Dermatology residencies are some of the most difficult residency positions to obtain, and each medical school senior vying for a match is facing tough odds—only 423 residency slots were offered by 121 dermatology programs in the United States in 2017, with more than 650 applicants. Data from the Association of American Medical Colleges showed an average of about 53 applications from every dermatology residency applicants overall and an average of 69 applications submitted by applicants with U.S. medical degrees. The same data showed that each residency program ended up receiving more than 500 applications. That said, if this is a path you might be interested in, and you are eager to specialize in the evaluation and treatment of benign and malignant disorders of the skin, diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers, and surgical techniques used in dermatology, here are some of notable medical schools that will prepare you for a dermatology residency match.
[RELATED: Browse MCAT Class and Test Options by State ]
There are 10 dermatology electives available to School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve medical students, including several at the renowned Cleveland Clinic. Year 3 and 4 students can join clerkships ranging from two to four weeks in dermatopathology, pediatric dermatology, and more. Seven Case Western seniors matched into dermatology residencies in 2018. This Cleveland, Ohio school boasts an average GPA of 3.75 and an average MCAT score of 516.4 (94th percentile) for its entering class size of a little over 200 students.
Accepted students to Emory University School of Medicine had a median GPA of 3.7 and a median MCAT score of 514. Many faculty members of the Department of Dermatology at the Atlanta, Georgia school are actively engaged in clinical, translational, and basic research as principal investigators. Their work is and has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, US Department of Veterans Affairs, private foundations such as the Dermatology Foundation and the American Skin Association, and the corporate industry. The mission of the Itch Translational Clinical Home at Emory is to create an interdisciplinary team of clinicians, translational researchers, basic researchers, and patients affected by itching in order to better understand mechanisms driving pruritus and to develop improved treatments for patients with itch. In 2018, 5 Emory seniors matched into dermatology residencies.
Harvard Medical School students have several opportunities for dermatology electives to cement their interest in pursuing a specialty in the field such as a Dermatology Clinical Clerkship, Advanced Medical Dermatology, and A Multidisciplinary Rotation in Oncodermatology. In 2019, 3 Harvard seniors matched into dermatology residencies. Located in Boston’s medical research hub, the school’s entering class is surprisingly small, at 165 seats. The MD program is highly competitive, with a median matriculant GPA of 3.9 and a median MCAT score of 519.
The Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota is one of the top research-focused medical schools in the country where you’ll need a 3.92 GPA and a 520 on your MCAT to hit the school’s median. Students in their fourth year can choose to rotate in a dermatology elective. These can be completed at Mayo Clinic campuses in Minnesota, Arizona or Florida, as well as at national and international locations. Many students complete an international or underserved population elective in the spring of the fourth year. About 7% of all Alix School of Medicine seniors matched into a dermatology residency in 2018.
At Northwestern, medical students are given multiple rotation opportunities in dermatology. They also have access to a Dermatology Interest Group. During the winter of the M3 year, students can 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. In 2019, 10 Feinberg seniors matched into dermatology residencies. The Chicago-based medical school admits a class of around 160—recent classes had a median GPA of 3.91 and a median MCAT score of 520.
Stanford accepted students have top scores to match, 3.83 median GPA and 519 median MCAT. At Stanford, you’ll be able to rotate through several dermatology electives. Clinical instruction consists of basic and advanced dermatology clinical electives. The basic clinical elective includes rotations through Stanford adult and pediatric clinics, and the Palo Alto VA Hospital. The advanced clinical elective is divided between Stanford, the Palo Alto VA clinics, and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. Both clerkships include teaching sessions as well as dermatology grand rounds. Students are expected to describe and recognize morphology, to perform a thorough skin examination, and to perform basic diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. In the advanced clinical elective, students work more closely with faculty and participate in dermatopathology sessions, inpatient consultations and a variety of outpatient clinics. Nine Stanford seniors matched into dermatology residencies in 2019.
Since exposure to dermatology is rare during the 1st and 2nd years of medical school, UCSF advises its students to get involved early. Opportunities at UCSF include joining the Dermatology Interest Group and participating in the Dermatology Homeless Clinic. As part of the UCSF Homeless clinic, the dermatology clinic meets every other week and focuses on cutaneous complaints of shelter residents and learn clinical dermatology. During the 2019 match, 4 UCSF seniors received dermatology residency spots. With fewer than 2% of the more than 7,700 applicants to the MD program matriculating, it’s highly competitive. The average GPA for admitted students in 2019 was 3.8 and the average MCAT score percentile ranking was 94.
The Dermatology Interest Group (DIG) at Miami is a student-run organization that provides a support group and community for students considering a career in dermatology. The group creates a network among medical students, residents, and faculty members on topics ranging from residency application processes, research opportunities, and volunteer and service activities at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and surrounding community. The group also facilitates shadowing and mentoring opportunities for members with UM dermatologists and residents. In 2019, 6 University of Miami seniors matched into dermatology residencies. The Class of 2023 of just over 200 aspiring physicians has a median GPA of 3.72 and a median MCAT score in the 87th percentile.
The highly competitive Ivy boasts median MCAT and GPA scores of 521 and 3.89 for its Class of 2023 and a class size of about 150 students. Third and fourth year medical students at Penn are offered a four-week clinical rotation in Dermatology. Four slots are available every four weeks during the year. Students are expected to learn to diagnose and treat common skin diseases. During this rotation they are involved in all clinical aspects of our department. They participate in our dermatology outpatient clinic in faculty outpatient private practices, at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Veterans Affairs hospital, and on the inpatient consult service. They also attend dermatology grand rounds and all departmental lectures. Six seniors matched into dermatology residencies on the 2019 Match Day.