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.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

What Every Dermatology Applicant Should Know: The Perils of PGY1 Preliminary Year in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Family Medicine (If You Don’t Match Concurrently for a PGY2 Advanced Dermatology Residency Position)

Close reading of AAMC’s 2013 “Medicare Payments for Graduate Medical Education:
What Every Medical Student, Resident, and Advisor Needs to Know,” (available at: http://www.uth.tmc.edu/med/administration/edu_programs/Assets/documents/gme/medicare_payments_gme.pdf ) indicates that great care is potentially needed by dermatology residency applicants in selecting their PGY1 year if they fail to match into categorical dermatology (4 year program that includes internship) or advanced dermatology (3 year program that begins in the PGY2 year). Dermatology applicants who fail to initially match into dermatology residency but match for preliminary PGY1 residency positions in any three year residency (internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, etc) are determined to have an initial residency period (IRP) of only three years. This cannot be changed. Even if the future dermatology applicant leaves their program following completion of the PGY1 preliminary year and take a nonaccredited clinical dermatology fellowship in an attempt to improve their application competitiveness, they only have 2 years left of Medicare Graduate Medical Education funding available due to the initial IRP determination. This could be a factor when they reapply for a dermatology residency if Medicare residency funding issues are considered. In this type of scenario, it is much better for the PGY1 year to be transitional (IRP not determined until PGY2 program started) or a preliminary PGY1 position in another specialty such as general surgery that has a longer IRP, because the IRP for general surgery is 5 years. A 5 year IRP designation would allow for complete dermatology residency funding should a position be obtained in the future and general surgical training did not extend beyond the PGY2 year.

If a dermatology applicant matches for both the PGY1 and an advanced dermatology position during the same NRMP, it does not matter if the PGY1 year was transitional or preliminary. All three years of dermatology residency will be covered and funding is not an issue.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

“Must Read” Research Article for Current Dermatology Applicants

Thanks to authors Farzam Gorouhi, Ali Alikhan , Arash Rezaei, and Nasim Fazel for their valuable research article about the preferences of program directors for dermatology residency selection (Dermatology Residency Selection Criteria with an Emphasis on Program Characteristics: A National Program Director Survey, Dermatology Research and Practice, Volume 2014, http://www.hindawi.com/journals/drp/2014/692760/ ). In their national survey of dermatology program directors, they found that the usual criteria (interview, recommendation letters, Step 1 score, transcript, and clinical rotations) were the top 5 criteria. The interview was the most important factor. Some programs also placed importance on other applicant aspects, such as advanced degrees, interest in academics, medical school rank, and publications. Previous failure to match into dermatology was identified as a possible barrier to a match in the future.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New Funding Mechanism on Horizon for Dermatology Residency--Will Future Residents Pay Tuition?

The August 28, 2014 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine reminds us that current funding patterns for graduate medical education (residency) by Medicare are not guaranteed. Authors David A. Asch and Debra F. Weinstein ["Innovation in Medical Education," 371(9):794-795] wrote that in the future, innovative graduate medical education funding may make "...larger payments to direct trainees toward undersupplied specialties or geographic areas, or eliminating stipends--or even charging tuition--for subspecialties that are oversubscribed."

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dermatology RRC Suspends Medical Dermatology Case Log Requirement

ACGME's Dermatology Residency Review Committee (RRC) has suspended the newly implemented July 1, 2014 requirement for dermatology residents to record specific medical dermatology cases and medication use until further notice. The Dermatology RRC hopes to simplify reporting before this medical dermatology requirement is restored. However, dermatologic surgical procedures still must be reported.

Dermatology Resident Competes in Reality TV Show

First year dermatology resident at Cleveland's Metro Health Center Dr. Angela Funovits is competing for a $10,000 prize on the reality TV show, "Wizard Wars."For additional information please see: http://www.npr.org/2014/08/17/340633697/on-wizard-wars-contestants-must-make-magic-from-the-mundane  The UTMB DIG wishes you the best of luck in this competition!

Friday, August 08, 2014

International Porphyria Expert Lectures UTMB Dermatology Department

Internationally recognized porphyria researcher and expert, Dr. Karl E. Anderson, provided an outstanding lecture about the porphyrias to UTMB dermatology residents, faculty and medical students on Friday, August 8, 2014. Dr. Anderson is Professor of Preventative Medicine and Community Health, Internal Medicine and Pharmacy and Toxicology at UTMB. Thanks to Dr. Brandon Goodwin, UTMB PGY4 Dermatology Chief Academic Resident, for organizing this lecture series of campus experts from other academic departments who greatly contribute to our understanding about disease pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment!