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, January 31, 2015

Visiting Dermatology Electives at UTMB

Only three visiting medical students were able to obtain away rotations at UTMB during the first half of the 2014-2015 academic year. Why is it so difficult to do electives at UTMB from another US medical school? UTMB utilizes VSAS (Visiting Student Application Service) for applicants interested in a UTMB rotation. UTMB offers 13 elective periods each year, rather than the more popular monthly schedule. This creates "period mismatch" when period starting dates are not exactly the same as the visitor's medical school. According to the AAMC VSAS website, UTMB is not flexible when it comes to off block rotation requests. It is unfortunate that visiting medical students find it so difficult to rotate in the UTMB dermatology department, because our institution offers a wide array of interesting clinical and didactic electives. UTMB medical students, residents and faculty enjoy educational interactions with students from other medical schools as well. Away rotations are known to help applicants match into specific residency programs and help programs identify competitive applicants, but currently these opportunities are very limited at UTMB. For additional information about the application process for UTMB electives, please review the AAMC VSAS website at https://services.aamc.org/20/vsas/public/school/instID/174


Self-awareness is the ability to understand yourself and it is necessary to be self-aware in order to understand how you are perceived by others. It is a valued skill in organizations, and is often evaluated during job interviews by the questions such as, “What is your greatest weakness?” Much has been written on this topic, and a good starting point to learn more about it can be found at: http://www.purerocketfuel.com/coaching/why-is-self-awareness-critical-in-the-workplace/

UTMB Dermatology Trio Participates in 2015 Houston Marathon

Congratulations to Drs. Ashley Group, Ramon Sanchez, and Brandon Goodwin for participating in the 2015 Houston Marathon!

Monday, January 26, 2015

UTMB Dermatology Chief Resident Publishes Scholarly Project

Congratulations to Lindsey Hunter-Ellul on her recent Resident’s Corner publication in the 2015 Winter issue of The Texas Dermatologist (pages 6 and 7). The article is titled, “Prescription Practices Among Texas Dermatologists” and reports, in part her UTMB dermatology scholarly project research that was conducted last year. Her co-author is UTMB MS4 Martin Tom.

UTMB Dermatopathology Review Course Scheduled

The annual UTMB Dermatopathology Review Course will be held at UTMB on Saturday, May 9, 2015.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

DIG to Meet Monday, February 9 at 5pm

Come join the DIG members to discuss upcoming events for the spring semester.  We would love to see you!

When: Monday, February 9 at 5pm
Where: Dermatology conference room, 4.112 McCullough Building

Have any questions? Email Alex Acosta at kaacosta@utmb.edu

Dermatology Interest Group Association (DIGA) Updates

1) Reminder: if you would like to apply to be a DIGA officer for 2015-2016, be sure to apply by January 26th! This is a great opportunity to develop leadership skills and support your peers who are interested in dermatology. We are all going to be colleagues in a few years, so let's start by helping each other out now! If you are interested in submitting an application, please contact Alex Acosta at kaacosta@utmb.edu

2) We are assembling the spring newsletter. Please let Alex Acosta (kaacosta@utmb.edu) know any announcements that you would like for us disseminate for you. Examples of submissions include successful events that your chapter has created, community service events you have attended, or research opportunities for fellow students. This is a great way to draw attention to your chapter's accomplishments. Deadline to submit is January 30th.

3) Enter to win an iPad by filling out a quick survey regarding medical applications that you use. We are conducting a 2 minute survey about the use of mobile apps in medicine. Your participation is greatly appreciated and will be kept completely anonymous. Deadline to enter is February 3rd. Please click this link to access the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/medappsurvey

Friday, January 23, 2015

Program Rejection by Dermatology Applicants

Yes, you read the heading correctly. Some dermatology applicants are invited for residency interviews and decline them. UTMB Dermatology offered 30 interviews to outside applicants during the 2014-2015 academic year, and 6 of them declined. They were from Florida, Tennessee (2), Mississippi. and Texas (2). One applicant waited until the week of the interview to cancel.

Monday, January 19, 2015

UTMB Dermatology Publishes New Article about Perineural Invasion in Skin Cancer

Congratulations to first author Dr. Cris Berlingeri-Ramos and her coauthors Drs. Clair Detweiler (UTMB SOM Class of 2014), Richard Wagner and Brent Kelly for their original research article entitled, “Dual S-100-AE1/3 Immunohistochemistry to Detect Perineural Invasion in Nonmelanoma Skin Cancers.” This article was published in the peer-reviewed, open access publication, Journal of Skin Cancer. The article is is available at:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

American Board of Dermatology Adds New Type of Questions to Upcoming ITE Examination

The American Board of Dermatology (ABD) just announced that is is adding 20 questions in a new format for the upcoming ITE examination in February. Examinees will be given 40 minutes after the first 200 questions (and two ten minute breaks) to answer "...a new type of question that emphasizes clinical judgment and application of knowledge." Some of these new pilot questions will have two or three correct answers.

Monday, January 12, 2015

UTMB Hosts National Symposia on Porphyrias

UTMB is a widely recognized resource in porphyria diagnosis and management, in large part due to our internationally recognized porphyria faculty expert, Dr. Karl Anderson. UTMB will be hosting a three day meeting with lectures by nationally known porphyria experts from Friday, January 30th to Sunday morning, February 1 in Galveston at UTMB. It is being given as part of the Porphyrias Consortium (NIH-supported Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network - RDCRN). The planned meeting schedule is available as follows: http://pmch.utmb.edu/docs/default-source/default-document-library/pc-short-course-agenda.pdf?sfvrsn=2  UTMB medical students, residents and faculty are invited to attend. Those interested in attending should complete the registration form below and return it to Dr. Anderson (kanderso@utmb.edu):

Porphyrias Short Course
January 30 – February 2, 2015
The University of Texas Medical Branch & the Porphyrias Consortium
Registration Form
This course is a training activity for trainees, coordinators and investigators in the Porphyrias Consortium.  It is also open to physicians and other health care professionals at UTMB who are interested in learning about the porphyrias.  Due to space constraints, the number that can be accommodated may be limited.

Name: __________________________________ Degree: ___________ Position:___________________

Department: __________________________________________________________________________

UTMB Address:__________________________________ Phone: ______________Email: ____________

Why are you interested in attending? ______________________________________________________

Please contact Karl E. Anderson MD at x24661, kanderso@utmb.edu if you have questions.
You will be notified later by email about the conference site on the UTMB campus.  The conference room may not be the same for all of the 2 ½ days.  The schedule or presentations may change to accommodate patients who are attending the course to discuss their experiences.
Thank you for your interest.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Laser Expert Shares Experience with UTMB Dermatology Department

Thanks to UTMB SOM graduate, UTMB Dermatology Resident and former UTMB Dermatology Faculty for making the trip to Galveston on Friday, January 9, 2015 to give the UTMB Department of Dermatology an excellent and comprehensive noontime lecture about laser use in dermatology. Dr. Diven is currently the Program Director of the UT Southwestern Dermatology Residency Program in Austin, Texas. She is a recognized authority and author about the use of lasers to treat skin diseases. 

Friday, January 09, 2015

UTMB Dermatology Residents Take Practice Exam Prior to Annual In-Training Examination (ITE)

This week the UTMB dermatology residents took a timed 125 question exam (100 multiple choice questions and 25 dermatopathology slides) in preparation for the annual American Board of Dermatology “mock board” exam on February 19, 2015. An answer key was provided following the completion of the test so that UTMB residents could privately identify subject areas that may require additional study prior to the dermatology ITE. Thank you Dr. Cris Berlingeri-Ramos for putting this all together for the UTMB dermatology residents!

UTMB Faculty Recognized as “Best Dermatologist” Galveston

Congratulations to Drs. Erica Kelly (Gold Award), David Raimer (Silver Award) and Ashley Group, Brent Kelly and Ramon Sanchez (Bronze Awards) for this professional recognition. The award website is available at: http://galveston.secondstreetapp.com/l/Galvestoncom--Companys-Voters-Choice-Finalists/Ballot/Services

Monday, January 05, 2015

UTMB PGY4 Accepts Mayo Clinic Dermatopathology Fellowship

Congratulations to Dr. Tanya Trynosky, who has accepted a prestigious dermatopathology fellowship offered by the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) for the 2016-2017 academic year. The UTMB DIG wishes you the best of luck!