Diversity Mentorship program: Frequently asked questions

Q: Who is considered underrepresented in medicine?
The American Academy of Dermatology identifies the following racial categories as underrepresented in the field of dermatology as related to the U.S. population: African-American, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander. This information was collected from the 2010 AMA Physician Master file. Please see a comparison of specialties.

Q: What is the duration of the mentorship?
The mentorship is a one-month program that consists of a full-time, 40-hour work week for four weeks for a total of about 160 hours of experience.

Q: Is it acceptable to fulfill the 160 hours in multiple timeframes due to scheduling difficulties between the student and mentor?
Splitting mentorship hours is discouraged for purposes of achieving continuity of learning. Special circumstances might be considered. Such a request must be submitted in writing to the program administrator.

Q: Can a student have more than one dermatologist mentor during the program?
: No, a student may not mentor with more than one dermatologist unless he or she works in the same practice location and the program administrator is informed of the arrangement.

Q: When is the deadline for completing the mentorship experience?
The 2015 mentorship must be completed by Dec. 1, 2015. An essay that describes your mentorship experience must be submitted to the program administrator no later than Dec. 15, 2015.

Q: When is the best time to apply for the mentorship?
Annual mentorship awards are restricted to first- through fourth-year medical students. Applications will be open until Monday, November 30th, 2015.

Q: Is an award recipient eligible to reapply to this program in a subsequent award year?
No, awards are limited to one mentorship per student.

Q: If a student is not awarded a mentorship, when is reapplication permitted?
A student who is not awarded may reapply in subsequent award years.

Q: Is the award open to medical students enrolled in foreign medical schools?
No. The award is designated for U.S. students enrolled in U.S. medical schools.

Q: If an applicant is not chosen, are there other mentorship experiences available in dermatology?
Yes, he or she may reapply the following year or may do an unsponsored mentorship with a physician of his or her choice. Unsponsored mentorships are not affiliated with the Academy's Diversity Mentorship Program.

Q: When and how does a student choose a mentor?
The student must contact and choose a mentor prior to submitting an application to the program. A student is free to contact any Academy member to inquire about his or her interest in mentoring using the Academy's Find a Dermatologist tool. Students also may select from a list of dermatologists who have elected to participate in the program through our mentor list. Please notify Tina Matillano at timatillano@aad.org about any changes to the mentor selection. 

Q: Can a family member or relative serve as a mentor?
Applicants cannot select a family member or relative for the Diversity Mentorship Program.

Q: What are the requirements for consideration in the mentorship program?
You must complete an online application; submit a copy of your resume or curriculum vitae; submit your official medical school transcript (first-year students must provide MCAT scores and a letter in good standing from their medical school); and include two professional letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation should come from professors, not employers.

Q: Can the letter of recommendation be sent directly to the Academy?
Yes, the letter can be sent to:

Tina Matillano Project Specialist
American Academy of Dermatology
930 E. Woodfield Road
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Email: timatillano@aad.org
Fax: (847) 240-1859

Q: If a student already is participating in a medical school program related to dermatology, can the Academy’s Diversity Mentorship program be combined?
No, the Academy’s Diversity Mentorship program cannot be combined with any other programs.

Q: How are the mentorship recipients selected?
Applications are reviewed by a group of volunteer dermatologists who serve on the Academy's Diversity Task Force. The task force's mission is to promote and educate those in the medical profession, the public and industry about diversity issues in dermatology.

Q: What should the scope of the mentorship include?
The student and mentor work together to determine the scope of the mentorship to develop learning experiences both parties feel would be most beneficial.

Q: When will applicants be notified of their status?
By February 1st.

Q: Are there additional resources for medical students interested in pursuing dermatology as a career path?
A: If you are a medical student who would like to learn more about the specialty of dermatology, visit the following resources: