sunflower18

Master of Naps
7+ Year Member
Oct 23, 2011
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Medical Student
Hey all,

I'm an Ms2, and I'm interested in dermatology but haven't done any derm-related research (though I did a few projects in other fields during MS1 and summer before MS2 that I've presented and am trying to publish). I was thinking about taking a year between MS3 and MS4 to do derm research, but apparently getting a paid research year position is hard to come by in my location.

I recently learned about a paid opportunity to take a year between MS3 and MS4 functioning somewhat like a pathology intern -- I'd rotate through various pathology services and be part of the team, reading slides, performing autopsies, looking at surgical specimens to ensure clear margins, etc. I could do 3 months on derm-path during that year, as well as have 2-3 months free to do research in a derm lab. The focus of the year would definitely be pathology, but it'd still give me 5-6 months related to derm.

Is this something that would be valuable experience to have as a future dermatologist and/or make me more competitive to match dermatology? Or should I focus on doing research, either during MS2 and MS3 or with a (likely unpaid) research year between MS3 and MS4?

I'm planning to try and talk to some derm faculty at my home program about this, but I thought I'd get the SDN perspective as well. Thanks so much!
 

asmallchild

Staff member
Administrator
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10+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2006
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Attending Physician
Hey all,

I'm an Ms2, and I'm interested in dermatology but haven't done any derm-related research (though I did a few projects in other fields during MS1 and summer before MS2 that I've presented and am trying to publish). I was thinking about taking a year between MS3 and MS4 to do derm research, but apparently getting a paid research year position is hard to come by in my location.

I recently learned about a paid opportunity to take a year between MS3 and MS4 functioning somewhat like a pathology intern -- I'd rotate through various pathology services and be part of the team, reading slides, performing autopsies, looking at surgical specimens to ensure clear margins, etc. I could do 3 months on derm-path during that year, as well as have 2-3 months free to do research in a derm lab. The focus of the year would definitely be pathology, but it'd still give me 5-6 months related to derm.

Is this something that would be valuable experience to have as a future dermatologist and/or make me more competitive to match dermatology? Or should I focus on doing research, either during MS2 and MS3 or with a (likely unpaid) research year between MS3 and MS4?

I'm planning to try and talk to some derm faculty at my home program about this, but I thought I'd get the SDN perspective as well. Thanks so much!
I think the paid year in pathology will definitely help you pick up dermpath quicker as a resident. It would likely make you more competitive to match in derm as well if your 3 months in dermpath are with a derm-related program. You'll find that in many hospitals, pathology runs the dermpath fellowship. In others, dermatology does. If your research year more closely resembles the former, that will likely NOT help you as much.

If your goal is to match in dermatology, then I would consider doing an unpaid research year solely focusing on dermatology.

If your goal is to have some research experience (and get paid for it), I think your paid research year in pathology will still help, just not as much as a year of research with derm faculty. I think it is a very smart idea to discuss this with your home derm program as well.
 

Tamahawk

7+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2009
104
39
Status
Attending Physician
I think the paid year in pathology will definitely help you pick up dermpath quicker as a resident. It would likely make you more competitive to match in derm as well if your 3 months in dermpath are with a derm-related program. You'll find that in many hospitals, pathology runs the dermpath fellowship. In others, dermatology does. If your research year more closely resembles the former, that will likely NOT help you as much.

If your goal is to match in dermatology, then I would consider doing an unpaid research year solely focusing on dermatology.

If your goal is to have some research experience (and get paid for it), I think your paid research year in pathology will still help, just not as much as a year of research with derm faculty. I think it is a very smart idea to discuss this with your home derm program as well.
Agree 100%