Doctors preparing for a career in dermatology will need to attend a residency and can take a number of things into consideration when they decide on the schools to which they will apply. These considerations can include the type of dermatology they want to practice, the residency's location, benefits offered to residents and the reputation of the residency. Especially for doctors who plan to pursue fellowships after residency, the choice of residency can be very important.
Medical school will provide the basic training that a doctor needs, and some medical schools might offer more opportunities in dermatology than others. Undergraduate students who plan to become doctors and think they might have an interest in dermatology might want to consider this when they apply to medical school. Some schools might offer more dermatology electives, opportunities for clinical practice or professional networking opportunities with noted dermatologists through their teaching hospitals. Medical students who plan to go to dermatology school might also want to explore research opportunities in this area to develop extracurricular accomplishments that might be valuable on residency applications.
While seeking the best dermatology school, a doctor should review the program offerings carefully. All programs should provide a thorough grounding in the practice of dermatology, but some offer more in-depth training in specific areas such as dermatopathology. The faculty also can make a difference. Doctors have an opportunity to work with highly trained dermatology specialists and might want to take advantage of school as an opportunity to train under doctors who have particularly strong reputations.
The reputation of a dermatology school can be important. A high-profile school might result in better job opportunities later, and it can be very important for residency. Graduates of programs known for turning out competent dermatologists but not brilliant ones might have trouble getting fellowships. Fellowship slots tend to be limited, and the competition can be highly aggressive. Doctors who have particularly glowing records, including well-known schools on their transcripts, are more likely to get the fellowship positions they want.
Another consideration with a dermatology school can be the benefits for attendees. Many offer healthcare services through the teaching hospital along with other benefits for residents. The pay for a residency can vary, as can access to continuing education activities such as workshops and conferences. Some programs might offer housing assistance and other forms of help, but others do not, and location might be another important factor. If the cost of living around a dermatology school is high, for instance, this might be an issue for a recent medical school graduate who has heavy debt and limited income.