Megan Rose

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2008
Hello Derm Physicians! I am currently an undergraduate in college (pre-med) and I have long been interested in dermatology. I had acne as a teenager and my dermatologist really cleared it up for me, and thus completely changed my self-esteem, and my life. I changed my personality completely, gained self-confidence and just overall felt so much better about life.

From my personal experience, and just the fact that I think skin disorders are kind of "cool"-ish (that might be the wrong word to use) I am really interested in pursuing Derm.

Not to put the cart before the horse (I know I'm not even in Med. School!) but I would like to hear why current Dermatologists picked Derm as their speciality and to perform their residency. Are there other gems to this field that I should know? Any precautions to be aware for?

Thanks so much!

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Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Apr 25, 2005
Attending Physician
Why not? What would be the appropriate reason to give when the undeniably important question of, "Why derm?" comes up? :-/
It won't be asked before you are on the Dermatology residency interview trail yourself because you won't bring it up until then. Why would you? The question you need to answer is "Why Medicine, why do you want to be a doctor?". People go to medical school to become doctors.


10+ Year Member
Nov 25, 2008
Forget the people who say it's not a good reason. Is there a better reason? A better person to empathize? I personally don't think so.

I've seen great people match and you could tell that they were sincerely and severely affected by their skin condition -- most commonly acne, psoriasis, eczema. You don't have to write a Janis Ian ballad about being 17, but you should let your experiences guide your decision. Your experience will give you a passion that will set you apart from those in it for the money/lifestyle.

Believe it or not, many dermatologists had similar stories and appreciate the applicant's honesty to admit their underlying reason that may seem "corny" at first glance. Don't embellish the truth though. The difference between the applicant who is "interested in derm" and exaggerates a skin condition versus the applicant whose personal experience honestly lead them to dermatology is painfully obvious.

With all of this said, you have to play the game to some extent. Megan- I agree that you keep your derm aspirations hushed until after you're in medical school. After that, keep an open mind but realize that aiming early toward your goal will help you jump through the hoops in the match process.

Good Luck.


10+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2008
If you want good advice, here it is: focus on doing as well as you can in College and MCATs. Do not even think about Dermatology or any other specialty of Medicine. The better your record now, the better the Medical School you can get into. A better school will improve your chances of entering your preferred specialty.

Once you get accepted to Medical Schools, you can start solidifying your credentials if you're still learning towards Derm (or any other field). Right now, I think debating specialties is more of a distraction than a benefit.
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