As is true for many other specialties, competition for a position in a dermatology residency program is very high. However, with sufficient motivation, most students who really want to enter dermatology can achieve their goal. Here are some steps that can be taken to enhance this possibility.

You will need to take the dermatology clinical elective early in your fourth year. We give priority for this elective to students who are considering a career in dermatology. Email Christina Roland as early in your third year as possible.

Get to know as many dermatology faculty members as you can during your elective(s). Since all applicants look similarly good “on paper”, students with engaging personalities and who are well known have a real edge.

Try to find one or more projects that can lead to publication. Keep in mind that several small, doable projects are usually better than one large project that might not be completed by the time of your application.

Because of the large number of applications received by every dermatology residency program, most programs use one or more items for screening purposes. Here are some of the items used: a score on USMLE Step 1 of 230 or higher, honors in at least four of six third year clerkships, AOA membership and several publications submitted, or accepted, for publication.  Additionally, 3-5 Letters of Recommendation are preferred.