"Dermatology is the branch of medicine concerned with the skin and skin-related diseases and disorders…. Dermatologists see people of all ages who present with skin diseases (either benign or malignant) involving the mouth, hair, nails, sweat and sebaceous glands, external genitalia, and mucous membranes."
— Freeman, B. (2013). The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Medical Specialty. 3rd Ed. Lange Medical Books/McGraw-Hill: New York. p.177.
M1 and M2 Students
What advice would you offer first- and second-year students who are interested in pursuing your specialty?
Dermatology is a dynamic field that is a wonderful mix of medicine and surgery. Get involved early. Join Dermatology Interest Group. Meet with faculty members of the Department of Dermatology. Rotate in clinic through the DIG program.
How important is a research experience in your specialty? If important, does it need to be in the specialty itself?
Medical students are highly encouraged to participate in and design limited laboratory investigation or clinical outcomes research that can be carried out and successfully completed. Although research does not need to be in dermatology, it is strongly recommended to participate in some dermatology-specific research.
M3 and M4 Students
- Advance dermatology
- Pediatric dermatology
- Infectious diseases
- Plastic surgery
July to September. Immediately after the general dermatology rotation done here at Northwestern.
December and January.
Does your specialty recommend that all letters of recommendation be written by members of your specialty?
At least two of the usually recommended three letters or three out of four should be written by members of the specialty.
If letters can come from other disciplines, do you have a recommendation as to which disciplines are more highly valued?
No. The quality of the letter and how well they know the applicant is more important.
No, not for most programs.
During the winter of the M3 year, students should attend specialty sessions sponsored by the Department of Dermatology for opportunities to learn more about the specialty as well as to meet attendings and residents in the field.