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.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

When “Candor” Replaces “Nice” at Work

Reporter Rachel Feintzeig highlights an emerging business trend (When ‘Nice’ is a Four-Letter Word, WSJ, December 31, 2015, Pages D1, D3). Encouragement of workplace candor by coworkers decentralizes traditional workplace feedback from the boss, and is a management concept that may be adopted to address “…stalled projects, low performers, resentment that festers…” in the work environment. 

A related concept is “mokitas”. Mokitas, as applied to the work environment, is something that everyone at work knows but does not verbalize. According to Feintzeig, some workplaces schedule “mokita amnesty days” where these issues are freely discussed. Some mokita applications are about improving employee punctuality, teamwork, and productivity. Employees unable to improve performance following group feedback may be terminated or leave.

Monday, December 28, 2015

UTMB Adds MBA Option to MD Degree

In 2016 UTMB begins to offer the opportunity to add an MBA degree from the University of Houston Clear Lake campus to our medical students. The additional 54 credit hour MBA degree will typically require an additional year of full time graduate study between the MS3 and MS4 year. GMAT requirement is waived in lieu of MCAT score. Many US medical schools are currently offering  dual degree tracks, including MD/PhD, MD/MS, MD/JD and MD/MBA. Of all the dual degrees available, US dermatology residency programs appear to preferentially match with MD/PhD applicants. Additional information about this new program is available at http://www.utmb.edu/newsroom/article10770.aspx

1095 Days of Dermatology Residency

Dr. Cherise Mizrahi-Levi has provided interested readers with a personal insight about her experiences in dermatology residency (Resident journal—a graduate’s perspective on the full residency experience, Directions in Residency, Winter 2015, pages 1, 3, 7). She advises first year dermatology residents to be humble, open-minded, and self-aware in order to best benefit from dermatology residency training.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

2015 UTMB Dermatology Mock Mock Boards!

Thanks to Dr. Cris Berlingeri who again organized a dermatology practice ITE examination (the official “mock” board examination)for the UTMB dermatology residents. There were 121 questions this year and included 21 dermatopathology images for identification. Also included were new procedural dermatology questions. This optional practice test is designed to familiarize UTMB dermatology residents with annual ITE and board certification examination format, and serves to identify subject areas were more study may be needed. Last year was the first time Dr. Berlingeri offered this type of practice examination to UTMB dermatology residents, and that year our dermatology residents scored in the 90th percentile on the official American Board of Dermatology Certification Examination. Dr. Berlingeri is currently Assistant Professor of Dermatology at UTMB.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

DIG Interviews Dr. Ashley Sturgeon of Texas Tech HSC on Medical Volunteerism

At the recent Texas Dermatology Society meeting in Lubbock TX (Oct 2015), Dr. Ashley Sturgeon presented on “International and Domestic Volunteer Experiences and Ethical Dilemmas.” Dr. Sturgeon is an assistant professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, TX. She is a board certified dermatologist with interests in Mohs micrographic surgery, cosmetics, general dermatology, and medical volunteerism. Her most recent endeavor is a dermatology-related medical mission trip to Nicaragua. UTMB DIG members were able to inquire Dr. Sturgeon more on her volunteer experiences in an email interview. 

DIG: Can you describe to us your medical mission to Nicaragua? 
Dr. Sturgeon: Our medical mission is based in Jinotega, several hours on a bus from the capital city of Managua. It is in a beautiful mountainous rainforest, fed by the economy from coffee production. We often travel during the day to rural communities that are hugely underserved, particularly from the medicine standpoint. 8-10 providers are able to see around 2000 patients per week. Many people in these rural communities never leave their hometown. There is no consistent follow up for these patients, unless they are able to travel to the “home base” in Jinotega, where there is a year-round clinic with a local doctor that serves 900 patients a month with a budget of $1200 a month for medications. I treated patients with a huge range of medical conditions from rare dermatologic diseases to heart murmurs to bizarre malignancies. 

DIG: Can you share with us a memorable moment during your trip? 
Dr. Sturgeon: I remember one patient I saw, a young mother who was visibly cushingoid from years of oral steroids for severe asthma. She came in huffing and puffing, barely able to breathe, and probably in adrenal crisis. She had taken at least 40mg of prednisone per day since she was a child and the local clinic had no more. We were able to give her extra prednisone to have in reserve for when this happened – even a layperson knows it’s dangerous to stop oral corticosteroids abruptly. She was so ill that, if in the United States, I would have intubated her: not an option in rural Nicaragua. 

DIG: How has the medical mission impacted you? 
Dr. Sturgeon: Nicaragua is the 2nd poorest country in the world, with a history riddled with civil wars and economic collapse. Most people there live on less than a dollar or two a day. Despite this, the people of Nicaragua are amazingly resilient. They are a smiling, happy people with a culture of hard work and survivalism. I went to make a difference for the people there; I know they did more for me than I did for them. I am a better doctor and a better human being because of my trips. The experience of helping those who have nowhere else to turn to is incredibly moving.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Meeting Recap from 12/01/2016

1.    Special welcome to visiting student (Allison Pye from UTHSCSA) for attending our meeting today.

2.     Fall Bake Sale results- Thanks to our volunteers (Paige Hoyer, Michaela Sljivich, Lauren Williams, Tim Allen, Julie Croley, Dung Mac, Tara Akunna, David Parker III, and Kristyna Gleghorn) for helping out with this event.  We received $129 in sales and donations.

3.     TDS Meeting Spring 2016 (April 14-16, The Omni Hotel Houston, TX)-
a)    keep an eye out for the registration for this event, http://texasdermatology.org/tds-meetings/annual-meetings/
b)   for students interested into helping a project with resident for presentation at the meeting, email dhmac@utmb.edu

4.      Camp Discovery for Summer 2016-
a)    this is a wonderful opportunity to volunteer for a dermatology related camp
c)    usually a 1 week volunteering event in the summer months

5.    Derm Night at St. Vincents-
a)    Next one is on 12/03 (occurs first Thursday of every month)

6.     Stay Shady- dates in Spring 2016 (TBA on blog).

7.     Melanoma Walk 2016- to help with this event (date in March or April) email  Neil and Julie (both) at ndjackso@utmb.edu and jaamthor@utmb.edu

8.     Resident’s workshop (practice suturing, biopsy, and injection skills)- will be organized by Kristyna. To help with event , email klglegho@utmb.edu

9.    2016 Galveston County Science Fair Judging-
a)    Will be held on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. 
b)   The fair is sponsored jointly by Galveston College (GC), Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) and The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) and will be held this year at Galveston College.  
c)    7th-12th grade students from across the county will be presenting the top projects from their respective schools.
d)   To help judging, complete the judging form: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1X_P-TTWEkiTV9NSFA1RW81YU0/view?usp=sharing
e)    Email judging form to Dr. Recinos (arecinos@utmb.edu)

10. Honors Thesis project- Email Neil if you have any questions regarding how to start an Honors Thesis project at ndjackso@utmb.edu.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

UTMB Dermatology Sends Residency Interview Invitations

UTMB has invited 30 outside (non-UTMB) applicants through ERAS for dermatology residency interviews from 428 applications received. Included in this group are all 7 outside applicants who rotated through the UTMB dermatology clinics during the current academic year. 15 offers to interview were made to Texas medical students attending 6 different Texas medical schools. Other invited applicants were from 11 medical schools outside of Texas in 8 other states. The mean Step 1 score for outside applicants was 251 and ranged from 230 to 263. 23 were elected to AOA at their medical schools. Interviews for outside applicants will be conducted on February 4th and 5th next year. There are 4 advanced dermatology positions (PGY2) positions offered by UTMB in the 2016 NRMP Match. UTMB also has invited 6 UTMB MS4s and 2 UTMB SOM graduates to interview this month.