Editors



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.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Save This Date!

The UTMB Department of Dermatology will offer all of our current UTMB MS4 applicants the option to interview with residents and faculty on Friday morning, December 5, 2014.
Invited non-UTMB applicants will be interviewed to interview in Galveston on Thursday, January 22nd and on Friday, January 23rd, 2015.

2014 UTMB Dermatology Research Honors Thesis about DIGUTMB.Blogspot.com Published

Congratulations to Dr. Sheila Jalalat, our former DIG President and 2014 SOM graduate for the recent publication of her dermatology research honors thesis. Her paper is entitled, “Utility of a Dermatology Interest Group Blog: The Impact of Medical Student Interest Groups and Web 2.0 Tools as Educational Resources.” It was published this month in the open access, peer-reviewed journal, Advances in Medical Education and Practice 2014,5:331-337.
The abstract and pdf for this article is available at: http://www.dovepress.com/utility-of-a-dermatology-interest-group-blog-the-impact-of-medical-stu-peer-reviewed-article-AMEP

This research may be of special interest to UTMB DIG members since the article is about our UTMB dermatology blog (digutmb.blogspot.com)!
Her co-author and faculty mentor on this research was Dr. Richard Wagner, the Program Director for the UTMB dermatology residency program and UTMB DIG faculty advisor. Dr. Jalalat will begin her dermatology residency at the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa, Florida following her current PGY1 year in Chicago.

First DIG Meeting Recap: Q&A with Dr. Wagner, Residency Program Director


On September 22, 2014, the DIG had its first meeting of the year with Dr. Richard Wagner.  Dr. Wagner is UTMB’s Dermatology residency program director.  For those who could not make the meeting, here is a recap of what was discussed.


·      There are four positions available each year at the UTMB residency program.

·      Dermatology is one of the most competitive specialties.  Having research experience and publications are necessary to be a competitive applicant.

o   Research and publications in Dermatology are important

o   It doesn’t matter if you do a research project, case report, poster project, review article, etc.  The number of total research/publications is most important with the average being 5-6 publications.

o   Case reports are the fastest and easiest to publish.

·      If you have average Step scores, you have to excel in other ways. Past students have had a really extensive publication history.  You may choose to pursue a Dermatology research fellowship after graduating medical school and before applying to residency to make your application more competitive.

·      Fellowship are listed under DIGA website and are available to people who are in their PGY-1 year but haven’t matched into an advanced program (PGY-2 year).

·      AOA status is preferred and is an easy way to screen applicants since it reflects first, second and third year grades as well as showing that you are in the top 15% of your class.

o   It doesn’t matter if you are junior or senior AOA, but junior is impressive.

·      There is limited funding for residency programs.  The number of years of post-graduate funding you can receive is determined by the type of residency program that you match into initially.  For example, if you match into Surgery, you have 5 years of funding.  If you match into Internal Medicine, you have 3 years of funding.  If you match into Dermatology, you have 4 years of funding.  This becomes important if you don’t initially match into Dermatology, and reapply after your PGY-1 year.  If you matched into an IM preliminary year then apply to Derm the following year, you only have 2 additional years of funding as opposed to the 3 necessary.  Since programs may not be compensated for your PGY-4 year in Dermatology, and would have to compensate you themselves, they may be less likely to interview you.   It is important to weigh this new facet of residency training when applying.

·      There are 118 Dermatology programs nationally.

·      Interviews for residency are held mostly in January, but you have to go to interviews for your PGY-1 year in the fall.

·      UTMB is unique in that there is a democratic system for selecting applicants.  Residents who interviewed the applicants have a vote on that applicant. In other schools, residents may interview, but they usually don’t have a say on the voting process.

·      The best letters of recommendation are from people who worked with you personally for a period of time or someone you have done research with.  Three or four letters, usually from Dermatology/dermatologists are best because the people reading these letters may know the letter writers personally, which makes the letter more high impact..

·      Do away rotations. They will know your work and compatibility with the program and are more likely to interview you and consider you for a position.

·      Students are encouraged to come to the Dermatology clinics at UTMB, just check with the faculty first.

·      Dermatology boards are notoriously difficult with up to 10% of residents failing some years. This is why programs look for applicants who have high Step 1 scores and are AOA since they will be more likely to pass the board. There are not oral boards for Dermatology.



Thank you to Dr. Wagner for coming to answer our questions!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New Duty Hour Rule for Dermatology Residents at UTMB

Following the Dermatology Residency Review Committee’s decision that duty hour reporting is not a requirement for dermatology residents, the UTMB Office of Graduate Medical Education has discontinued its requirement for UTMB dermatology residents to log duty hours. Residents in the UTMB Department of Dermatology appear to be the only residents in the entire institution who are exempt from this institutional reporting requirement.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Tenure Dispute at MD Anderson Continues

Houston Chronicle reporter Todd Ackerman’s article on Saturday, September 20, 2014 (“Hospital may face blowback in tenure dispute,“ pages B1, B4) details the latest developments in the American Association of University Professors’ (AAUP) investigation of MD Anderson’s previously reported tenure dispute. MD Anderson representatives declined to meet with AAUP according to Ackerman. Reportedly MD Anderson representatives wrote, “We will not personally meet with representatives of a nongoverning entity conducting an unauthorized investigation with a pre-determined outcome.”

Dermatology Alum Publishes Letter in Wall Street Journal

Dr. Zoltan Trizna (UTMB Dermatology Residency Class of 2000) published a letter in the September 20-21 (2014) issue of the Wall Street Journal (page A14) under the heading, “It’s Harder to Practice Medicine Well under ObamaCare.” Dr. Trizna is currently in dermatology private practice in Austin, Texas.

UTMB Changes Moonlighting Policy for Residents and Fellows

In previous years, UTMB required program director permission for residents and fellows to moonlight. This month, UTMB announced an additional requirement for residents and fellows to moonlight. In addition to securing written permission from their program to moonlight, residents and fellows must secure institutional permission from UTMB’s Conflicts of Interest committee. No moonlighting is permitted unless permission from both the program director and the Conflicts of Interest committee are obtained. All hours of moonlighting must be recorded under weekly duty hours.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Reminder: First DIG Meeting of the Year on Monday, 9/22, at 5pm!

Join us for a Q&A Session with Dr. Richard Wagner, the UTMB Department of Dermatology Residency Program Director. This session is a great way to get information on topics such as residency applications, matching, research and more!

Where: Dermatology conference room, 4.112 McCullough Building

When: Monday, September 22, 2014, 5pm

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

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cutis Looking for Resident Columnist

The peer-reviewed dermatology journal, Cutis, is currently offering a columnist position for a dermatology resident during 2015. Please go to the link provided if you are interested in applying for this position.
Cutis Resident Corner 2015 Applications

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Required Reading for All 2015 Dermatology Residency Applicants

The 2014 Charting Outcomes of the Match ( http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Charting-Outcomes-2014-Final.pdf ) is must reading for current dermatology applicants because it is the best source to evaluate chances of matching in the upcoming 2015 NRMP into a dermatology residency (pages 44-56). Some of the information is expected for MS4s, such as:

-Applicants with a PhD almost always match (other graduate degrees don't seem to help very much)

-AOA membership is a huge advantage for matching (over 50% of spots go to AOA members)

-A Step 1 score of 241 or better increases the chances for a dermatology match (averaged matched applicant has a 247 Step 1, while average unmatched applicant has a 239)

-About 9 interviews were needed to rank 9 contiguous dermatology programs (greatly increase chance of a match)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

UTMB Academy of Master Teachers Recognize Outstanding Teaching Each Month

In an effort to recognize excellent teaching, the UTMB Academy of Master Teachers is encouraging UTMB medical students, graduate students, residents, fellows and faculty to nominate outstanding teachers. Nominations may be submitted via http://www.utmb.edu/amt/Educator_of_the_Month.html. Make it a habit to reward excellent teaching with your nomination, so that excellent teachers receive institutional recognition for their efforts!

Skin Research Funding Available for Medical Student Research in 2015

Medical students are invited by the American Skin Association to submit grant proposals about melanoma and skin cancer for potential funding up to $7000. There is an October 18, 2014 deadline. See link below for the application:
American Skin Association Medical Student Grants (For 2014 Applicants).pdf

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Multiple Positions Available on the Subcommittees of the Vitiligo Working Group (VWG)

The VWG is composed of numerous, highly respected academic and private practice Dermatologists that periodically meet throughout the year on conference calls to discuss various aspects of vitiligo, including published consensus/guidelines. These positions are a great opportunity to network and learn from experts in the field.

If you are interested in one of these positions, please send an email to Alex Acosta at kaacosta@utmb.edu for more information.

Recommended Reading for Dermatology Residency Applicants

The September 2014 issue of Texas Medicine (“Match-makers: Coaching students to maximum match potential,”, pages 47-51) details the experience of a senior medical student from Houston who did not match into his first choice competitive residency (ENT) despite academic advisement that he was “…an ideal candidate.” He went through SOAP (Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program) and matched into a pathology residency. He is enjoying his new specialty, but advises, “But just in case the worst happens, have a plan B ready that you came up with when you were in a normal mental and emotional state. And be realistic.”

Monday, September 08, 2014

First DIG Meeting of the Year with Program Director Dr. Wagner!

Join us for a Q&A Session with Dr. Richard Wagner, the UTMB Department of Dermatology Residency Program Director. This session is a great way to get information on topics such as residency applications, matching, research and more!

Where: Dermatology conference room, 4.112 McCullough Building

When: Monday, September 22, 2014 at 5pm

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

Friday, September 05, 2014

UTMB Recovery Front Page News

Houston Chronicle reporter Harvey Rice has a front page story in the 9/5/14 about UTMB's recovery since Hurricane Ike in 2008 (UTMB makes full recovery, Houston Chronicle, Friday, September 5, 2014, pages A1, A10). He provides a summary of institutional events following Hurricane Ike, including UTMB's expansion onto the mainland and the decrease in charity care that the institution now provides (3128 uninsured patients treated in 2008 dropped to to 233 in 2011 according to the Galveston County Free Care Monitoring Project). 

Galveston County on Mosquito Alert

The Galveston Daily News alerted readers via its front page headline (Alex Macon, Mosquito control warns of bloodsucker invasion: Officials say massive hatching of saltwater mosquitoes expected to swarm across county; crews to begin spraying, Friday, September 5, 2013, pages A1, A4) of impending mosquito hatching. According to the report, it is due to abnormally high tides (about 2 feet higher than normal).

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

UTMB Penalized $900,000?

According to Galveston County Daily News Reporter Laura Elder (“UTMB to pay penalties under federal program to fight hospital infections,” Sunday, August 31, 2014, pages A1, A11), UTMB may be required to pay $900,000 in penalties due to patient infections and injuries.  Hospitals are graded by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and need a score of 7 or less to avoid financial penalties. UTMB scored 7.4. Parkland (Dallas) rated 8.675 and UT Southwestern University Hospital was 7.375. Data was compiled during 2012 and 2013. According to this news report, since over half of US teaching hospitals may be subject to this penalty, it may not be a fair comparison with other hospitals. This is because US teaching hospitals may be providing care for patients with more severe illnesses and more likely to develop complications such as infections.

All UTMB 2014 Completing Dermatology Residents Pass Dermatology Boards

All three UTMB Dermatology Residents who completed our dermatology residency program passed the American Board of Dermatology Certification Examination given in July 2014 on their first attempt, and are now Diplomats of the American Board of Dermatology. Congratulations to Drs. Jason Jones, Megan Moody-Neill, and Samantha Robare-Stout for their excellent academic accomplishment! All are currently in private dermatology practice. For a complete list of new ABD Diplomats, please see http://www.abderm.org/home/cert_dipls.pdf

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!