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rogersce

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I've heard a LOT of people talk about how connections are so important in matching into dermatology. I'm just wondering how exactly you go about making these dermatology connections you need to match? Really, how do you make the connections in ANY field you'd like to match in?
 

Kalel

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Connections in dermatology, like all fields, are made by spending time with faculty. This can be done by doing away rotations at universities that you are interested in going to, or by doing derm research at schools that you are interesting in going to too. Dermatology is an extremely competetive field; besides excellent grades and strong USMLE scores, you must have strong letters of recc from derm faculty who are willing to speak up for you if you want to get in anywhere these days. Derm research is almost required at most places too.
 

rogersce

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so when's the best time to start making those connections? MS-I year?? are there research opportunities in specialized fields like dermatology after the MS-I year?
 

Kalel

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You can start making these connections during your first year by doing research with a dermatologist during the summertime and by finding a dermatology faculty mentor who might be willing to let you follow him around in his clinic a few days per year. Your strongest letters will come from people who get to know you in the clinical arena though; most residency books do not reccomend that you get a letter from the faculty member you do research with during first year unless you work with them later during third year or if you feel that he or she would write you a very strong letter. You can do research after first year too, a lot of people interested in derm take a year off to do research to make them more competive after second or third year, and a lot of people do derm research as a fourth year elective too. Just remember that all of the connections in the world probably won't get you into a derm program if your usmle score is below avg or your grades are only avg, so your primary focus should be on making things like AOA (medical honor society) if you are really dead set on derm.
 

s4yxia

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Dermatology has traditionally been an extremely competitive field. Spending time with a staff dermatologist and doing research is a great way to start. In addition, if you can have a publication before the 4th year, it will definitely help. Just remember, Dermatology is a very academic field and they like individuals who is well balanced academically. Hope this helps!
 

NRAI2001

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Are papers written or research done while an undergrad also considered?
 

Kalel

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Originally posted by NRAI2001
Are papers written or research done while an undergrad also considered?

Yes. I was asked by my undergrad research by a few of my IM interviewers. It helps by showing that you are capable of doing research and don't mind doing it, but it's also nice to have some more recent research during med school too to show that you like to do research too. A lot of undergrad research isn't very interesting to PD's or interviewers too, if possible, you should try to do something medicine-related (eg paper on the mating habits of humming birds probably won't open any doors in derm, while a paper on the DNA mutations associated with melanoma will). Your primary goal in undergrad should be getting into a med school though.
 
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