Dear Future Dermatologists, 

Whether you are a first year medical student considering the field of dermatology, a third year working through clinical rotations or a fourth year student in the midst of the dermatology application process, we hope to provide you with useful information through this DIGA newsletter. 

Read about the application and interview process from an accepted applicant
click here

Connect with us
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Please visit us at our new and improved webpage and check out all the information it has to offer!

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Special Feature: ERAS Crash Course

How many schools should you apply to?
How many Prelim/Transitional years should I apply to?

Precious applicants averaged 20

Preliminary vs Transitional:
Pre-lim= 1 year of internal medicine, General surgery, pediatrics, or family medicine.
Transitional year(TY)=1 year of rotating through weeks of multiple specialties.
**Internal medicine Pre-lim or TY is preferred for Dermatology residency but not exclusive to it**

The interview:
Odd ball interview questions? (Ask the residents at the pre-interview social, they will tell you!)
  • If you hadn't been a doctor, what would you be doing right now?
  • If you decided against going into dermatology, what other medical specialty would you have chosen and why?
  • What is the hardest thing that you have ever had to do, in patient care or otherwise?
  • What do you think is the most important scientific discovery in any field in the last year?
  • Tell me about a patient who is memorable to you?
  • Tell me about a role model you have in dermatology?
  • As a leader, do you think it is more important to be respected or liked?
  • What do you think is the most significant world event of the year?
  • What is the one sub-specialty of medicine that you would least like to do and why?
  • Tell me about a dermatology patient who was medically fascinating to you?
  • “Do you have any questions for us?” Some examples:
    • What is your patient population?
    • What subspecialty services are available?
    • What is the conference schedule?
    • Is attendance at national conferences encouraged?
    • What changes in the residency program are likely in the next few years?
    • Is there exposure to private practitioners and office practice?
    • Where are your graduates? (private practice, academics, local area, etc.)
You can ask about opportunities for research or for teaching medical students, depending on your interests
After the interview:
  • Thank you notes for the program director: within a week of your interview
    • Consider inserting a picture of yourself
  • Letter of intent to your top few programs, with ONLY your top program stated as your number one choice in the email.

ERAS tips
  • Don’t ignore the hobbies Section!
  • “On rare occasions, a program will sign up initially to participate in ERAS and later withdraw their participation. Sometimes, the program does not communicate the withdrawal to ERAS staff; therefore, it is imperative that applicants contact ALL programs to ensure that they are participating in ERAS before submitting their application materials to them”
  • “Specific details about the duration of an interview will not appear in the Interviews section of MyERAS. Applicants should contact programs directly for questions regarding the exact time of an interview and any additional information they may need.”
**Better option: check out the DIGA Residency Interview Database with the most current dates, contact information, and miscellaneous information regarding interviews for each program.

ERAS checklist:

By: Andrew Armenta and Nefertiti Umeh
University of Texas Medical Branch and St. George's University School of Medicine
DIGA Secretary/Treasurer and Residency Interview Database Director
Skin of Color Column
The Global Vitiligo Support Community would like to connect vitiligo support groups across the States with medical students who would be interesting in volunteering. 

Volunteer roles are flexible and can include activities like joining group or phone meetings with members, posting on behalf of their chapter on social media sites, letter writing, sharing pamphlets with local dermatologists, fundraising and organizing social events.

The support community has been integral to improving the quality of life of hundreds of individuals, many of whom came together in June 2018 to celebrate World Vitiligo Day!

If you are interested in volunteering or being connected with a support group in your area, please feel free to email Fiatsogbe Dzuali at
and Itisha Jefferson at 

Here is a link to information regarding support groups:

We look forward to hearing from you!

Itisha Jefferson and Fiatsogbe Dzuali
Sharing the Fun

University of Arizona Skin Cancer Awareness Fair

Hello readers! The previous newsletter included a preview of a curriculum that can be easily adopted by your school if you're looking for an educational activity to provide for local high school students. Here at the University of Arizona, we hosted 50 students from Tucson High for 4 hours on our campus and rotated them through research labs, simulation lab activities, panels and lectures all tailored towards skin cancer. Skin cancer awareness and education is crucial in our sun-soaked state and I hope that this fun curriculum will be implemented at schools across the country. If you give it a try, please don't hesitate to reach out and share your experience!

Gritty details: We utilized around 15 volunteers to run the fair. With each group of students, we had 3 chaperones that walked the students to and from each activity. We found that research labs preferred as few students as possible since space can be limited. To accommodate this, we split each group of students into 3 groups when it came time to go to the labs (this is why you need 3 chaperones with each group). Finally, we found it useful to provide a data blitz of sorts in our initial PowerPoint presentation. This gave students some insight into the research labs prior to their visit and increased their confidence in asking questions while on tour. 


  • 9:00: Arrive at main auditorium
    • Each student receives a goodie bag with group assignment
  • 9:10: Cancer PowerPoint* presentation and welcome
  • 9:50-10:00: Divide into pink, green, and blue groups, with 10 min icebreaker
  • 10:10-10:40:
    • Group pink: Science activities
    • Group green: Research lab tours (split into 3 groups)
    • Group blue: Sim lab
  • 10:50 - 11:20:
    • Group pink: Sim lab
    • Group green: Science activities
    • Group blue: Research lab tours (split into 3 groups)
  • 11:30-12:00:
    • Group pink:  Research lab tours (split into 3 groups)
    • Group green: Sim lab
    • Group blue: Science activities
  • 12:10:  All students to [Auditorium]
    • Student panel and lunch (comprised of students from other health disciplines)
    • Students are expected to bring bagged lunches. Chips and water will be provided.
  • 12:45: Farewells
  • Science activities* - [Location]  
  • Simulation lab tour – [Location]
  • Cancer lab tour assignments:
    • Group 1’s: [X] Lab, [Location]
    • Group 2’s: [X] Lab, [Location]
    • Group 3’s: [X] Lab, [Location]
*Science activities: Any hands-on activities to illustrate the power and consequences of sun exposure (i.e. UV activated color changing objects, a black light skin analyzer tool, etc)
* Cancer PowerPoint: An introductory presentation illustrating the basics of skin histology, consequences of UV damage, and possible data blitz of the labs to the toured later in the day.

Have fun!

By: Lindsey LePoidevin
University of Arizona, College of Medicine - Tucson
DIGA Melanoma Awareness/Sun Protection Chair      
Psoriasis Awareness
Psoriasis Section

On behalf of the DIGA board, thank you for your support in our efforts to raise psoriasis awareness from our last newsletter. We are overwhelmed with your backing, and hope to provide you with great resources to become involved in this year's endeavor. 

The DIGA Board will be hosting a Psoriasis educational segment on our Instagram page (@derminterest) in the next few months. This series will be an accretion of flash facts-- comprised of current research, pharmaceutical therapy, and epidemiology of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Our hope is that this will help you not only advance your knowledge of psoriasis, but also shine during rotations due to the common nature of this disease.

Below, I have compiled a list of upcoming events sponsored by the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) this autumn. If your institution or local Dermatology Interest Group (DIG) chapter has the opportunity to attend or host your own NPF-sponsored event, we encourage you to share your takeaways, pearls, and submit any photos you have to encourage others to become involved. 

Upcoming NPF events:

  • Team NPF Run in Columbus - August 26th (7:30 AM - 1:00 PM) Jeffrey Park & Mansion 165 N. Parkview Avenue Bexley, OH 43209 
  • Team NPF Walk in Chicago - September 9th (9:00 AM - 12:00 PM) Lincoln Park at the Lincoln Picnic, Grove 16 500-5700 N. Lakeshore Drive Chicago, IL 60614
  • Team NPF Run in Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon - September 2nd (6:00 AM - 3:00 PM) Stoller Family Estate 16161 NE McDougall Rd Dayton, OR 97114
  • Frontiers in psoriatic disease: Research & treatments - September 8th (9:30 AM - 12:30 PM) UCSF Millberry Union Event & Meeting Center 500 Parnassus Ave. San Francisco, CA 94143 
  • Team NPF Walk in NYC - September 16th (7:30 AM - 10:00 AM) New York Botanical Garden 2900 Southern Blvd. Bronx, NY 10458 
  • Team NPF Walk in Houston - September 22nd (8:00 AM - 12:00 PM) Brown Foundation Lawn at Buffalo Bayou Park 105 Sabine Street Houston, TX 77007 

Mai-Anh Vu 
The University of Texas Medical Branch, School of Medicine - Galveston 
DIGA Psoriasis Chair
Share your research! Upcoming Conferences and Abstract Submission Deadlines

Share your research! Upcoming Conferences and Abstract Submission Deadlines


American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) 
  • Meeting Date: March 1-5th, 2019
  • Meeting Location: Washington D.C. 
  • Abstract Submission Deadline: September 5, 2018
  • Late Breaking Abstract Submission Deadline: October 31st, 2018
South Beach Symposium and Aesthetic Dermatology
  • Meeting Date: February 7-10th, 2019
  • Meeting Location: Miami Beach, Florida
  • Abstract Submission Deadline: January 10th, 2019
Orlando Dermatology Aesthetic & Clinical Conference (ODAC)
  • Meeting Date: January 18-21st, 2019
  • Meeting Location: Orlando, Florida
  • Abstract Submission Deadline: November 1st, 2018

9th World Meeting of Interdisciplinary Melanoma/Skin Cancer Centers
  • Meeting Date: November 6-9th, 2018
  • Meeting Location: Barcelona, Spain
  • Abstract Submission Deadline: September 10th, 2018
24th World Congress of Dermatology 
  • Meeting Date: June 10-15th, 2019
  • Meeting Location: Milan, Italy
  • Abstract Submission Deadline: September 15, 2018
  • Lake Breaking Abstract Submission Deadline: February 28th, 2019
The next edition of the DIGA newsletter will be in the Fall. For publication in our Fall 2018 newsletter, please submit the following by September 30th, 2018 to

> Short articles about your DIG's events and activities, accompanied by photos
> Research opportunities
> Creative writing or reflections
> Opportunities to increase medical student involvement within the dermatology community

We look forward to hearing from you! :) 
DIGA Board
Morgan Murphrey

Vice Presidents
Christina Topham

Krysta Lin

Andrew Armenta

Regional Directors

Fatima Mirza

Jeffrey Dickman

Kayo Robinson

Tyler Marion

Committee Chairs

Diversity in Dermatology Chair

Melanoma Chair/Sun Protection Chair
Lindsey LePoidevin

Professional Societies Liaison
Psoriasis Chair
Mai-Anh Vu

Public Relations/Social Media Chair
Meredith Gaufin

Residency Interview Database Director
O. Nefertiti Umeh

Emily Henkel
Upcoming Conferences
Access a complete list of dermatology events by visiting the AAD Calendar.
Medical students interested in dermatology can obtain a free trial of their app by reaching out to Lauren MacDonough, our VisualDx contact. I've included her information below: 

Lauren MacDonough
Community Engagement Coordinator
phone 585-272-2638
address 339 East Ave, Suite 410 Rochester, NY 14604
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