About U.S. dermatology residency programs

Essentials of accredited residencies
Special requirements for residency training in dermatology

Objectives and conditions

Approved training programs in dermatology shall be organized to provide trainees with the educational and practical experience that will permit them to deliver superior specialized care to patients with diseases of the skin. Such experience must be varied and broad, progressive and systematic, and of sufficient duration. Moreover, it must include instruction in the pertinent basic sciences and in all clinical areas that bear upon the specialty of dermatology, and training in research and teaching. Accomplishment of these objectives requires a suitable institutional environment, a cooperative and supportive administrative authority, a stable financial base, and enthusiastic, competent and available staff, and adequate patient population, modern efficient equipment and space, and satisfactory liaison with other disciplines that relate to dermatology.

Duration of training

A training program shall offer a minimum of three years of graduate medical education in dermatology. Trainees must have satisfactorily completed a broad-based clinical year of training (PGY-1) in an ACGME accredited program or a similar Canadian accredited program prior to entering a dermatology residency program.

A four-year program must provide a broad-based clinical experience during the first year and three years of dermatology education in the second through fourth years of the program.

About 75 percent of the resident's time spent in each year of dermatology residency training must be related to the direct care of dermatologic outpatients and inpatients; this includes consultations, clinical conferences, and inpatient rounds.

Dermatopathology, microbiology, and other basic science lectures, seminars, and conferences are essential components of the resident's training.

Exceptionally, accreditation of residency programs that are shorter than three years is possible, but only under the following conditions:

This training must represent an unusual and highly specialized experience, in research or in a selected major area of dermatology, in an institution with extraordinary capability in such fields and with multiple accredited training programs in other disciplines. Moreover, training under such conditions will provide the trainee with only one year of credit to be applied against the necessary three years of training in dermatology. This training may not be used in lieu of the first postgraduate year or the first year of residency training in dermatology.

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