The identification of a specific track should ideally take place within the first two years of the combined Medicine-Dermatology program. Choosing a specific track with the aid of mentors will optimize both the educational experience of residents and allow for a seamless transition to an academic career that builds upon this specialized training. Specific tracks will be largely comprised of elective rotations (both inpatient and outpatient) to supplement the regular combined training curriculum. In addition to identifying a particular training path, residents choose advisers within each track who provide guidance throughout the duration of training.
Residents who wish to pursue a career within primary care medical dermatology can focus on Women’s Health, General Internal Medicine (GIM), Allergy, or Medical Informatics. Additional rotations and experiences within this area include:
- Women’s Heath: Complete rotations in the outpatient Women’s Health medicine clinic, Women’s Health dermatology clinic and Vulvar/Mucosal dermatology clinic
- GIM: Choose additional outpatient medicine primary care clinics can be chosen, as well as further training in Quality Improvement
- Allergy: Choose additional inpatient and outpatient experiences
Residents who foresee a career in hospitalist medicine can spend additional time beyond the core inpatient rotations during their medicine and dermatology training. Trainees who choose this path can focus on Medical Informatics or can choose inpatient rotations such as palliative care, perioperative medicine, and other medical subspecialty inpatient consultative services as a counterpart to additional dermatology inpatient electives. Residents in this track participate in the Department of Medicine Quality Committee during years PGY-3 through PGY-5.
Infectious Disease/ Global Health
Residents will rotate on the General Infectious Disease (ID) consult service as well as the Transplant ID consult service (solid organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients). Those who select this track will spend time in the HIV clinic and have the opportunity to travel to an international site, such as the Centro Medico Humberto Parra clinic in Palacios, Bolivia, affording residents interested in this career path with a rich tropical medicine experience. Alternate foreign rotations can also be arranged with approval. During the PGY-5 year, residents may choose to pursue additional continuity clinic time working with ID faculty and fellows.
In addition to the core inpatient oncology rotations that comprise the Internal Medicine residency training, individuals can choose additional oncology exposure on the inpatient oncology and palliative care consult services, as well as oncology outpatient and radiation oncology clinics. The Dermatology core curriculum provides additional oncology exposure through:
- Clinics of the Skin Cancer Institute of Northwestern University, particularly the multidisciplinary melanoma and cutaneous lymphoma clinics
- TARGET (Treatment of Adverse Reactions and Graft-versus-host disease Effects of cancer Treatment) clinic
In addition, residents with an interest in oncology will spend time on the inpatient dermatology consult service, which provides consultative care for all hospitalized cancer and stem cell transplant patients. During the PGY-5 year, residents can opt for further continuity clinic within oncology.
Residents interested in a career with a focus on Dermatology-Rheumatology can rotate on additional rheumatology inpatient consult months and outpatient rheumatology clinics to increase the experience in treating patients with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and other autoimmune and connective tissue diseases. During dermatology training, residents rotate through the multidisciplinary psoriasis/ psoriatic arthritis clinic and nephrogenic systemic fibrosis clinic. The inpatient dermatology consult experience provides residents with the chance to care for patients with acute complications of connective tissue diseases as well as severe psoriasis and other erythrodermic conditions. During the PGY-5 year, residents can choose additional continuity clinic within rheumatology.
Medicine-Dermatology residents that may be interested in one or more of the existing tracks can also create unique personalized tracks. Such tracks will require approval by the Program Director.
One additional goal of the track set-up is to allow residents to complete a research project with relevance to the chosen track. This will entail mentors from the departments of Dermatology and Medicine working with trainees to facilitate the completion of a project by the end of residency. The particular focus of the research project will prepare residents for the next phase of their career.