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Fellowships

Discussion in 'Dermatology' started by asmallchild, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. asmallchild

    Moderator Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    As a PGY-3, I guess it is time to start thinking about fellowships. Unfortunately, one of the weaknesses of my program is that guidance in that department is kind of lacking.

    What is the process like in terms of applying?

    What are people looking for from the applicants?

    What is the outlook for different fellowships? (I am only familiar with the big three of pediatrics, dermatopathology, procedural) Are certain ones more popular/competitive than the others?
     
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  3. porokeratosis

    porokeratosis Member
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    Procedural and Dermpath are both very competitive fellowships. I think it's even more competitive than applying for Derm residency. Both Procedural and Dermpath fellowships tend to take internal candidates (ie, residents from same program/institution). So that makes it tougher for derm residents in programs without a fellowship program. I don't think that's fair, but I understand the Program Director's (PD) perspective. PD will be working very closely with any new fellow for 1 or 2 years in close confines (near the scope, performing surgery on face). PD wants to make sure their personalities are compatible. If not, life will be miserable for both the PD and fellow.

    In contrast, Peds Derm is easy fellowship to get. I think Peds is less competitive because after training, it pays less than general dermatology (mainly because there are less procedures in this patient population)

    Most programs request a PD LOR and 2-3 other LORs. Achieving a competitive application in any of these derm fellowship programs requires STRONG letters of recommendation (LOR). The more well-known the person, the better. It's all about who you know! I also recommend doing an audition rotation at any program you're really, really interested in. Grades, USMLE scores, and inservice scores are not important anymore (in contrast to your Derm residency applications). Programs interested in you will offer you an interview.

    For Procedural and Peds Derm, most programs participate in the SF Match (takes place every year in December). But for Dermpath, there is no match system and you also compete against pathologists. So some argue, Dermpath is more competitive than the others (especially true if you're in a program with no associated Dermpath fellowship)
     
  4. asmallchild

    Moderator Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Thanks, good to know. I had no idea fellowships were so competitive. I had always figured the hardest part was getting into derm.
     
  5. porokeratosis

    porokeratosis Member
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    Procedural and Dermpath fellowships are more competitive than Derm residency because there are so few spots. In Procedural Derm, there are 45 ACGME accredited programs. In Dermpath, there are 54 ACGME accredited programs. Most of these fellowship programs take only 1 fellow a year (although there are some programs that take 2 or more fellows a year).
    http://www.acgme.org/adspublic/

    Additionally, virtually all people applying to these derm fellowships already have outstanding CV's/resume's, grades, and USMLE scores (they must be great if they got accepted into a Derm residency). Hence, the competition is stiff.

    Procedural/Mohs Derm fellowships have always been competitive. I think this is because it tends to pay well after fellowship and offers some additional training in cosmetic procedures (liquid cash procedures with no hastle of insurance). Dermpath fellowship competitiveness seems to change from time to time. Dermpath is currently very competitive today. But a decade ago in early 2000's it was much easier for dermatologist-trained person to get in. Dermpath trained dermatologists are also well-compensated in pay.

    I've been accepted to a Dermpath fellowship. I have multiple friends who have been accepted to all derm fellowships - Procedural, Dermpath, Peds. My recommendation is do a derm fellowship (Procedural/Mohs, Dermpath, Peds) only if you really enjoy this subspecialty and can see yourself doing it every workday. Do not do a fellowship for the money (because this is a waste of time for you and the fellowship program training you).
     
    #4 porokeratosis, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  6. Mariah246

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    why is doing a fellowship for the money a waste? is the pay increase minimal? does procedural or path pay better? which field has the rosier outlook? thx
     
  7. laxman310

    laxman310 TheManWithAPlan
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    Is that accurate? Its my understanding that soon enough that Moh's fellowships overseen by the Moh's college will get converted to procedural.
     
  8. asmallchild

    Moderator Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    I believe that's correct, my understanding is that all procedural dermatology/mohs surgery fellowships will fall under the umbrella of the ACGME by 2013

    As a headsup for those similarly ill-informed, I did not find out about the application deadlines of fellowship programs until recently. Correct me if I'm wrong but applications for dermatopathology are filed earlier than those of procedural dermatology. So in my case, filing for dermatopathology would be as a PGY-3 whereas procedural derm is done as a PGY-4.
     
  9. porokeratosis

    porokeratosis Member
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    That is correct. For Dermpath Fellowships, most applicants get accepted into a program by the end of 2nd year in Derm Residency (PGY-3). For both Procedural/Mohs Fellowship and Peds Derm Fellowship, most typically match by 3rd year in Derm Residency (PGY-4).

    Dermpath is different because it does not participate in NRMP, SF Match, or any other US nationwide match system. With no rules to follow in match system, these programs can pick anyone they want. So a Dermpath program can pick it's future fellow 1, 2, 3, or more years in advance.
     

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