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, February 27, 2018

Stay Shady visits Satori Elementary School!

On Tuesday, February 27th, Caroline Crain (MS2), Caitlin Pekowski (MS2), and Aspen Stuart (MS2) presented "Stay Shady" to around 50 elementary students at Satori Elementary School. They helped educate the students about sun damage and the importance of sun protection. The students made UV bracelets out of beads that change colors when exposed to UV light from the sun. These bracelets will serve as a reminder to wear sunscreen. Thank you to the students and teachers at Satori Elementary School for being such a great audience! If you're interested in getting involved with DIG, there is another Stay Shady opportunity on March 9th at 1:00 pm at Crenshaw Elementary. Email Caroline Crain (cbcrain@utmb.edu) if you would like to volunteer! 

Update for St. Vincent's 3/1 Volunteers

This Thursday (3/1), clinic will start at 4:15 so that clinic will end in time for the benefit concert that is scheduled for that evening. Please see the calendar link below to reserve your volunteering spot.

When: Thursday, March 1st at 4:15
Where: St. Vincent's House, 2817 Post Office Street, Galveston, Texas 77550

Monday, February 26, 2018

Tips on the Handshake

Dr. Benabio, Chief of Dermatology at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, authored  advice about how to shake hands with patients in the February 2018 issue of Dermatology Times (pages 20, 22). Although his advice is for patient encounters, some of it may also be helpful for creating a good first impression during dermatology interviews:
  1. Shake twice (initial introduction and departing). Hand should be slightly upwards when meeting a new patient.
  2. Initial handshake should be with left foot forward as you greet
  3. Make eye contact for 1-2 seconds before joining hands (web to web) with arm tucked in
  4. Grip strength depends, generally 2 pumps is best. Greeting a Marine is different from greeting a frail elderly patient
  5. Slight push back of their arm recommended 
  6. Let go after 2 pumps

For departing handshakes, the author recommends hand positioning slightly downward so it slightly covers the other person's hand

Second UTMB Dermatology Honors Research Program Study Approved for UTMB SOM Class of 2019

The UTMB Dermatology Interest Group (DIG) congratulates UTMB DIG President, MS3 Keith Wagner, on the approval of his UTMB Dermatology Honors Research Program Study. His study is entitled, “Skin Hoaxes on the Internet: An Evaluation on Their Scope and Potential Impact on Dermatology.” This survey study of internet skin disease hoaxes is being mentored by UTMB dermatology faculty, Dr. Janice Wilson. Under the supervision of the institutional UTMB Honors Steering Committee Head Dr. M.K. Peek, his ad hoc thesis committee members are Drs. Sharon Raimer (former UTMB Dermatology Chair) and Dr. B. Kelly, UTMB Professor of Dermatology.

Friday, February 23, 2018

UTMB DIG Appreciates Dermatology Residents with Cookies

Today is Resident Appreciation Day at UTMB. Our DIG genuinely appreciates all the contributions that our UTMB dermatology residents make to our medical educations. We sent cookies to thank them for all of their hard work and great involvement!

Cutis Article Ranks US Dermatology Residency Programs

In the February 2018 issue of Cutis (Vol 101, No 2, pp. 146-149), US dermatology residency programs were ranked based on data from 2014 about NIH funding, number of faculty publications, and number of faculty lectures at national society meetings. The only Texas program ranked in the overall Top 20 was UT Southwestern (number 20).

St. Vincent's Student Clinic Dermatology Night 3/1/18

Join UTMB Dermatology faculty for the upcoming dermatology night (Thursday, March 1st) at St. Vincent’s Clinic. Please see the calendar link below to reserve your volunteering spot.
When: Thursday, March 1st at 5:30-8:30PM (volunteers should arrive at 5:15)
Where: St. Vincent's House, 2817 Post Office Street, Galveston, Texas 77550

Interesting Observation About Dermatology Rank List from UC Davis

The January 2018 issue of Dermatology Online Journal has published a letter about the dermatology applicants they interviewed from 2011 through 2013 (2 interview cycles). Data collected indicated that interview performance was the most correlated factor for rank list than other application factors, such as research, letters of recommendation, and test scores. This article is available at: https://escholarship.org/uc/item/5k86w5qs  Although this report is not very surprising, it does confirm how important the interview is to applicants and to programs. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Wait Begins

February 21, 2018 was the deadline for dermatology applicants and programs to submit their Rank Order Lists. Everyone is waiting until March 12, 2018 when applicants will be notified if they matched, and programs will be notified if they filled. UTMB applicants will find out where they matched on Friday, March 16th in Levin Hall during the annual UTMB Match Ceremony. Good luck everyone!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

17th UTMB Annual Dermatopathology Review Course

The 17th Annual UTMB Dermatopathology Review Course is scheduled for Saturday, June 9, 2018 at UTMB. It is restricted to dermatologists and pathologists, and is especially useful for residents preparing for board review. Please contact Ms. Kimberly Cooper (409-772-1911 or kjcooper@utmb.edu) for more information.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Discount for UTMB Residents and Fellows for Food Purchases

Beginning April 1, 2018, UTMB residents and fellows showing ID will receive a 33% discount on all food purchases made on the UTMB campus.

Monday, February 12, 2018

AIM for the Cure Melanoma Walk 4/21

On April 21st, the Dermatology Interest Group (DIG) will be hosting the 13th Annual - AIM for the CURE Melanoma Walk & Fun Run on the Seawall! Please join us in helping support finding a cure for Melanoma and get some fresh air as well as a free t-shirt! Use the following link to register and donate! Register by March 21st to ensure FREE t-shirt/goody bag.

6:30am Registration Sign-In & T-Shirt/Goody Bag Pick-Up

Thursday, February 08, 2018

It’s Not Too Early to Plan MS4 Away Dermatology Electives

Current UTMB MS3s should start considering their MS4 schedules for the upcoming academic year. There are lots of things to consider, such as when to take Step 2 CK and CS (more institutions want to see a passing CK score before their departments are permitted to place an applicant on the NRMP rank list, and a change in institutional policy may come suddenly and without notice to applicants). For dermatology applicants, home and away dermatology rotations are best taken before November, when interviews are usually determined. Just four months (July, August, September, and October) have the most potential for rotating applicants to make the best impression and to hopefully receive an interview for residency, since most ERAS application deadlines are on or before November 1st. Since these months are at a premium, it is predictable that they are the most competitive for away rotations since MS4 demand is often greater than available positions). The earlier the application, the better. Many institutions require medical information that includes immunization records/serologies for potential rotators, or have specific Step 1 cutoff scores. Many US medical schools are using VSAS for away rotations. For more information, please see https://students-residents.aamc.org/attending-medical-school/electives-and-make-courses/applying-away-electives-vsas/  In addition, it is wise to plan to take vacation or take a nonclinical elective during Period 7 when most dermatology interviews are scheduled. UTMB required clinical rotations for MS4s can be taken after rank list submission to NRMP in February.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

National Student Research Forum Dermatology Awards Sponsored by UTMB Dermatology

The UTMB Department of Dermatology, through funding made possible by the Edgar B. Smith Professorship, is funding two awards at the 2018 National Student Research Forum this year. The two awards will be for Best Dermatology Poster Presentation ($100) and for Best Dermatology Oral Presentation ($200). An original, unpublished manuscript must be submitted on the topic of the oral presentation in order for the presenter to be eligible for the later award.

2/6/18 DIG Meeting Minutes

Thank you to all DIG members who were able to attend last night's meeting as well as congrats to the newly elected Officers!
  • Officer Elections
    • President
      • Keith Wagner (MS3)
    • Vice President
      • Michael Ryan (MS2)
    • Stay Shady Committee
      • Co-chairs: Alec DeJong (MS1) and Eunice Ko (MS1)
      • Senior Adviser: Daniel Burkholder (MS3)
    • Psoriasis Committee
      • Co-chairs: Mai-Anh Vu (MS2) and Matt LaCour (MS3)
      • Senior adviser: Tyler Marion (MS3) and Jacob Benavidez (MS3)
    • AIM Melanoma walk Committee
      • Chair: Caitlin Pekowski (MS2) and Drew Armenta (MS3)
      • Senior advisers: Ryan Lawrence (MS3) and Priscilla Ly (MS3)
    • Fundraiser Committee
      • Co-chairs: Caroline Crain (MS2) and Catherine Hazen (MS2)
    • Diversity Committee
      • Co-chairs: Maureen Ezekor (MS2), Uloma Ibezim (MS3) ,and Jacob Benavidez (MS3)
  • Spring Stay Shady dates
    • There are 4 current dates for the spring semester for Stay Shady with a possible 2 more in the works!
    • Current dates include: February 27th, March 8th, March 9th, and March 20th
    • Check your email or watch the DIG blog for a post with a link to sign up
    • Talk to Michael Ryan or Caroline Crain for more information!
  • Spring Bake Sale
    • This event will occur in March. More information TBD at this time!
    • Please help and provide baked goods so that we can continue using these funds for the Stay Shady supplies!
  • Upcoming Volunteer opportunities
    • Be Joint Smart: This Saturday from 9am-3pm. For those volunteering, dress is business casual. Contact Jacob Benavidez for more information
    • Houston Psoriasis walk: Date is still Saturday, March 10th. Contact Jacob Benavidez for more information
    • AIM Melanoma 5K: Date has tentatively been set for Saturday, March 31st! More information TBD. Contact Ryan Lawrence or Paige Hoyer for more information!
  • Upcoming Research events
    • National Student Research Forum this upcoming April
      • Abstracts for acceptance are due 3/1/18
      • Contact Joshua Hays for more information
    • Spring Texas Derm Society this upcoming April
      • Going to be in Austin, TX this spring
      • Great opportunity to work with residents and present a case report (or 2 or 3!)
    • AAD Annual meeting 2019
      • Although early for this, check the online dates around April or May because abstracts are due much earlier than the event will be (March 1-4, 2019)
  • VSAS/Course recommendations
    • Course recommendations
      • Always feel free to talk to the upperclassmen about what courses they did and what they thought about each of them! They are an invaluable resource for lowerclassmen
    • For MS1s: if possible, take the summer clinical experience in Dermatology (4 weeks). It's a good way to meet the department and get your foot in the door.
      • If you sign up for this, you should take a peek at the AAD Learning Modules to get a solid foundation in Dermatology.
    • For MS2s: with track selection, try to have your elective in the first half of third year. This way, you can meet the department early (if still interested in Dermatology) and get started on making those crucial connections.
      • Great courses include: Clinical dermatology, Dermpath, Derm Consult, and Cutaneous Oncology services. You can work with multiple faculty, mutliple residents, and possibly get research!
      • If desired, you can do an elective over period 13 (either one of the electives listed above or Derm Research)
    • For MS3s:
      • General consensus from the present MS4s was try to do your AI (or some Derm rotation in Galveston) during periods 1-4. There are 2 spots per period and this is the time to ask UTMB for your letters! You have some time after ERAS application is sent out (usually Sept. 15th) to get additional letters of recommendation (try to have them done by October 1st!)
      • For away rotations, it is recommended that you do 2-3. Work together to make sure the programs chosen are all different so not everyone is at the same place! In addition, choose programs that offer away rotators interview invites! Be careful because NOT ALL PROGRAMS ARE ON VSAS. You may need to call a program's coordinator to learn how to apply to a specific program!
        • You can apply for multiple aways during the same period and for the same program over multiple periods. Make sure to have all the requirements uploaded and ready the date that they start accepting applications (because most are first come, first serve)
        • To see requirements, click "learn more" to see what needs to be done for that election and click the school's name to see the dates they start accepting applications
        • Talk to upperclassmen, residents, or faculty for their recommendations on away rotations and to critique your CV/resume
      • The other required 4th year classes include: ACS, BSHS, EM, and Neuro. For ACS, there is an ACS Dermatology that you can sign up for. For BSHS, there are multiple classes with Dr. Wagner which are available or classes with Dr. Karnath. In addition, if you are working on your honors thesis, you can use this time for that paper for the credit! You may alsowant to take this class during Period 6. For EM, if you can, try to stay in Galveston! Also, be flexible with Neuro because there are multiples timeslots.
      • For Step 2, there are multiple views on when to take this. So don't hesitate to ask upperclassmen their thoughts

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Reminder: First Spring DIG Meeting Today 2/6/18

All DIG members are invited to join today for the first Spring DIG meeting. It'll be in the 5th floor Conference room (5.124 McCullough) starting at 5pm! Topics for today's meeting include: Officer elections, VSAS and away information, and upcoming events. Hope to see everyone there!

Volunteers Needed for Annual Skin Cancer Screening on Saturday, May 5, 2018

UTMB Dermatology will offer free skin cancer screening at the Bay Colony Dermatology Clinic in League City on Saturday, May 5, 2018 beginning at 9 am. Medical student volunteers are welcome to participate.

Friday, February 02, 2018


UTMB Dermatology interviewed 44 applicants this year for our residency program. They were selected from over 400 ERAS applications for the 4 available dermatology residency positions available this year through the 2018 NRMP. Applicants will find out where they matched on March 16, 2018.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

UTMB Plans to Increase Resident and Fellow Salaries in July 2018

Pending approval from the UT System Board of Regents, starting on July 1, 2018 UTMB Dermatology Residents and Fellows will receive the following salaries:

PGY2: $52,654
PGY3: $54,285
PGY4: $56,834
PGY5: $59,416

Primer on Skin Disease Hoaxes for Dermatologists Published

Congratulations to UTMB MS3 Keith Wagner and his co-author, Dr. J. Croley, a UTMB PGY2 dermatology resident, for their recent publication, “Fake Skin Diseases Online: a Review of Dermatological Hoaxes,” that was published in the January 2018 issue of peer-reviewed publication, The Online Journal of Community and Person-Centered Dermatology (OJCPCD). The article is available at http://ojcpcd.com/croley-j-a/fake-skin-diseases-online-a-review-of-dermatological-hoaxes/