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Information for Medical Students Interested in a Career in Dermatology


170.01 Introduction to Dermatology Elective
This elective is offered during the Winter quarter, and it can be taken for 1 credit unit. It is open to students in various UCSF programs, including the School of Medicine, School of Pharmacy, and School of Nursing. In the didactic component, students attend a total of five lectures, which cover topics such as skin infections, skin cancers, and drug eruptions. Students also have the opportunity to practice their clinical skills under the guidance of preceptors in the student-run dermatology clinic. It is a great opportunity to meet faculty.

Dermatology Interest Group
The UCSF Dermatology Interest Group, also known as the “DIG,” is a student run organization which aims to provide resources for students interested in future careers in Dermatology. Annual events include a panel interview with subspecialists in dermatology, a student and faculty meet-and-greet, student panels on interviewing tips and post-match advice, and the UCSF Skin Cancer Screening. The DIG also coordinates a mentorship program which matches students with UCSF Dermatology residents and faculty members in order to help students find career advising and research opportunities early in their medical training. For more information, visit the UCSF Derm Interest Group website and consider joining the mailing list for news and updates.

UCSF Homeless Clinic, Dermatology Clinic
Through the student-run clinic at Multi-Service Center South, a shelter run by the St. Vincent De Paul Society, students have the opportunity to take patient histories, perform physical exams, and practice presentations under the supervision of UCSF Dermatology residents and faculty. Students encounter common skin complaints including itch, dry skin, acne, superficial fungal infections, and various dermatoses. For many UCSF students, the “Derm Clinic” is a first exposure to clinical dermatology. For more information, visit the website.


Core Clinical Electives (Click here to view the Course Catalog from the Office of the Registrar)

140.01 Clinical Dermatology
This two-week elective is open to third and fourth year medical students. Students are introduced to the description, diagnosis, and treatment of common dermatology conditions in the outpatient setting.

140.08 Advanced Dermatology Subspecialty Clerkship*
After taking the 140.01 Clinical Dermatology elective, students applying to dermatology residencies can take an additional two-week advanced clerkship in one of five subspecialty areas: Inpatient, Complex Medical, HIV, Cutaneous Oncology, or Pediatrics. Students will understand clinical conditions, basic science relative to disease pathogenesis, and first-line therapies for conditions in the chosen subspecialty.


140.02 Off-Campus Clerkship
During the fourth year, students have the opportunity to go on “away rotations” in dermatology at approved hospitals and programs.

140.06, 140.07, 140.09 Phototherapy & Psoriasis Therapy
Students can take 1-3 electives in Phototherapy & Psoriasis during their fourth year. Students learn about sophisticated, advanced therapeutic options for patients with severe, generalized, skin disorders including psoriasis and eczema. They will also learn to select appropriate therapies tailored for each patient's background and phase of treatment, optimize dosages, and combine various treatment options to maximize efficacy and minimize risks.

150.01 Research in Dermatology
During the fourth year, students can also opt to do multiple weeks of research under the supervision of a mentor in the UCSF Department of Dermatology.

More information regarding the UCSF Dermatology Electives, including contact information, can be found HERE

*Note: When creating a fourth year schedule, students must meet with their Dermatology Career Advisor. The Career Advisor will sign the proposed schedule, which will be submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education. In addition, the fourth year electives require preapproval, and students must make sure that they contact all necessary faculty listed in the School of Medicine course catalog.


American Academy of Dermatology, Basic Dermatology Curriculum
The AAD offers a set of learning modules that cover the majority of dermatology that any medical school graduate should know, regardless of specialty. UCSF faculty, residents, and medical students have made significant contributions to these modules. Many of these modules are also required content in the Family and Community Medicine 110 third-year core clerkship as well as the 140.01 Clinical Dermatology Elective. To access the curriculum, visit HERE.

UCSF Dermatology Glossary
This resource includes definitions and illustrations of common dermatology and dermatopathology terms and conditions. The original version can be found HERE. An additional version, created specifically for mobile devices, can be found in the AgileMD library. AgileMD is a mobile application that can be downloaded for free. Many resources, including the Dermatology Glossary, can be added from the AgileMD library into your own personal library at no cost, however, some resources do require purchase (eg, UCSF Hospitalist Handbook).

DermNet NZ
This is a free online resource with information on various dermatologic conditions, diseases, and treatments, including images.

Career Information: Dermatology, UCSF Undergraduate Medical Education
Dr. Kanade Shinkai created a comprehensive guide for medical students of all levels who are interested in applying into Dermatology. Here, you can find answers to frequently asked questions about the field of Dermatology in general as well as specific details regarding applications. All students interested in Dermatology should start by reading through this GUIDE.

Information for Visiting Students
The Office of Undergraduate Medical Education provides application information and general policies for visiting students, regardless of specialty. In addition, the UCSF Department of Dermatology has information for visiting medical students interested specifically in dermatology.

Crystal Reports and Charting Outcomes in the Match, National Residency Matching Program
The NRMP regularly publishes data on match statistics. The annual reports include information about all participating institutions and the numbers of positions offered and filled. For students, the most useful resource is Charting Outcomes in the Match. It contains specific data on all applicants and matched applicants, including USMLE Step scores, numbers of publications/presentations, and percentage of applicants who are Alpha Omega Alpha members.

FREIDA Online, American Medical Association
This online resource maintains a list of 119 Dermatology residencies in the United States and includes basic contact information and web links for each program. Students must create a free account in order to access the resource. An AMA membership is not required, however, AMA members may have access to additional features. To learn more, visit the website.



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