derm questions

Discussion in 'Dermatology' started by bowlofmushypeas, Jun 16, 2012.

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  1. bowlofmushypeas

    bowlofmushypeas 2+ Year Member

    Mar 29, 2011
    My husband and I are both MS4s and are planning to couples match. While he was set on peds, he is now re-visiting the idea of derm in which case, we would definitely need to take at least 1 year off to bolster his app. Because we're new to the idea of derm, I had some scattered questions.

    My biggest concern like most people's is not matching even after taking 1 year off. This is particularly complicated since we'd be couples matching in peds and derm. Does anyone who's been down the derm + X couples matching have advice / lessons learned?

    Secondly, I know some people choose to complete a peds / med residency prior to derm residency which might end up being an alternative. Is this case, do people just do derm research during those residency years so they'll be competitive after residency? Also, does this route in actuality really handicap someone's changes at a reasonable derm program? Finally, if you're spending your peds residency, for example, trying to improve your app for applying to a derm residency afterwards, does that pretty much destroy your chances at other fellowships down the road if you still don't get into derm?
    Also, besides a place that has available derm research, are there other things to consider about a pediatrics residency program that would improve or hurt your chances at a derm program afterwards?

    Finally, considering the competitiveness of derm and number of people who go unmatched, what do people typically do for a backup plan? For example, is it pretty common to take a year off if you don't get in then re-apply to derm and a second program (e.g. med or peds)?

    Finally finally, I've heard at least a "240" is a safe-ish step I score. Is there a minimum number of honors in required clerkships that a reasonable applicant should really try reach to be "safe-ish?"

    Sorry for the long post, we went through all the algorithms in case he doesn't match next year and there doesn't seem to be anything that makes sense. Thanks in advance!
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  3. asmallchild

    asmallchild Lifetime Donor SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    -I cannot comment on the couples match process as my husband is not in medicine.

    -I would recommend fully pursuing the dermatology pathway if your husband is interested in derm. While people can do a peds or medicine residency prior to matching in dermatology, this is not considered an easy route and there can be problems with funding. I think the question about pediatric fellowships might best be answered in the pediatrics forum as we will likely not be too helpful in providing further information.

    -Backup plans run the range from simultaneously applying to another field like pediatrics to taking some time off to do research. This would likely be something best discussed with your academic dean. Some students may be in the position to dual apply. Others might be better served solely focusing on one field. For those more interested in medicine, I've met a few residents who did not match the first time, completed a prelim medicine year anyway and did some derm research, and were able to match: some fitting into an open program so no time was lost, some having to wait an additional 12 months to start "on cycle"

    -Regarding academic "minimums", this is again something you will want to discuss with your academic dean and a friendly figure within the dermatology department. Obviously a Step 1 score > 240 and as many honors as possible will help. That being said, I've met plenty of people who were able to nab spots without fitting the typical "criteria". If you come from a school where this is uncommon, and this is where your dean and a dermatology advisor could help, then it would be worthwhile to explore ways to improve your application package, hope this helps


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