Dermatology extracurriculars

Discussion in 'Dermatology' started by bpcast, 09.24.14.

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  1. bpcast

    bpcast

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    So I'm a recent M2 who is currently interested in pursuing Derm. Someone recommended to me the Dermatology Interest Group Association website and so far it's been a great resource for me which I've been using for a while: http://www.derminterest.org/. I was perusing the website to see who would be smart enough to come up with this idea and I saw this:http://www.derminterest.org/InMemory.aspx

    She apparently attended medical school at UT Southwestern which has one of the top 10 Derm programs in the country.
    Apparently after all that, she still didn't match into Dermatology, although in her year no one from her school who matched into dermatology actually matched at UT Southwestern either:
    She committed suicide in her internship year.

    My question is, if all that is not enough to get into Dermatology, what exactly are Derm faculty looking for? How can someone have all of those things and not be able to match anywhere? Can someone accomplish all of that, and have such a bad personality where even her own Derm program director didn't want her at his program?
    http://www.derminterest.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=204&p=452 Here he said that he mentored her in developing this organization and he is proud of her -- so then why didn't he take her?
     
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  3. 1234Anonymous

    1234Anonymous

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    That is a very unfortunate, and tragic story that does occasionally pop up on this forum. It really is a shame. Obviously she was a very motivated and talented individual. That being said, I don't think that extracurriculars were ever the issue for her. Please someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the problem was her step 1 score.
     
  4. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    I don't think anyone actually knows for sure. There are many reasons why people don't match and I think sometimes we just try to find a reason that fits in our minds to help us make sense of it or make us feel better. Doesn't mean it is actually true. There are people here just this past match cycle who had great board scores and pubs yet didn't match. Realize that 50% of those who match into Derm WEREN'T AOA either.

    I think what is so different about Kelly's case is that she consistently contributed so much to Dermatology. If you see her Pubmed list above - her very 1st publication in Derm was in the fall of her first year. And all of those other things she did listed above puts her WAY ahead of the pack in terms of commitment to Derm. I would even say it puts her in the category of a leader who pushes to the forefront the specialty as a whole. You don't just put together in a few weeks a national medical student group w/faculty involvement and get to automatically present it at AAD meetings. It takes a while to plan those type of things out with logistics, sponsorship, etc.

    I think what's real stomach churning (at least for me) is that her national DIG is just so successful now after her death and has helped guide many students to match. Yet when she applied, she couldn't even get 1 of the 7/8 spots at her med school and no one from her program could call to get her a spot somewhere else, anywhere else. I can almost guarantee that if Kelly had been given the chance she would have given back to the specialty four fold. She's worth much more to the specialty than the dime a dozen applicant that is top of the class (maybe AOA), top board scores, who does 2 case reports, and thinks they're automatically entitled to a derm residency.
     
    Last edited: 09.24.14
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  5. Dral

    Dral 7+ Year Member

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    She was indeed very involved, and especially at UTSW. I'm not sure why she didn't match at UTSW. Other programs who interviewed her may have thought "Oh, she's so involved at UTSW, she likely has them ranked to match. We don't want to go too far down our rank list (for whatever reason), so maybe we won't rank her as high since she's likely to end up at UTSW anyway."

    That is merely conjecture, but could have played into why she didn't match.
     
  6. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    Programs should just rank people how they want, but bc of an ego trip to want to match into their top x ranks for x positions, they shift ranks around to maximize being able to say that. All the others from UTSW on that 2006 match list matched at other programs (2/4 were AOA, 1 MD/PhD, none had the number of Derm pubs that she had at time of application). According to that UTSW Derm alumni list link, they even took 2 IMGs. I know it's crass of me to say, but it wouldn't have hurt them one bit to take her - she probably would have stayed on faculty in a fully clinical role (vs. basic science). People like her go for stuff like AAD President.

    Seeing her CV on her thesis, I can't imagine doing that level of caliber of the things she did, and not feeling that one did everything superhumanly possible to match, which I'm sure for her was even more heart wrenching.
     
  7. exeunt

    exeunt 7+ Year Member

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    how low would one's step 1 score have to be to not be compensated by all her activities?:(
     
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  8. Slack3r

    Slack3r Sicker than your average Gold Donor 7+ Year Member

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    Not commenting on the her specifically, but in general people with stellar applications who don't match usually: a) applied too narrowly/geographically restricted b) personality issues or c) were just downright unlucky.
     
  9. IceHouse

    IceHouse 5+ Year Member

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  10. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    I don't know her personally but:

    a) I highly doubt she applied narrowly/geographically restricted bc it's Derm. Everyone knows you apply to all Derm programs, period, and then see what interviews you are able to garner.

    b) I highly doubt she had personality issues if she was able to work together over a long period of time with her own program director and other med students across the nation on a daily basis to start a national Dermatology organization. Someone with personality issues doesn't usually get the Excellence in Dermatology award like she did (when there were other people in her class who went for Derm as well).

    c) You may be right on this one. I don't know how horrible one has to be where one can't even get 1 out of their 8 home derm spots and your program is even willing to take IMGs over you.
     
  11. asmallchild

    asmallchild Lifetime Donor SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

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    As others have already mentioned, sometimes it just boils down to bad luck. There are a ton of excellent candidates out there and occasionally, excellent students slip through.

    Most faculty members out there realize this. We have our fair share of malignant personalities in derm but for the most part, we know how competitive it is, we know how miserable the match process is, and hopefully most of us will go out of our way to help an excellent candidate who slipped through the cracks for whatever reason

    My advice (hopefully it's helpful with interview season coming upon us soon) is to just keep chugging. For most US medical students, if you want it badly enough, you will get it at some point.

    Now is it worth taking time off to do research before residency and possibly after internship as a research fellow? That's an individual choice everyone has to make (I would have been perfectly happy in another specialty but for others, it is worth taking 1, 2, maybe even 5 years off to match into the career of their choice for the next 20+ years)
     
  12. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    :wow::wow::wow::wow::wow:
     
  13. asmallchild

    asmallchild Lifetime Donor SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

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    I agree with you, not the path I would've taken but my program has graduated at least three residents (that I can remember) who have served as research fellows for a number of years before finally matching
     
  14. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    I was just going to say it requires a LOT of hard work and dedication to put in FIVE years of Derm research (and more importantly, getting actual publications, not just being there for 5 years) after completing an internship when you have absolutely no guarantee whatsoever of matching, esp. now when all Derm positions are inside the match. In that circumstance, your best (and likely only) shot of matching is really at the program you're at -- this is assuming your PI will even allow you to stay past 2 years, which I guess there are some that do.

    If at the end of those years you still don't match, many other specialties, even IM, are effectively closed off to you bc of the number of years past graduation. Hence how it can very much be a double edged sword the longer you do it. Kudos to them for sticking with it.
     
  15. Slack3r

    Slack3r Sicker than your average Gold Donor 7+ Year Member

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    You're right, it's probably a conspiracy. :rolleyes:
     
  16. DermViser

    DermViser 5+ Year Member

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    I never said it was a conspiracy and I even said it very well might be bad luck. I also think since you just took your Step 1 exam in June your contribution to the conversation, specifically regarding the intricacies and nuances of the match specific to Derm programs is nil.
     

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