Program Overview

Our residency has been fully accredited since 1982 by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). We receive well over 400 applicants, interview 20, and accept 3 residents per year. Our residents have come from the following medical schools: Albert Einstein, Cape Town, Indiana University, John Hopkins, Louisiana State University, Medical College of Pennsylvania, Medical College of Virginia, Meharry Medical College, New York University, Ohio State University, Penn State University, Syracuse University, Temple University, Texas Tech University, Thomas Jefferson University, UMDNJ- New Jersey, University of Bucharest, University of Illinois-Chicago, University of Louisville, University of Maryland,University of Pennsylvania,University of Pittsburgh, University of South Alabama, University of Texas, University of Utah, University of Vermont, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin, Washington University, West Virginia, and Wright State University.

After completing their training at Penn State Hershey, our residents have done fellowships in dermatopathology, dermatologic surgery, mohs surgery, and pediatric dermatology. They have entered private practice and academic dermatology as general dermatologists or sub-specialists within dermatology. In 2011, we received approval for a 2+2 physician scientist residency track. 

Please click here for information on applying to both of our programs.

Our Program in the "Spotlight": click here for article.

As part of our resident leadership training, a team building exercise called the Marshmallow Challenge ( was enjoyed by residents, medical students, faculty, and support staff. The lessons learned included collaboration, innovation, and creativity. The attributes of high performing teams were discussed—trust, conflict, commitment, accountability, and results (The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni). The winning team, pictured in the foreground, built a 23 inch structure.

Dermatology Resident Leadership Curriculum

Objective: Develop lifelong leadership skills to enrich your dermatology practice in any setting.

Rationale: Current residency curricula have carefully focused on creating knowledgeable and skilled physicians but generally have not emphasized training their residents in leadership skills. We propose that leadership skills are important and can be taught and cultivated, consequently leadership training should become part of dermatology residency education.

Topics Covered by Diverse Learning Experiences:

  • Leadership
  • Team Building
  • Enabling and Embracing Change
  • Quality
  • Conflict Management
  • Effective Communication
  • How to Run Productive Meetings
  • Mentoring
  • Cultural Competency

Materials: Books, videos, interactive seminars, case studies, and dialogs.

Metric: Annual resident evaluations. Academic and private practice leaders.

First Year Residents:

  • The Ice Cream Maker, Subir Chowdhury, Doubleday, 2005
  • Fish, Stephen C. Lundin, Ph.D., Harry Paul and John Christensen, Hyperion, 2000
  • Institite for Health Care Communication– Clinician Patient Communication Seminar
  • Fish video
  • Dialogue – How Good Leadership Makes Good Practice
  • Case Study – Evening clinic
  • Clinic meetings

Second Year Residents:

  • Who Moved My Cheese, Spencer Johnson, M.D., and Kenneth Blanchard, Ph.D., G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1998
  • Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni, Jossey-Bass, 2002
  • Pickle video
  • Dialogue – How Change Can Make Good Practice
  • Case Study – Open Access Clinic
  • Diversity Seminar
  • Clinic meetings

Third Year Residents:

  • The One Minute Manager, Kenneth Blanchard, Ph.D., and Spencer Johnson, M.D., William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1981, 1982
  • Our Iceberg Is Melting, John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber, St. Martin's Press, New York, NY, 2005
  • Dialogue – How Good Teams Make Good Practice
  • Case Study – Employee poor performance
  • Clinic meetings
  • Chief Resident Leadership

SWOT Analysis

We do an annual SWOT analysis to help improve the residency curriculum.  After six months we review the action plans to see if we implemented the ideas.  The acronym for SWOT is:

S = Strengths

W = Weaknesses

O = Opportunities

T = Threats

The aim of the Penn State Dermatology Residency Program is to produce excellent clinical dermatologists. This is accomplished in a milieu that encourages personal growth, scientific discovery, and enrichment of patient care abilities. Basic dermatologic surgery skills with expertise to manage complications are taught. Critical analytical skills for the acquisition of new medical information are developed.  Dermatopathology interpretive knowledge will be acquired. A comprehensive fund of knowledge should be acquired for the diagnosis and management of common and rare clinical  dermatologic problems and also for passing the certifying examination.

To accomplish this, a faculty dedicated to patient care, teaching, research, and intellectual curiosity will provide the infrastructure for the resident learning experience. The resident will be expected to be self-motivated, responsive to guidance, invest the time and effort necessary for self learning, and be dedicated to patient care.


First Year Resident

  • Outpatient clinic -  9 patients per clinic (1 every 20 minutes). Eight ½ day clinics per week, including ½ day of Surgery Clinic every week.
  • In-patient consult service history, physical, management- 4 months.
  • Prepare summary of inpatient consult cases for the month to present to faculty - 4 months.
  • Dermatology rounds daily if not at satellite clinic.
  • Attend all dermatology teaching conferences.
  • Rotate on call for week nights and weekends with other residents.
  • Prepare conference room for Grand Rounds.
  • Give one basic science lecture.
  • Cover for fellow 1st years on vacation, elective, etc.
  • Educating medical students and rotating residents in clinic.
  • Arrange and conduct 2 monthly ethics article reviews.
  • Attend Bayer Training. (4-6 months into training)
  • 6-7 weeks on call.
  • 2 weeks of Dermatopathology elective time
  • 1 week of Mohs elective time

Second Year Resident

  • Outpatient clinic - 12-13 patients per clinic (1 every 15 minutes).  Eight ½  day clinics per week, including ½ day of Surgery Clinic every week.
  • Dermatology rounds daily if not at satellite clinic.  Coordinate and supervise consults with medical students and rotating residents.
  • Inpatient consults - cover 1st year residents are away.
  • Attend all dermatology teaching conferences.
  • Research project formulated and proposal written by end of second year or case report in publishable form.
  • 3 weeks of Dermatopathology elective time.
  • 3 weeks of Mohs surgery elective time.
  • Rotate on call for week nights and weekends with other residents.
  • Clerkship orientation for medical students and rotating residents.
  • Attend American Academy of Dermatology Meeting (submit abstract for presentation at Gross & Microscopic Symposium) or attend a sub-specialty meeting.
  • Organize Grand Rounds.
  • Take pictures of Grand Rounds patients. File individual case histories and corresponding patient pictures in Mirror.
  • Give one basic science lecture.
  • Camp Horizon - a camp for children with skin diseases - 1 week elective.
  • Cover for fellow 2nd years on vacation, elective, etc.
  • Educating medical students and rotating residents in clinic.
  • Arrange and conduct 2 monthly ethics article reviews.
  • 6 weeks on call.

Third Year Resident

  • Outpatient clinic - 12-13 patients per clinic. (1 every 15 minutes) Eight ½ day clinics per week, including ½ day of  Surgery Clinic every week.
  • Share Chief Resident responsibilities.
  • Lead inpatient consult rounds 2 days per week and cover consults when 1st and 2nd year residents are away.
  • Arrange on-call and vacation schedule of residents.
  • Attend all dermatology teaching conferences.
  • Conduct Patient Conference.
  • Give PowerPoint Conference in rotation with staff.
  • Give dermatology lectures to other departments and high school students as requested.
  • 2 weeks of Dermatopathology time
  • 1 week of Mohs elective time.
  • Two week educational elective.  The elective is taken as a 2 week block and done at another institution if desired.  The elective is permitted provided the resident scores above 50th percentile on practice boards during their 2nd year of dermatology training.  If the resident scores below the 50th percentile, he/she is permitted a 2 week elective with residency director approval.  
  • Milton Hershey School Pediatric Clinic - 3 afternoons per year per resident (September through June).
  • Rotate on call for week nights and weekends with other residents.
  • Educating medical students and rotating residents in clinic.
  • Attend American Academy of Dermatology (submit abstract for Gross & Microscopic Symposium) or a sub-specialty meeting. Attend Pennsylvania Academy of Dermatology Meeting (one resident presents at Resident's Forum).
  • Give one basic science lecture.
  • Maintain orderly dermatology library.
  • Cover for fellow 3rd years on vacation, elective, etc.
  • Teach medical students during their clerkship the basics of  dermatology through a series of lectures.
  • Edit annual newsletter.
  • 5 weeks on call.

Conferences - Daily
Medical Clinics - 3 - 3 ½ days per week
Surgery Clinics - ½ -1 day per week
Academic Time - 1 day per week


Residents Teaching Weekly Schedule
  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
8:00am-9:00am Journal Club Attending Time Dermatopathology Surgery, Basic Sciences, Spitz, Unknown Cases Bolognia's Dermatology
9:00am-12:00pm Clinic Clinic Clinic Clinic
HMC Grand Rounds and Basic Science (9 days/year)
Geisinger Grand Rounds and Basic Science (6 days/yr)
1:00pm-4:30pm Clinic Clinic Clinic Open Access Clinic
Monthly Patient Conference
Philly Derm (3 days/yr)



  • Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Continuity Clinic
  • Nyes Road Continuity Clinic
  • Camp Hill Continuity Clinic

Clinic Guidelines

  1. Continuity of care is a core value; yearly resident schedules will be created in a manner that allows the resident to maintain continuity of care with his/her patients.
  2. Residents will not travel to more than one clinic site per day.
  3. Residents will utilize time just prior to or at the very end of their scheduled clinics to add on emergency and acute return patients
  4. Residents who have completed seeing their scheduled patients will assist those who may be running behind - Teamwork helps everyone!

Elective Schedule

First Year Residents

  • 2 weeks of Dermatopathology
  • 1 week of Mohs

Second Year Residents

  • 3 weeks of Dermatopathology
  • 3 weeks of Mohs

Third Year Residents

  • 2 weeks of Dermatopathology
  • 2 weeks of Mohs
  • Optional 2 week away elective( as per policy)

During these elective periods, residents will continue to have 1/2 day continuity clinic as well as Open Access Clinic. During their elective time, residents can take it upon themselves to arrange exposure to cosmetic procedures, plastics, etc.

"The practice of medicine is an art, not a trade; a calling not a business; a calling in which your heart will be exercised equally with your head. Often the best part of your work will have nothing to do with powders or potions..."
- Sir William Osler