You are a final year medical student and just found out that you matched into dermatology residency.
All that hard work paid off. At dermRounds, we know what that hard work entailed -- long hours studying for Step 1 (and maybe Step 2), studying for shelf exams, doing research projects in your “free” time, publishing papers, taking on extra initiatives, making presentations for rounds or the wards, and more. You survived the interview season and now you have matched!
What next? You now have a prelim year ahead of you, be it a transitional program, medicine year, or surgical year.
What words of advice do we (slightly more paleo) derms have for you at dermRounds? First, relax. You worked so hard. Take a step back to look back at your accomplishments. Appreciate the people around you. There were also a lot of people who made this happen. Your professors, fellow students, mentors, letter writers, friends, family and more. Some of these individuals will now be part of your career forever.
What about this upcoming prelim year? This is your one chance to immerse yourself as a primary caretaker of a patient in a different clinical practice area of medicine. Chances are, you may never again be the primary team caretaker of an internal medicine or surgical patient on the wards after internship. This is an important responsibility and privilege. Learn as much as you can. And also keep your eyes open. There may be a time where all the skills you learn during your prelim year will come in handy even in dermatology. It made me a better dermatologist when I was on the hospital dermatology consult service. I learned much from other services as well - the oncologists, bone marrow transplant team, infectious disease team, rheum, plastics, and more. I was not fazed by a patient with a complicated history. Time and time again, I have had to draw on my knowledge based which I gained from my prelim year.
After you graduate and leave your medical school, pay it forward. If you were the beneficiary of advice and mentorship, take it upon yourself to mentor those who come after you. If you’re looking for an easy way to do this, connect with us. We will also roll out more opportunities in the coming months to support the medical students who will follow in our footsteps.
And don't forget to check out our specific tips for preparing for dermatology residency!