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, June 18, 2013

Texas Has New Indoor Tanning Restriction

Beginning September 1, 2013, those under 18 years of age will not be permitted to use indoor tanning beds in Texas.  According to News-Medical.net
http://www.news-medical.net/news/20130618/Texas-passes-legislation-to-prohibit-minors-under-18-from-indoor-tanning.aspx ), Texas joins California, Vermont, Oregon and Nevada in this public health effort to decrease the incidence of skin cancer.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Another Teaching Award for Dr. Brent Kelly

UTMB Dermatology Associate Professor and Dermatopathology Service Director received the 2013 Annual Faculty Teaching award from Pathology Department residents for the "Best Lecture Series" at the Pathology Banquet. Congratulations to Dr. Kelly for this professional recognition of his excellent teaching skills! He has previously received multiple dermatology teaching awards from the dermatology residents and medical students.

Annual UTMB Dermatology Department Award for Excellent Resident Research

The UTMB Department of Dermatology faculty have awarded its annual departmental award for excellent resident research in dermatology to Dr. Mara Dacso. Following completion of dermatology residency at UTMB this month, Dr. Dacso will begin dermatopathology fellowship at the Ackerman Academy in New York.

Monday, June 10, 2013

UTMB Melanoma Walk

On Saturday June 8, 2013, the UTMB DIG hosted the AIM for a Cure Melanoma Walk at the UTMB alumni track. The AIM mission is to increase support for melanoma research; to promote prevention and education among the general public and medical professionals; and to provide comprehensive and easily accessible melanoma resources for patients, survivors, and caregivers. Participants from the community showed their support by spending their Saturday morning walking or running 3.2 miles around the track (with sunscreen protection, of course). The 2013 AIM walk at UTMB was a very successful event. Thank you organizers and participants!

Picture (left to right): 2013 UTMB AIM for a Cure Melanoma Walk Participants Adrian Subrt, Andre Pitt, Ford Pierson and Lindy Ross

Saturday, June 08, 2013

UTMB DIG Recognizes Dr. Richard Wagner

UTMB Dermatology Interest Group recently recognized Dr. Richard Wagner, the UTMB DIG Faculty Advisor and Residency Program Director, for the support and guidance he has provided for the DIG members and other students interested in pursuing dermatology. As faculty sponsor and mentor for many projects and publications throughout the years, students have had the opportunity to get involved in research and other educational experiences including the Research Honors Program. Thank you, Dr. Wagner! 

Friday, June 07, 2013

Dermatologists Still the Happiest Physicians

Editor Dr. Joel Schlessinger (Chief Cosmetic Surgery Editor) reviewed data published by Medscape in the May 2013 issue of Practical Dermatology (Volume 10, Number 5, Page 9). He reported that 59% of dermatologists are satisfied with their specialty, and that 74% would select dermatology again if given a choice. According to the Medscape report, the mean dermatology salary was $306,000 in 2012; this was the 8th highest paid specialty. Dr. Schlessinger noted that physicians in more highly compensated specialties, such as orthopedics (first ranked for compensation) and plastic surgery (ranked 7th in compensation, just ahead of dermatology) expressed lower overall satisfaction than dermatologists.

UTMB Dermatology Residents Present 2013 Faculty Teaching Awards

Each year the UTMB dermatology residents select a UTMB dermatology faculty and a community dermatologist and recognize their excellent teaching. This year the award winners are:
UTMB Dermatology Faculty: Dr. Cris Berlingeri
Community Dermatologist: Dr. Ramon Sanchez
Congratulations on this recognition for your teaching excellence by the UTMB dermatology residents!

UTMB DIG Honors Resident and Faculty for Excellent Teaching

Each year the UTMB MS4 DIG members select a UTMB PGY4 dermatology resident and a faculty for their annual Excellence in Teaching Awards. It is always difficult to make a selection for these awards because of all the excellent teaching done by the dermatology residents and faculty at UTMB.   For the 2012-2013 academic year, the award winners are:
Resident Excellence in Teaching Award: Dr. Mara Dacso
Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award: Dr. Brent Kelly
Congratulations for these well-deserved recognitions by UTMB Medical Students!

UTMB SOM Alum Publishes in New England Journal of Medicine

PGY4 dermatology resident, Dr. Jennifer Vickers has published her electronic case report (“Images in Clinical Medicine” section of the New England Journal of Medicine (June 7, 2013, e31) about a child with scombroid poisoning from eating canned mackerel. Her co-author is the Department of Dermatology Chair at New York Medical College, Dr. Bijan Safai, where Dr. Vickers is completing dermatology residency.

Reminder Tomorrow: AIM For A Cure Melanoma Walk

Come help the UTMB DIG raise melanoma awareness and support melanoma research by participating in our annual AIM For A Cure Melanoma Walk.

Date: Saturday, June 8, 2013 
Time: Registration at 7:00 AM; Walk begins at 7:30 AM
Walk Location: UTMB Alumni Field House, 215 Holiday Dr., Galveston, TX 77555
Additional Info: There is NO fee to register. Each participant is encouraged to raise at least $50. 
To Register and/or Donate: Click on the following link: http://www.aimatmelanoma.org/en/aim-for-action/1158/1159/galveston-2013.html

DIG Sensitive Skin Hand Sanitizer and Bake Sale-Success!

DIG@UTMB had its annual Sensitive Skin Hand Sanitizer and Bake Sale last Thursday was a great success. Though UTMB DIG has been doing the annual bake sale for years, we decided to incorporate selling hand-made sensitive skin hand sanitizers and it turned out great. We raised about $130!

A special appreciation goes out to the DIG officers for baking the desserts for the sale and for volunteering to work the sale.

Proceeds will go to the UTMB DIG, whose mission is to help raise funds for melanoma research and promote sun protection awareness. 

Pictured above: Left-Will Tausend (DIG Vice President, MSIII) and Right-Sheila Jalalat (DIG President, MSIII). 
Not Pictured: Alex Acosta(MSIII), Lindy Ross(MSIII), Trisha Patel(MSIII), and Mac Dung(MSI)

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Dr. Donald Warren Publishes UTMB Dermatology Research Honors Thesis

Dr. Donald B. Warren, UTMB SOM 2012, has published his dermatology honors thesis in the Journal of Skin Cancer, an open access, peer-reviewed publication. The paper, "Sunscreen Use on the Dorsal Hands at the Beach," was coauthored by Drs. Ryan R. Riahi, Jason B. Hobbs, and Dr. Richard F. Wagner, Jr. Dr. Warren will begin dermatology residency at the UT-Southwestern Program in Austin in July 2013, while Dr. Riahi will begin PGY2 dermatology residency at the LSU Dermatology Residency Program. Dr. Wagner supervised this research, and is the Edgar B. Smith Professor of Dermatology at UTMB. This paper is available at: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jsc/2013/269583/

What MBA Students Know and Medical Students Should Consider

Wall Street Journal reporter Melissa Korn reported in her article, “Interns Take the Lead; When Making Offers, More Firms Pick From Summer Talent,” (6/6/13, page B7) that following graduation, one third to half of MBA students take their first job where they had done summer internships. The Graduate Management Admission Council reported that 69% of summer interns received offers from companies where they worked during the summer. Do other professions also determine job offers based on their in-house evaluations of intern summer performance? Certainly this is the case with law firms that regularly hire their best summer interns. Could this type of selection process also be true for residency programs? Since approximately 50% of dermatology applicants match at either their home program or programs where they did an away “audition” rotation, strategic selection of away MS4 rotations by applicants seems to be an important consideration in the matching process.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Why Didn’t I Match at My Top Ranked Dermatology Program(s)?

The 2013 NRMP for dermatology continued to be extremely competitive, and it does not seem likely that this will change in the immediate future. Some top applicants fortunate to match, will wonder why they did not get a residency with their top choice programs. An article from the Wall Street Journal by Lauren Weber (“Didn’t Get the Job? You’ll Never Know Why,” WSJ, 6/5/13, page B6) lends some understanding about why this happens. The most common employer criticism of applicants was that they were unable to communicate what they would contribute to the enterprise if hired during the interview. Could this be happening during residency interviews too? What contributions do dermatology residency programs expect from their residents?
Since residency program quality is evaluated on their specialty board certification examination pass rates, residency programs must be confident that their residents will be able to pass this important test on the first attempt. Applicants who have high Step I scores and are AOA members (approximately 50% of dermatology matches) are  at the top of the list, since they typically do well on standardized tests.
Most residency programs have an interest in research, presentation of new findings and publication to advance the specialty and program reputation. Applicants with proven track records in research will receive special interest from admissions committees due to their potential contributions in these areas to the program. Those who hold additional academic degrees (MA, MS, PhD, etc), and those who have been awarded grants or who have won academic awards/competitions are considered for the research contributions they may be able to make to the program as future residents.
Teamwork is a top priority at many dermatology residency programs. How is this demonstrated? Home and away rotations give programs insight about how well an applicant performs in the work environment. This may be the reason why approximately 50% of dermatology applicants match at their home program or at a program where they have rotated and created a good impression with residents, staff and faculty.
Some residency programs can gain special skills by matching with a resident that will serve a specific program need. For example, a program without a full time dermatopathologist would probably be interested in a dermatology applicant who was already board certified in pathology and dermatopathology. Other examples of this also exist for physicians with additional dermatology expertise through previous clinical dermatology fellowships, or residencies/fellowships in plastic surgery, internal medicine, rheumatology, allergy, pediatrics, otolaryngology, and oncology. However, those with previous residency completion will discover that many residency programs cannot consider their application due to institutional funding restrictions.
Remember that an invitation to interview is your opportunity to communicate what you will be able to contribute to the program if you match there.

Dermatology PGY4 Resident Recognized

During UTMB’s annual award ceremony for Outstanding Resident, Dr. Mara Dacso (first row, center) was recognized for her excellent work during dermatology residency at UTMB. Congratulations Dr. Dacso for receiving this professional honor!

Monday, June 03, 2013

Columbia University Medical School Now Requiring Scholarly Project for Most Students

The spring 2013 issue of Columbia Medicine highlights Columbia’s new curriculum that requires that all non-dual degree medical students participate in a 4 month scholarly project under the direction of a faculty mentor (“Inaugural Scholarly Projects: From Malnutrition in Madagascar to a Primer on Dominican Culture Close to Home,” pages 26-31). Students taking an entire year off for research (and delaying graduation from medical school) are also exempt from this requirement. Under these new academic guidelines, students may select projects from 6 identified research tracks: basic science, clinical research, global health, narrative and social medicine, medical education, or population health. All participating students must submit a written report, which is evaluated according to standards established in the specific track. The Columbia P&S Medical School Class of 2013 were the first students required to participate. It will be interesting to see how the entire class at Columbia evaluates this new educational experience, and hopefully educational research about this topic will be available soon. How will this new curriculum impact Columbia students and others? Will Columbia Medical School admissions become more focused on identifying applicants with a proven undergraduate (and possibly graduate school) track record of successful research due to this requirement? Will this type of research training in medical school advantage Columbia medical students in their relative competitiveness for residency positions? Columbia is already widely recognized as providing a highly rated and innovative medical education, and it will also be interesting to see if other prestigious medical schools across the country adopt the new Columbia required research curriculum for their medical students. Will any Texas medical schools follow Columbia’s lead? UTMB has a similar program (Research Honors Project), but currently it is entirely voluntary and not required. Relatively few UTMB medical students currently participate.