schools. Yes, education is a journey and you have probably learned something while writing and researching a case report that has now been rejected by 5 journals. However, one may wonder if that time and effort could have been better spent if another project had been undertaken instead. Worse yet is a nebulous thought that when converted into a formal research project never has a direction and never ends. These are all examples of bad projects. Here is a recent video link from Houston about their frustrations with a “bad project” that has gone viral on the internet:
How do you avoid bad projects? This is definitely an academic skill! Start first with the track record for project completion and publication record of your potential mentor/supervisor. If he/she publishes frequently in the area of the proposed research, chances are you are not looking at a “bad project.”

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

DIG Meeting this Thursday

The UTMB DIG will be meeting this Thursday, February 24th, at 5:00 PM in the Dermatology Conference Room (4.112 McCullough Building) to discuss previous and upcoming DIG events. We hope to see you there!

Questions? Contact Lindsey Hunter at lihunter@utmb.edu.

NRMP Waiting Game About to Officially Begin

With both applicant and program lists due tomorrow, Wednesday, February 23rd, the official wait begins for NRMP notification. NRMP match day is Thursday, March 17th, which happens to fall on St. Patrick’s Day this year. Good luck everyone!

Alumni News

The DIG has learned that Dr. Julie Cummings Jackson (UTMB SOM 2008), a current PGY3 dermatology resident at UCLA, has accepted the UCLA fellowship in dermatopathology for 2012-2013. She hopes to return to Texas to practice once her dermatopathology fellowship is completed.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Galveston Shrinks

While Galveston County grew (mostly in the League City area), the 2010 US Census reported that the City of Galveston lost over 9500 people since the last count in 2000. The current population in Galveston is 47743.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dr. Wilkerson presents at the 1st International Conference of the Nanodermatology Society

Dr. Michael Wilkerson was recently one of the nine leading experts in dermatology and nanodermatology who gave a presentation on nanotoxicology and the long-term effects of cytoplasmic nanoparticles on cells at the inaugural international conference of the Nanodermatology Society (NDS). He discussed his research on the mutagenic effects of short-term and chronic-exposure of TiO2 on cell cultures, and the long-term implications of nano-loading. The NDS conference was held in conjunction with the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in New Orleans, LA on February 4th, 2011.

For More information about the conference and the Nanodermatology Society, check out the following link: http://www.nanodermsociety.org/

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dr. Josh Dimmick Returns to UTMB for 2011 Dermatopathology Fellowship

Dr. Josh Dimmick has decided to return to UTMB for a dermatopathology fellowship. He is currently in dermatology private practice in Springfield, Missouri following dermatology residency at UTMB (Class of 2009) and plans to return there once his fellowship is completed. The UTMB dermatopathology fellowship usually accepts two fellows each year, ideally one who has completed a pathology residency and a surgical pathology fellowship, and one who has completed a dermatology residency. The UTMB DIG appreciates the unique dermatopathology learning environment and the educational opportunities that are created for medical students through this selection process. In 2011 Dr. Dimmick will be joined by Dr. Kim Hookim. It will be great having you back in Texas, Dr. Dimmick!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Film Class Expands Again

Due to continued medical student demand and a full class (30 students) and a waiting list during Period 13 this academic year, Dr. Wagner has agreed to increase elective DERU-4007 and selective DERU-4051 by 5 students every Period. This will permit a maximum of 40 students (20 students in DERU-4007 and 20 students in DERU-4051) in these two classes that meet together during the academic year to analyze films related to skin diseases and dermatology. This is one of the few classes for upper level medical students at UTMB that have a teleconferencing option for students who are unable to attend class discussions in Galveston.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

New Dermatology Elective Approved

UTMB Dermatology is now offering a new elective, “Dermatology Consults,” under the supervision of Dr. Brent Kelly (see http://ar.utmb.edu/04-05review/bdisplay.asp?rec=514 ). The elective is mainly concerned about skin disease diagnosis and management of hospitalized patients. Dr. Kelly is board certified in internal medicine, dermatology and dermatopathology, so he is very well qualified to teach this elective. This elective will not only be of interest to students interested in dermatology and pathology, but also should be helpful for students preparing for careers in internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, surgery, emergency medicine and hospitalists. Visiting medical students from other institutions are welcome to take this elective, especially because it is not frequently available elsewhere.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Snow in Galveston?

Hard to know what lies ahead with the cold weather this week, but yes, it rarely snows in Galveston!

UTMB DIG Bake Sale - A Hit!

The UTMB DIG Bake Sale had a great turn out and we raised nearly $100! Special thanks to everyone for baking all of the delicious items, and for volunteering their time. Proceeds will go to the UTMB DIG, whose mission is to help raise funds for melanoma research and promote sun protection awareness.

(Above photo, from left to right: Chelsea Altinger MS2, Auris Huen MS4, Lindsey Hunter MS4)