7+ Year Member
Jul 10, 2012
Resident [Any Field]
Hi everyone, I'm an M4 currently applying to dermatology. Ideally I would like to train at a program that has research opportunities available (i.e. academic center) based on my research background, but had a couple of questions.

1) Would it be a waste of my money to apply to "community" dermatology residencies? I'm worried they wouldn't be interested in my application if I'm more research-based.

2) Even the smaller, "community" programs I've looked at so far still emphasize academics and clinical research pretty heavily. Are there any truly community programs that have minimal research emphasis?

Please feel free to PM me as well. Thanks!


10+ Year Member
Sep 12, 2009
Resident [Any Field]
1) I'm assuming you have other constraints on your application besides lots-of-research vs not-so-much-research (ie geography, city/rural, availability of fellowships etc). I would apply to any program that checks any of the boxes you're interested in. Once you hit a certain number of interviews you can cancel the ones that don't have a strong research track record if you'd like.

2) Not really. Most derm programs are affiliated with a medical school which by default gives you at least some research requirement/incentive. Also, there are resident research requirements for almost every field and derm is no exception, so you'd be hard-pressed to find a program that doesn't publish at least a few papers a year.


10+ Year Member
Jan 8, 2009
Attending Physician
Realistically speaking, it's very difficult to conduct a real significant amount of research during residency...especially the further one gets away from clinical research and toward bench/basic science. Don't get me can be done, but it's very difficult.

That said, if you really want to do as much research as possible while learning dermatology, it will be best to land in a large academic program. Research opportunities at these places tend to be more likely to 'fall into your lap' so to speak. At a smaller program, there are opportunities, but it may take a little more work on the part of the resident to get things done.

In the end, as far as I can tell, the research requirement for many programs can be as much as a case report a year. It's not like all the residents are off writing grant proposals and running molecular assays in their free-time. Although if one wants to do that during residency, more power to ya...


5+ Year Member
Jun 1, 2013
1) Depends on what sort of research you want to do. Any program will have some sort of clinical research (case reports, clinical trials, etc.). Much fewer programs will have robust basic science research faculty and most residents don't have the time to do this sort of research anyway, with maybe the exception of MD/PhD's or those in a 2+2 programs.

2) Sort of disagree. I felt like the "research" opportunities at some of the smaller programs I went to were pretty pathetic and/or none of the residents had any interest in conducting research anyway to seek anything out. Generally, if the derm program is attached to a large medical school and/or larger university, the opportunities will be much better because you can go outside the derm department to find a mentor who works on projects relevant to dermatology even if the derm faculty themselves may not share your interests.


7+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2009
Attending Physician
IMHO, Dermatology is a very broad field with tons to learn in a short residency. Time for meaningful, in-depth research during residency is scarce. Most programs offer enough research opportunities to keep a resident (even one interested in an academic career) busy. I wouldn't focus too heavily on the idea that you will be competing for an RO1 grant while a resident.