The residency program provides excellence in dermatology training and is primarily based at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. General information is available from the Graduate Medical Education office. The Department of Dermatology and its faculty are integrated between The University of Texas Medical School at Houston and MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC). Close affiliations with MDACC, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, and Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital provide a diverse clinical experience.
Our faculty, comprehensive curriculum, patient diversity, and clinical experiences are the strengths of the residency program. We were ranked as one of the top eight dermatology centers of excellence in the United States by the Dermatology Times.
We have about 23 full-time faculty who actively work with residents with a favorable faculty-resident ratio that exists in only the best programs in dermatology. Our faculty have been recruited for their excellence in dermatology, patient care, education and research. Many are nationally recognized leaders in their fields. Our faculty have been diversely trained, are board-certified, and offer expertise in dermatologic surgery, cutaneous oncology, dermatopathology, immunodermatology, pediatric dermatology, autoimmune disorders, contact dermatitis, basic research, and cosmetic dermatology. We also have many clinical volunteer faculty who offer practical experience at monthly Grand Rounds and at monthly city-wide Houston Dermatological Society meetings.
Of great importance is our mission to educate and train the best in dermatology residents. We design a comprehensive curriculum that is constantly enhanced with resident and faculty feedback. Conferences occur four days per week and include “Kodachrome” conference, textbook review, Grand Rounds, dermatopathology, Journal Clubs, and didactic lectures. Topics are selected and integrated to cover virtually all of dermatology. Many of these conferences are held jointly with the dermatology program at Baylor College of Medicine, located within one block of us.
The best teachers are often our patients. Our diverse patient population at varied institutions provides exposure to a wide variety of cutaneous problems. Houston is the 4th largest city in the United States, with strong African-American, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, and Asian populations. Our residents provide care at MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC), consistently ranked as one of the top two cancer centers in the nation; Lyndon Baines Johnson Hospital; Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (MH-TMC)—a primary teaching facility for the Medical School; and several other outpatient clinics. Common, rare, and complex skin conditions are treated at all of these facilities. A hospital consultation service occurs at MDACC and MH-TMC, and imparts invaluable inpatient skills to our trainees. Active teaching by our faculty occurs at all rotations and is synergistic with our curriculum.
While we focus on training outstanding clinical dermatologists, we also encourage academic development through participation in clinical studies, clinical and laboratory research. The department currently offers two post-graduate fellowships. The majority of our residents publish articles and present at state and national meetings. Most of our residents seek private practice, with 10% pursuing academic careers. This trend is consistent with most dermatology programs. Fellowship training is encouraged. Many graduates have proceeded with fellowships in dermatopathology, Mohs surgery, and laser and cosmetic surgery.
The Texas Medical Center, with its member hospitals and universities, is the largest medical center in the world and has a $13 billion impact on the economy of Houston. Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States, affording all of the amenities of a cosmopolitan environment. It was ranked America’s Coolest City in 2012 by Forbes. We are known for our hospitality, numerous restaurants, charming neighborhoods, and reputation for technology and innovation. There are three airports serving a diverse cultural community (population is 39.8 percent Hispanic, 29.1 percent Caucasian, 24.3 percent African-American, and 5.9 percent Asian). Recent enhancements include a revival of downtown, a modern metro rail system, and the move to Houston of several major corporations. The climate is great year-round, with only occasional freezing. Although the humidity is famous in the summer, we all work in air-conditioned buildings!
Our dermatology residency positions are highly coveted and competitive. In a typical year we receive 500+ applications and less than 10% are selected for interviews. Residents must have graduated from a medical school in the United States accredited by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME), an accredited medical school in Canada, an accredited osteopathic school in the United States, or if a graduate of a foreign medical school, must possess the standard certificate of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). We do accept international applicants, but there is a preference given to graduates of medical schools accredited by LCME (Liaison Committee for Medical Education). Accepted applicants are usually in the top quartile of their medical school class and are geographically diverse. All applicants must pass part I of the USMLE examination within 3 attempts prior to acceptance. We also accept COMLEX. Residents must pass part II by the end of their PGY-1 year and part III by the end of their PGY-2 year, within the guidelines for Texas licensure.
Trainees must complete at least a one-year PGY-1 internship in the United States prior to entering our three-year dermatology residency program. The PGY-1 year may be in internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery, transitional, or other broad-based disciplines acceptable to the American Board of Dermatology. Unlike some other programs, we seriously consider candidates who have already had advanced training in specialties such as internal medicine or pediatrics. We do not consider residents who volunteer to work in unsalaried situations.
Criteria that are considered include dean’s letter, USMLE scores, letters of reference, curriculum vitae (resume), personal statement, medical school activities, extracurricular activities, advanced training, past research experience, publications, presentations, diversity considerations, disadvantaged background, class rank, and AOA election. Perceptions from the interview or previous rotation here are considered. Applicants who have had previous rotations here are often not invited for interviews, since we typically have good exposure to them while they are here. Such “audition rotations” are not required, and many of the successful candidates have not rotated here before. We have no set formula for calculating the relative importance of these criteria, and faculty members typically have their own particular priorities, which are neutralized by the differing opinions of our diverse faculty. We also obtain input from our residents and ancillary staff. The clinical faculty all have an equal vote. In sum, we mainly are interested in the candidate who will make us proud to have trained them. We want our graduates to go forth and pursue excellence, and that can occur in a variety of settings, not just in academia or private practice.
We are approved by ACGME for 21 dermatology residency positions in the three-year program. We consider applicants from both allopathic and osteopathic medical schools. The deadline to apply for one of our PGY-2 dermatology positions (to begin each July) is December 1, 18 months before the start date, and the national match will occur in March. Invitations to interview will not be sent out until November or December. The internship (PGY-1) and dermatology residency (PGY-2 to 4) programs are not linked. Candidates may apply to separate institutions or geographies for their internship and residency. Interviews will occur in January and February. We strictly follow the rules of the matching program. All applications must be sent electronically through the national Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) program. Applicants must also enroll in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), which electronically matches applicants to their preferred selections. It is important to be realistic, and note that the dermatology match is one of the most competitive of all specialties—we routinely receive 500+ applications for 5 – 7 slots.
The residency coordinator is Donna Clanton , 713.500.8329, and the residency program director is Ronald Rapini, M.D. We look forward to considering your application.
Mary Alice Sallman