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Away rotations and sub internships

Discussion in 'Dermatology' started by dermiemaybe, Jan 20, 2005.

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  1. Hi everyone, I would apprecaite any input on the questions below. Thank you in advance!

    Besides the obvious (derm rotation) what others would you reccomend - I've been told that dermpath, dermsurg, and a medicine sub-internship are all good options. I am interested in derm surgery - would a surgery sub-I be useful? Also, I am leaning more toward applying for a surgery prelim year or transitional year, is that frowned upon?

    My finace is a year ahead of me, and will be starting his internship as I am applying for residency. I have heard that couples matches are a no-win situation in derm - but how about targeting a specific program that you like and have a good reason for having a serious interest in? I think that it would be better to do my sub-Is and advanced clerkships where I hope to match so that they can get to know me, but I don't know if it would be better to do them at my home institution so that I can get stronger LORs.

    Any idea what match percentages are like? I have heard that its as low as 30% - which is extremely frightening and seems too low to be true, any thoughts?

    Regarding LORs - I am interested in dermsurg or dermpath fellowships, would strong LORs from either be helpful - or is it better to go the traditional derm, medicine route?

    Thank you
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    JOEYSOBANK Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 3, 2003
    So when you are interviewing next year some programs may frown upon your interest in derm surgery (notice I don't say ALL). Some of these programs may be opposed to training a resident in medical derm for 3 years if they are just going to go on and do Mohs, tumescent lipo, and blephs for the rest of their life. With that said, some programs (particularly in the south and midwest from what I've heard) want some of their grads to go on and do Mohs. In addition, my CV is filled with papers and LORs from a couple of derm surgeons and plastic surgeons and no one really fronts on me during interviews. This may be because my ultimate interest in the field has yet to be determined.

    Dermpath electives are never a bad idea. This is a subject that is taught well at few derm programs. By getting a LOR from a dermpath giant (would rather not namedrop here), this would certainly add a bit of flare to your application. It may also spark a sincere interest in that particular area of the field as well. Finally, from what I have seen from most of my friends who are residents, dermpath is a dreaded subject -- it needs to be done, but few truly like it. So you'd already be a step ahead in the game.

    The last topic of your post I'll address is the intern year (I won't go into the couples match stuff b/c I'm really not that familiar w/it -- all I'll say is it almost always helps to do aways at places you want to go -- but you must make sure you shine). I have come across many derm residents who have done intern years other than medicine. Many do transitional years (attractive b/c of the varied specialty exposure you get in 1 year), many do pre-approved peds years (for the budding pedi derms), and yes, some even do surgery years. The only caveat I will add is that for those who don't match, it will be frowned upon if you haven't done a super-academic medicine year if/when you re-apply.

    Hope that helps.

    Tired of interviewing,
  4. PathOne

    PathOne Derminatrix 5+ Year Member

    May 10, 2004
    Skin City
    Agree that dermpath would probably be helpful, and if you get a strong LoR from one of the Gods, that would def. help you. Internal Med is also useful. However, if you're specifically targeting derm, I'd much rather take plastics than general surg.

    Couples matching and/or targeting a specific program is risky. Getting into ANY derm program is difficult, and limiting your programs will, sadly, limit your options.
    A transitional year would, however, certainly not harm you. And, again, I would certainly choose a transitional year over a year of general surgery. Obviously, it's always useful to do sub-I's and poss. trans. year at a place that has a derm program. No, they might not know you as well as your home program, but the derm PD's are more likely to know the people writing your LoR's, which, again, is helpful.

    Is derm surgery frowned upon? Yes and no. The vast majority of derm programs are at fairly heavy academic centers. So if they sense that your plan is to go into cosmetic derm and compete with the plastics people, that could certainly harm you at a number of places. But if you convince them that your interest is non-cosmetic, I can't see that it should hurt your chances.

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