The Department of Dermatology at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston
Department of Pediatrics
The Department of Pediatrics

Dermatology Residency Program

The residency program provides excellence in Dermatology training.

Education Programs




Who we are

The residency program provides excellence in Dermatology training and is primarily based at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. General information is available from the Graduate Medical Education office. The Department of Dermatology and its faculty are integrated between The University of Texas Medical School at Houston and MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC). Close affiliations with MDACC, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, and Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital provide a diverse clinical experience.

Our program

Our faculty, comprehensive curriculum, patient diversity, and clinical experiences are the strengths of the residency program.  We were ranked as one of the top eight dermatology centers of excellence in the USA by the Dermatology Times in April 2009.

We have about 12 full-time faculty who actively work with residents, plus 20 additional faculty with less involvement, with a favorable faculty-resident ratio that exists in only the best programs in dermatology. Our faculties have been recruited for their excellence in Dermatology, patient care, education and research. Many are nationally recognized leaders in their fields. Our faculties have been diversely trained, are board-certified, and offer expertise in dermatologic surgery, cutaneous oncology, dermatopathology, immunodermatology, pediatric dermatology, autoimmune disorders, contact dermatitis, basic research, and cosmetic dermatology. We also have many clinical volunteer faculty who offer practical experience at weekly Grand Rounds and at the monthly city-wide Houston Dermatological Society meetings.

Of great importance is our mission to educate and train the best in dermatology residents. We design a comprehensive curriculum that is constantly enhanced with resident and faculty feedback. Conferences occur every weekday and include “Kodachrome” conference, Textbook review, Grand Rounds, Dermatopathology, Journal Clubs, and Didactic lectures. Topics are selected and integrated to cover virtually all of Dermatology. Many of these conferences are held jointly with the dermatology program at Baylor College of Medicine, located within one block of us.

The best teachers are often our patients. Our diverse patient population at varied institutions provides exposure to a wide variety of cutaneous problems. Houston is the 4th largest city in the United States, with strong African-American, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, and Asian populations . Our residents provide care at MD Anderson Cancer Center (consistently ranked as one of the top two cancer centers in the nation) , LBJ County H ospital, Memorial-Hermann H ospital - a primary teaching facility for UT-Medical School, and several other outpatient clinics. Common, rare, and complex skin conditions are treated at all of these facilities. A hospital consultation service occurs at MDACC and Hermann, and imparts invaluable inpatient skills to our trainees. Active teaching by our faculty occurs at all rotations and is synergistic with our curriculum.

While we focus on training outstanding clinical dermatologists, we also encourage academic development through participation in clinical studies, clinical and laboratory research. The Department currently offers two post-graduate fellowships. The majority of our residents publish articles and present at state and national meetings. Most of our residents seek private practice, with 10% pursuing academic careers. This trend is consistent with most dermatology programs. Fellowship training is encouraged. Many graduates have proceeded with fellowships in Dermatopathology, Mohs surgery, and Laser & Cosmetic surgery.

Our city

The Texas Medical Center, with its member hospitals and universities, is the largest in the world and has a 13 billion dollar impact on the economy of Houston. Houston is the fourth largest city in the U.S., affording all of the amenities of a cosmopolitan environment. It was ranked as the number one city in the USA for 2008 by Kiplinger’s business ratings. We are known for our hospitality, numerous restaurants, charming neighborhoods, and reputation for technology and innovation. There are three airports serving a diverse cultural community (population is 39.8 percent Hispanic, 29.1 percent Caucasian, 24.3 percent African-American and 5.9 percent Asian). Recent enhancements include a revival of downtown, a modern metro rail system, and the move to Houston of several major corporations. The climate is great year-round, with only occasional freezing and certainly no snow in the winter. Although the humidity is famous in the summer, we all work in air-conditioned buildings!

Candidates for Residency

Our dermatology residency positions are highly coveted and competitive. In a typical year we receive 450 applications and less than 10% are selected for interviews. Residents must have graduated from a medical school in the United States accredited by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME), an accredited medical school in Canada, an accredited osteopathic school in the United States, or if a graduate of a foreign medical school, must possess the standard certificate of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). We do accept international applicants, but there is a p reference given to graduates of medical schools accredited by  LCME (Liaison Committee for Medical Education). Accepted applicants are usually in the top quartile of their medical school class and are geographically diverse. All applicants must pass part I of the USMLE examination within 3 attempts prior to acceptance. Residents must pass part II by the end of their PGY-1 year and part III by the end of their PGY-2 year, within the guidelines for Texas licensure.

Trainees must complete at least a one-year PGY-1 internship in the United States prior to entering our three-year dermatology residency program. The PGY-1 year may be in internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery, transitional, or other broad-based disciplines acceptable to the American Board of Dermatology. Unlike some other programs, we seriously consider candidates who have already had advanced training in specialties such as internal medicine or pediatrics. We do not consider residents who volunteer to work in unsalaried situations.

Criteria that are considered include dean's letter, USMLE scores, letters of reference, curriculum vitae (resume), personal statement, medical school activities, extracurricular activities, advanced training, past research experience, publications, presentations, diversity considerations, disadvantaged background, class rank, and AOA election.  Perceptions from the interview or previous rotation here are considered. Applicants who have had previous rotations here are often not invited for interviews, since we typically have good exposure to them while they are here.  Such “audition rotations” are not required, and many of the successful candidates have not rotated here before. We have no set formula for calculating the relative importance of these criteria, and faculty members typically have their own particular priorities, which are neutralized by the differing opinions of our diverse faculty.  We also obtain input from our residents and ancillary staff. The clinical faculty all have an equal vote. In sum, we mainly are interested in the candidate who will make us proud to have trained them.  We want our graduates to go forth and pursue excellence, and that can occur in a variety of settings, not just in academia or private practice.

How to apply & Dates to remember

For our fellowship positions see information under those headings.

We are approved by ACGME for eighteen dermatology residency positions in the three-year program. The deadline to apply for one of our PGY-2 dermatology positions (to begin each July) is December 1, 18 months before the start date, and the national match will occur in March. The internship (PGY-1) and dermatology residency (PGY-2 to 4) programs are not linked. Candidates may apply to separate institutions or geographies for their internship and residency. Interviews will occur for all programs from November through February. We strictly follow the rules of the matching program. All applications must be sent electronically through the national Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) program. Applicants must also enroll in the NRMP matching program, which electronically matches applicants to their preferred selections.  It is important to be realistic, and note that the dermatology match is one of the most competitive of all specialties. Unfortunately about 60% of candidates fail to successfully match into any dermatology residency.

The residency coordinator is Irene Morales,(, Office 713-500-8330), and the residency program director is Ronald Rapini, M.D. We look forward to considering your application.

Contact the Department of Dermatology Contact / Feedback

UT Medical School


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