Current Editors: Alex Acosta and Dung Mac

Past Editors: 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, February 26, 2015

The Wait is On!

Dermatology applicants and residency programs submitted their match lists to the NRMP by Wednesday, February 25th this week. We are all waiting to hear the results on Match Day 2015 (Friday, March 20, 2015).

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Frances Elaine Smith (9/28/32-2/22/15)

Mrs. Elaine Smith, wife of the late Dr. Edgar B. Smith, passed on February 22, 2015. Following Dr. Smith’s retirement as the Chair of Dermatology at UTMB in 1999 and his death in 2005 , Mrs. Smith remained a strong supporter of the UTMB Department of Dermatology, with keen interest in the ongoing activities of the Edgar B. Smith MD Professorship in Dermatology and the annual Edgar B. Smith MD Scholarship that is awarded annually by dermatology faculty vote to the UTMB MS4 with the best dermatology research completed at UTMB. She proudly followed the academic achievements of UTMB medical students, dermatology residents and dermatology faculty supported through generous funding provided through the Edgar B. Smith MD Professorship. She will be greatly missed by all of us in Galveston. For additional information, please see http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/houstonchronicle/obituary.aspx?n=Frances-Smith-Elaine&pid=174240218

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

More on Self-Awareness

Daniel R. Ames and Abbie S. Wazlawek (Columbia Business School) lend their expertise to inform Wall Street Journal readers (“How to Tell if You’re a Jerk in the Office: Most workers are blissfully unaware of how they come across. And it can cost them.” WSJ, Monday, February 23,  2015, page R2) about the  importance of self-awareness in the workplace, and the role it can play in perceptions by co-workers. They write, “Not realizing how others see you leads to bad decisions and spoiled relationships. And when others sense that you’re clueless about your personality, it can undermine your general stature and credibility.” Ames and Wazlawek suggest that anonymous feedback can provide valuable insight about what co-workers think. A trusted mentor who is willing to provide candid feedback can also provide invaluable feedback. The key is to remember, “…these conversations are an opportunity to learn more, not to defend yourself or provide excuses.”

Monday, February 23, 2015

UTMB PGY4 Chief Dermatology Resident Dr. Lindsey Hunter-Ellul Named to American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Committee

Dr. Lindsey Hunter-Ellul has accepted an appointment to the AAD’s Member Communications Committee that will commence at the end of the upcoming 2015 annual AAD meeting. This important committee serves to provide strategic direction to AAD membership communications. It is a two year term. Congratulations Dr. Hunter-Ellul for this prestigious appointment to a premier dermatology organization!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Annual Dermatology In-Training Examination for Residents

The annual in-training exam (ITE) sponsored by the American Board of Dermatology is scheduled for Thursday, February 19, 2015. This 4 hour online exam gives residents a national reference point about how they compare to dermatology residents from other programs in the same year of training across the nation. At UTMB, dermatology residents take the exam in the morning and have the remainder of the day off from work. Good luck to all of our UTMB dermatology residents on this test!

Houston Chronicle Reports on MD Anderson Faculty Unrest

Houston Chronicle reporter Todd Ackerman's front page story ("MD Anderson faculty cites 'pervasive' discontent", pages A1 and A12, Wednesday, February 18, 2015) updates readers about ongoing faculty concerns about "...controversies over ethics and spending, tenure decisions and concerns that a demand to increase clinical revenues has comromised patient safety."

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Application for Camp Discovery available for summer 2015

Camp Discovery is a program supported by the American Academy of Dermatology. It is a one week summer camp experience, where young people ages 8-16 with a chronic skin condition come together to participate in fun camp activities. It also offers volunteers to learn more about the effects of dermatological conditions as you interact and work with these patients. For more information, please email Janine Meuller, jmueller@aad.org.

Applications for this opportunity are now available (deadline: April 10, 2015)

UTMB Offers Master’s of Medical Science Degree to Current Residents and Fellows

UTMB is now offering one of its house staff the opportunity for specialized education in the hope of creating future translational scientists. The minimal full-time time commitment is one year in this new program, and degree completion requires a peer-reviewed publication that is indexed in PubMed. Application materials may be obtained from:

Gustavo Valbuena, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Pathology
1.116B Keiller building
Tel: 409-747-0763
FAX: 409-747-2429
email: gvalbuen@utmb.edu

Applications are due on 3/2/15.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

UTMB Residents Attend 2015 Annual Dermatology Foundation Clinical Symposia Meeting

PGY4 UTMB Dermatology Chief Residents Drs. Lindsey Hunter-Ellul and Audra Clos attended the annual Dermatology Foundation meeting held on February 4-8, 2015 in Naples, Florida at the Ritz-Carlton.

DIG Meeting Recap

On Monday, February 9, the members of UTMB’s DIG met to discuss upcoming events for the spring semester.  Thank you to everyone that could attend, and for those who had other obligations, here is a recap of what was discussed:

1.     “Stay Shady!”: We have 3 “Stay Shady!” presentations finalized at the moment with potentially one more in the works.

  • The dates are: March 11th Crenshaw Elementary (Prek-4th) 9am; April 7th Odyssey Academy (4-5th); May 7th 2:45 pm Crenshaw (5th-8th)
  • We will be posting on the blog as each date nears looking for volunteers.
  • If you would like to become involved with “Stay Shady!” please contact Kristyna Gleghorn at klglegho@utmb.edu or Alex Acosta at kaacosta@utmb.edu
2.     Melanoma Walk: Planning for the annual Galveston Melanoma Walk is under way with a date on a Saturday morning in April or May (melanoma month) to be set soon.  More information will be posted as it becomes available.

3.     Psoriasis Walk:  The annual Psoriasis Walk is no longer being held in May, and instead will occur on October 10, 2015.  More information to follow concerning exact time, place and ways to make donations.

4.     Annual Bake Sale:  Every year we hold a bake sale to raise funds for the DIG.  This year it will be held on April 15 from 10am-2pm.

  • We need volunteers to both bake goodies and man the table.  More info to follow!
  • If you are interested in helping out and didn’t get a chance to sign the sheet at the meeting, please contact Alex Acosta at kaacosta@utmb.edu
5.     Procedure Lab: Some of UTMB’s Dermatology residents have been generous enough to volunteer their time for a procedure lab.  At this lab, we will learn how to inject lidocaine into marshmallows, preform different types of biopsies on tomatoes, and suture pigs’ feet.  An exact date has not been set, but it will be in March.  More info to be posted as it becomes available!

6.     Upcoming Meetings: We will have another meeting in April for officer elections.  Also at this meeting, we will have a panel of matched 4th year students to answer all of your questions concerning applications, interviews and the match!  More info to follow!

Thanks again to everyone who made it, and we hope to see you later this semester!

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Dr. Sheila Jalalat Featured in January 2015 Cutis Announcement

The 50th Anniversary January 2015 issue celebrating Cutis features a photo of Dr. Sheila Jalalat on page 24, our former UTMB DIG President, along with two other physicians who will be writing for the new “Resident Corner” feature of Cutis. Dr. Jalalat will be starting her dermatology residency at the University of South Florida in Tampa later this year. The UTMB DIG is very proud of your national recognition so early in your career! While at UTMB, Dr. Jalalat was particularly interested in dermatology research, successfully completing her Dermatology Honors Research Project with Cum Laude UTMB SOM graduation research honors and winning the 2014 Edgar B. Smith Award for Excellent Dermatology Research Performed by a Medical Student.

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!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Characteristics of a Great Resident Teacher

The December 2014 issue of the Journal of Graduate Medical Education contains some teaching tips obtained from Canadian medical students (Melvin L, Kassam Z, Burke A, Wasi P, Neary J. What makes a great resident teacher? A multicenter survey of medical students attending an internal medicine conference. Journal of Graduate Medical Education 2014;6:694-697). Responding students thought that the use of clinical examples (78%) and  repetition (71%) was the most useful for learning, but that resident feedback was not. Students preferred residents with strong knowledge and teaching geared to medical student level. However, high resident expectation for students was not valued.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Dermatology Clinic Staff Retirement Announced

Ms. Eranell Batiste,  well known to staff and patients in the UTMB dermatology clinics, has announced her retirement from UTMB after this month. She worked in the UTMB dermatology clinics for 22 years and enjoyed working with our faculty, residents and medical students. She will be greatly missed by all.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

JAMA Editor's Advice About Getting Published

Althouth this excellent article by JAMA Deputy Editor Dr. Edward H. Livingstone on the AMA Wire (  http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-wire/ama-wire/post/9-top-tips-getting-published-medical-journal?&utm_source=191323&utm_medium=BulletinHealthCare&utm_term=120614&utm_content=MorningRoundsWeekendEdition&utm_campaign=BHCMessageID ) is directed toward resident physicians, medical students can learn from it too. It is too easy for inexperienced authors to get discouraged in this professionally demanding, time consuming process of peer-reviewed publication. Many UTMB medical students have been first authors of dermatology publications, due to departmental support and mentoring by experienced UTMB dermatology residents and faculty.

Friday, December 05, 2014

UTMB Optional Interview With Internal Dermatology Residency Applicants A Success

The UTMB Department of Dermatology interviewed 7 internal applicants for dermatology residency on Friday, December 5, 2014. All were UTMB MS4s except for one PGY1 resident who graduated last year. One internal MS4 applicant couldn't accept this optional UTMB interview due to a conflicting dermatology interview out of state. UTMB has been separately interviewing internal candidates as a group since last year.