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Getting into Best Derm Residencies: Duke Vs. Penn Vs. Yale Vs. Vanderbilt

Discussion in 'Dermatology' started by DrSus, May 26, 2008.

  1. DrSus

    DrSus Dr. Sus 2+ Year Member

    Jul 15, 2007
    From previous threads the general advice is that the medical school you go to does not really matter but I am very decided that Dermatology is the specialty I want to go into and thus I was hoping to get your opinions/expertise on where to go to get into best derm residency programs.

    I have 2 weeks to decide between Duke Vs. Vanderbilt. Duke is better ranked, better hospital, I felt more comfortable there, they gave me scholarship but consistently low matches in dermatology (0-3 matches). Vanderbilt worse in ranking, would be considerably more in debt if I went there but has consistently better derm matches. Now I don't know if it's because Duke kids do not want to do derm or because Duke derm is not a forte of the school - any opinions?

    Also, I am on top tier waitlists at Penn and Yale - both have GREAT consistent matches in Derm. I felt comfortable at all 4 schools. Which school would you pick to better your chances say my luck turns around and I have the option of all 4 schools?

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!
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  3. MOHS_01

    MOHS_01 audemus jura nostra defendere Physician 10+ Year Member

    Oct 2, 2005
    Go to whichever one will result in the lowest student loan debt. It's not your pedigree that programs will be looking at -- it will be your class rank, board scores, publications, performance on rotations, etc -- with the single largest factor being how you perform in interviews or on rotations.

    Basically, if you look great on paper but are a tool in person, you're hosed.... if you don't have the goods on paper, you will have an uphill battle because you won't get seen by most programs.... Bottom line, do well and don't be a tool and you should do fine.
  4. What the pho

    What the pho Good to the last drop 7+ Year Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    little saigon
    People well say pick the school you'll be most happy at blah blah blah. But if you know from day one of med school that you want derm and want to be at the best program you named out of thoses schools then Penn it is. Connections goes along way and the earlier you start making them the better, just as long as you make it past the step 1 filters.

    Go here:
  5. kmh22

    kmh22 New Member

    Aug 14, 2005
    I'm a Duke grad going into derm. The reason for the low matches is because most Duke students aren't into derm. Most Duke students like surgical subspecialties, medicine (cardiology), or radiology. That being said, the ones who like derm always match (except for one student several years ago who was significantly limited by geography because of spouse, but that's a special situation). If you think about it, Duke is the only school that incorporates a year of research into their 4-year curriculum, so you wouldn't have to take a year off for research if that's the route you wanted to go to build your derm CV. Additionally, you can do your research anywhere. Of the 3 derm guys this past year, 1 went to NIH, 1 stayed at Duke, and 1 went to UCLA for their research years, and I'm pretty sure they all got tons of interviews (from what I recall, most students only apply to 30 or so programs and still get a lot of offers). You can do clinical or basic research (or both if you can fit them in). Most students get their research funded, which pays for your tuition for that year. You also don't have to do research -- some Duke derm people have done MPH, MPP, or other advanced degrees.

    I agree with the above posters in terms of connections and what you make of your med school career. I think connections help, and you make a lot of connections in the research world, especially with a full year to get published and present your results. All in all, they're all great med schools. I didn't know of derm when I was choosing med schools, and what attracted me to Duke (over Penn, Yale, Columbia, NW, etc...) was the research year, which I believed would help distinguish me from other students.

    I'm pretty sure Penn has a 6-month research requirement and Yale has a summer research requirement, if you go those routes. I don't know anything about Vanderbilt.

    Hope this helps.
  6. DrSus

    DrSus Dr. Sus 2+ Year Member

    Jul 15, 2007
    thank you all so much for the info! Much appreciated!
  7. Apollyon

    Apollyon Screw the GST Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    When I was an EM resident at Duke, the derm resident came in at 7am to see a pt who had this funky rash on one of her feet (the other foot had a much more proletarian rash). He didn't give me ANY heartburn about it at all. (Turned out to be ant bites.)

    People talk about derm residents being haughty and snotty, but, from my limited N of 1, I didn't see it at Duke.

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