Our dermatology residency positions are highly coveted and competitive. In a typical year we receive 450 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. 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.