Residency Program

A group photo of dermatology residents.

The dermatology residency training program at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is an ACGME accredited three-year training program designed to provide residents with a variety of clinical experiences, as well as exposure to expert teaching and research. Throughout the program, residents practice in both outpatient and inpatient settings and are provided additional education through lectures, conferences and meetings. As residents progress through the program, responsibilities increase to prepare them for independent and competent practice.

Program aims:

  • Provide a comprehensive three-year curriculum to enable residents to learn general dermatology, complex medical dermatology, procedural skills, pediatric dermatology, dermatopathology, quality improvement skills, and scientific inquiry skills.
  • Provide training, mentorship and support that allows for seamless transition into dermatology fellowships, academic practice, or private practice.
  • Produce competent and compassionate physicians who understand social determinants of health, the importance of teamwork and effective communication, and who are prepared to be local and national leaders.

Successful completion of the program will qualify the candidate for the American Board of Dermatology certification exam.

FIRST YEAR (PGY2)
In year one, residents rotate at three-month intervals through the OHSU, VAMC, dermatologic surgery and contact dermatitis clinics. At OHSU, residents work closely with faculty members in caring for a variety of both common and uncommon dermatologic diseases. While at the VAMC, residents are exposed to a different patient population and are given more autonomy. During the dermatologic surgery rotation residents are exposed to a variety of treatment modalities such as Mohs micrographic surgery and reconstruction, liposuction and many other cosmetic procedures.

SECOND YEAR (PGY3)
In the year two, residents rotate at three-month intervals through the OHSU and VAMC clinics, pediatric dermatology, dermatopathology, and Kaiser Permanente. The Dermatopathology rotation provides an outstanding education in the histopathology of cutaneous diseases. The rotation at Kaiser exposes the resident to general dermatology in a busy "private practice" setting, in which he or she functions as the primary provider of dermatologic care.

THIRD YEAR (PGY4)
In the year three, residents rotate at three-month intervals through OHSU and VAMC clinics, hospital inpatient service, and a research block. Third-year residents build on their previous years’ experiences in clinic and patient management during the VAMC and OHSU rotations to develop accuracy and confidence in the delivery of quality skin care. The research block presents an opportunity for residents to explore their particular area of interest, which can be clinical, basic science, or epidemiological in nature. Residents can use this rotation to develop and declare a particular expertise by working with a specialist in that area. The hospital inpatient service allows the resident to act as the primary caretaker of patients with challenging dermatologic diseases. The ability to monitor these patients and their responses to treatment in this setting is invaluable. Additionally, the "hospital" resident takes inpatient consultations at both OHSU and the VAMC, while interacting closely with other hospital services. 

  • Core Curriculum
    • A fully developed core curriculum for didactic resident education is covered over the three-year program. Lectures are given by the OHSU Dermatology faculty, community volunteer faculty, affiliate faculty, and invited experts in various specific fields.  Residents give at least two in depth lectures per year on topics of their choice.
       
  • Dermatopathology Unknown Sessions
    • Dermatopathology unknown sessions are held weekly and slides are provided to the residents in advance for review.
       
  • Clinical Unknown Sessions
    • Clinical unknown sessions (Kodachromes) are held monthly and are led by faculty members.
       
  • Journal Clubs
    • Journal Clubs are held once per month and review both clinical and basic science journals, as well as articles focused on ethical issues.
       
  • Translational Research Conference
    • The translational research conference is held once a month and is supervised by Yuangang Liu, Ph.D. and Paige Davies, Ph.D. This is a joint conference where residents and basic scientists in our department pair up to present topics of dermatologic relevance with the residents focusing on the clinical features, and the scientists covering the basic science aspect of the topic.
       
  • Morphology Conference
    • Morphology Conference (Grand Rounds) is held weekly. Interesting or challenging patients are presented by faculty, residents, and community dermatologists for assistance or educational value. Residents are asked to describe morphology of dermatologic findings and answer questions on disease processes.
       
  • Oregon Dermatology Society Meetings
    • Residents attend Oregon Dermatology Society (ODS) meetings monthly from October to April, as well as attend an annual meeting in the summer. Interesting cases are presented by community dermatologists, as well as faculty, and are discussed by conference attendees. Each resident gives an in depth presentation once yearly at the Oregon Dermatology Society meetings. ODS meetings also provide invaluable networking opportunities to connect with dermatologists throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington.
       
  • Montagna Symposium on the Biology of Skin
    • The Montagna Symposium for the Biology of the Skin is an annual basic science conference dedicated to a single major topic in cutaneous biology. It attracts prominent  speakers each year and is  usually held at an Oregon coastal resort. Resident attendance is required and  supported by the Department of Dermatology. Read about the Montagna Symposium on the Biology of Skin.
       
  • National and Regional Conferences
    • Residents have the opportunity to attend regional and/or national professional meetings, such as the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting, and meetings at which they present their work.
  • OHSU Medical Dermatology
    • The outpatient medical dermatology practice at OHSU is organized into half-day sessions (five in the morning and five in the afternoon).  As part of the OHSU resident rotation schedule, residents work eight or nine of the 10 scheduled half-day sessions with a faculty member.  Although the style of each faculty member may be different, patients are usually seen first by a resident who presents and discusses that patient with the faculty member.  A diagnosis and treatment plan are derived, and the resident actively participates in the discussion of that treatment plan and initial follow-up with the patient regarding any questions, biopsy and laboratory results, and patient care issues which arise during the clinical rotation.  On average, a resident will see 90 to 100 outpatients a week during the OHSU medical dermatology rotation.  This varies some, depending upon the stage of resident training and the attending to whom the resident is assigned.
       
  • Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC)
    • Clinics are held four mornings per week at the VAMC, with approximately 50 patients per clinic. Patients are first evaluated by residents. The attending physician staffs all first year residents regardless of difficulty and discusses patient care with the resident. Second and third year residents may require less supervision and may simply discuss patient management or request that the attending also examine and discuss the patients. On Friday afternoon, there is a dedicated resident surgery clinic with each resident performing one or two cases, supervised by the surgical fellow. More complex surgeries are performed by senior residents.
       
  • Dermatologic Surgery
    • Resident education in dermatologic surgery occurs in several ways and stages during the residency.  In addition to a set of core didactic sessions that are given over a three-year period, residents rotate in the dermatologic surgery unit for a three-month block during their first year of training.  During the rotation, residents assist and/or care for greater than 95% of the surgical patients that are treated by one of the attending physicians - Dr. Bar, Dr. Leitenberger, and Dr. Swanson, or the surgical fellow.  They receive increasing levels of responsibility and independence based upon their level of training, their surgical aptitude and skill, and their desire to learn and/or perform surgery.
    • Residents participate in Mohs micrographic surgery and reconstruction, laser surgery, cosmetic surgery; including resurfacing by dermabrasion, laser or chemical peel, liposuction, Botox, collagen and other injectibles, tissue augmentation, sclerotherapy; the full range of cosmetic procedures.  The resident receives not only a broad experience in surgical procedures, but also an understanding of the clinical nature of cutaneous oncology, tissue movement, reconstruction, and aesthetics.
       
  • Contact Dermatitis
    • Each first year resident rotates for three months in the contact dermatitis clinic, run by Dr. Kathryn Schwarzenberger. During the rotation, residents will become familiar with contact dermatitis through direct patient care, didactic sessions, and assigned reading material. They will learn to distinguish contact dermatitis from other skin conditions, become familiar with the most common contact allergens, and be able to apply and interpret patch tests.
       
  • Dermatopathology
    • Dermatopathology training is an integral part of the dermatology residency at OHSU.  Each resident spends three months as a second year resident on the dermatopathology rotation.  Each afternoon the resident participates in sign-out of all dermatopathology cases from the OHSU outpatient and inpatient dermatology services, as well as cases sent in from outside physicians for consultation.  Residents examine each case and offer diagnostic possibilities.  A dermatopathology faculty member guides the resident through any necessary modification of the diagnosis and discusses any ancillary tests that may be helpful.  Each resident compiles a collection of interesting cases during the dermatopathology rotation, which is then available to all residents as a learning aid.  Residents on other clinical rotations often come to sign-out after completion of their clinical duties.  In addition, residents from the pathology department rotate on the dermatopathology service, allowing constructive interaction between dermatology and pathology residents. Dermatopathology is also integrated into the residency program through weekly histology sessions and other didactic conferences.
       
  • Pediatric Dermatology
    • Residents rotate through our busy pediatric dermatology service for three months during their second year in the program, which includes outpatient clinics and covering pediatric inpatient consults. OHSU is home to the only pediatric dermatologists in Portland; therefore, there is never a shortage of referrals. Upon completion of the rotation, residents will be able to define, classify and recognize the pediatric dermatoses encountered in general dermatology practice. They will understand the embryology and normal development of the skin and its appendages, and its relationship to the pathophysiology of skin diseases in newborns and children. Residents will learn to discuss the historical features; physical findings, laboratory investigations and management issues of the pediatric dermatoses encountered in general dermatology practice. Additionally, they will outline a treatment plan for each of the pediatric dermatoses encountered in general dermatology practice.
       
  • Kaiser Permanente
    • The Kaiser rotation exposes the resident to general dermatology in a busy private practice setting within which he or she functions as the primary provider of dermatologic care. This is a second year rotation and provides residents with the opportunity to improve their skills in all six areas of core competencies. Nine half-day dermatology clinics are scheduled for the resident in the outpatient department each week.  The resident performs a history and physical examination, and then provides a diagnosis and plan of care.  The resident acts as the primary physician, although three faculty members are available for assistance at all times.
       
  • Nail and Hair Clinics
    • Third year residents on the VAMC rotation spend Tuesday afternoons alternating every other week between the nail clinic at OHSU with Dr. Phoebe Rich and the hair clinic at OHSU with Dr. Nisha Desai, who is a hair expert. Rotations at these two clinics during a three-month block provide a valuable opportunity to diagnose and treat patients with both common and uncommon hair and nail conditions.
    • In the nail clinic, residents expand their knowledge of the diagnosis and treatment of nail disease. Residents take the history and perform a physical examination of patients with nail disease referred to the clinic for specialized care. Under Dr. Rich’s supervision, residents participate in diagnostic testing including nail palate removal and biopsies of nail bed and matrix. Residents appropriate surgical techniques, as well as techniques for mycological diagnosis including fungal cultures and mounts.
    • In the hair clinic, residents learn a systematic approach to the diagnosis and treatment of hair disease. Residents learn to take a proper history, develop a diagnosis from patients with hair loss, and learn when and how to perform a hair examination and scalp biopsy.
       
  • Hospital Inpatient Service
    • The inpatient consult service is a three-month block in the third year of residency. The resident on this rotation sees consults at OHSU and the VAMC, and is on call for the inpatient service from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.  The resident sees the patient on the same day the consultation is requested, performs a history and physical examination, and writes a preliminary consultation note. The attending physician will then see the patient with the resident and formulate a plan with the resident, and the resident provides follow-up recommendations. Patients with extensive psoriasis, immunobullous disease, graft versus host disease, drug reactions, and erythroderma are among more common diagnoses on the adult inpatient service.
       
  • Continuity Clinic
    • Each resident has a one half-day continuity clinic per week starting in their first year and continuing throughout their three years of residency. The resident acts as the provider with an attending physician present to oversee and advise, as needed. This clinic provides a unique opportunity for the resident to see continuity of skin disease over three years of residency.
  • We have a broad representation of internationally respected faculty in subspecialty areas within our department, including medical dermatology, surgical dermatology, pediatric dermatology, contact and occupational dermatology, dermatopathology and immunodermatology.
  • Not only are our faculty experts in their fields, but they are passionate about teaching.
  • A supportive and collegial environment exists which facilitates the interaction of faculty (both clinical and basic science) with residents.
  • Our program has a history of strong residents, and we generally match high in our rank list. They are very supportive of one another and work well together as a team.
  • Our community dermatologists actively participate in departmental activities and include many outstanding practitioners and leaders in dermatology.
  • Our clinics are busy with a good diversity of diseases and age ranges represented at OHSU, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) and Kaiser Permanente.
  • Our state-of-the-art clinical facilities are newly located in OHSU's Center for Health & Healing. An aerial tram links the outpatient facility to the OHSU Hospital, the VAMC and Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

OHSU residents receive the following benefits:

  • Three weeks of annual paid vacation
  • UniversityFlex package which gives residents the freedom to choose from a variety of medical, dental, disability and life insurance options
  • Retirement plan
  • Lab coats, business cards, pagers, long-distance authorization codes and scrubs

Living in Portland:

OHSU campus sits high on a hilltop overlooking the city of Portland and is connected by the Portland Aerial Tram to the clinical offices within the Center for Health & Healing on Portland's South Waterfront. From the windows of the Department you can see downtown Portland with the Willamette River winding through the city, Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and on clear days, Mr. Rainier, and Mt. Adams. Portland contains 11,712 acres of total park systems, including Forest Park, the largest urban wilderness within any U.S. City. Portland, Oregon has consistently been ranked in the top 10 of U.S. News & World Report's Best Places to Live.

RECREATION ABOUNDS: Outdoor enthusiasts will rejoice as Oregon is famous for its varied terrain of rivers, lakes, desert, national forests, and parks. Nearby rivers and lakes invite swimming, fishing, sailing, and other water sports. Mr. Hood has a year-round ski and summer sports recreation area. The beautiful Oregon Coast is a little over an hour drive to the west. The Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Hood National Forest, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, feature unmatched natural beauty and rich hiking and camping areas, all within as close as 30 minutes east of Portland. Enjoy biking? OHSU is the largest organization to have ever won a gold or higher designation from the League of American Bicyclists.

EAT DRINK AND BE MERRY: Portland has been named America's Best 'Foodie' City in the U.S. by The Washington Post (2015), WalletHub (2018), and constantly in the U.S. News' top 10. Portland has also been named the best beer city in America by Thrillist, Business Insider, and a handful more. Prefer cider? Portland was named the a top cider city by Redfin (2018), Travel + Leisure (2015). Wine your thing? Oregon is considered the country's third largest wine producer, with Portland in shouting distance from the wine-fertile Willamette Valley and Columbia George and Valley. Of course Portland also ranks amongst the top coffee cities in the U.S. as well (WalletHub 2018, Conde Nast Traveler 2018).

WHEN WE ROOT: Portland is home to three major league professional sports teams, and a handful of minor league teams. Portland Thorns FC is a member of the National Women's Soccer League that was formed in 2013. The Thorns have been prolific, winning two championships in the league's first 5 seasons (2013, 2017). The Portland Timbers are a member of Major League Soccer. They were granted entry as an expansion team in 2011, and have since found great success culminating in an MLS championship in 2015 and a Western Conference Championship in 2018. The Portland Trailblazers are a member of the National Basketball Association. A perennial playoff contender (8 of last 10), the Blazers won an NBA Championship in the 76-77 season.

The dermatology resident training program at OHSU accepts applications through the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS), and we participate in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). Any applications that are late or received after the deadline will not be considered.
If you are selected for an interview, you will have the opportunity to visit OHSU to meet faculty and staff, talk with current residents and learn more about Portland.

Requirements:

  • Common Application Form
  • Personal statement
  • Transcripts
  • Dean’s letter (MSPE)
  • Three to four letters of reference
  • USMLE scores
  • Applicants must be legally able to work in the U.S., or obtain work authorization

Important Dates:

September 2018: ERAS opens and applications can be submitted
October 20, 2018: Application Deadline
November 2018: Interviews offered
January 7 and 18, 2019: Interviews
Mid-March 2019: Match Day