Combined Medicine Dermatology Residency Program
The McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University Combined Medicine-Dermatology Residency Program is designed to prepare residents for careers in both Internal Medicine and Dermatology. Upon successful completion of the combined program, residents will be eligible for the certifying exams in each specialty and will be well prepared for advanced training, fellowships, or careers in either field.
This five (5) year program incorporates two and a half years in each of the categorical Internal Medicine and Dermatology residency training programs. Our learning and teaching style emphasizes:
• Experiential and active learning
• Close mentorship in a challenging, yet fostering academic environment
• Camaraderie and teamwork
Each resident has graded responsibilities in Medicine and Dermatology throughout the five years of training, including weekly continuity clinics in Medicine during the PGY1 year, in both Medicine and Dermatology during the PGY2 and PGY3 years, and in Dermatology for the final two years of the program. Curriculum is based on the 6 core competencies (patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and systems-based practice) set by the ACGME.
The first year of training (exclusively in Medicine) focuses on the house officer developing a strong background in Internal Medicine as part of the categorical internal medicine program. Specifically, the intern learns to:
• Recognize acuity of illness
• Manage individual cases and initiate interventions
• Coordinate care in a complex medical system
• Develop efficiency and multi-tasking skills
• Understand how to find support materials and information to optimize care
• Participate in learning opportunities oriented towards a first year house officer
• Utilize the medical literature to inform decision making and management plans
• Teach medical students
Similarly, the second year of the program provides an emphasis in Dermatology, so that the house officer:
• Understands the common dermatological manifestations of systemic diseases
• Has a broad experience in diagnosing and managing dermatologic disorders
• Develops basic skills in dermatologic surgery, dermatopathology, and clinical-pathological correlations
The upper level years are divided equally between the two departments.
In 2011, the Med-Derm curriculum was redesigned to optimize the flow between the two specialties during the course of training. An innovative change is the opportunity for residents to develop a specific career niche early during the residency, so that more intensive exposure to that niche area is provided, in addition to the comprehensive training in all areas of medicine and dermatology.
I. Career Tracks
The identification of a specific track should ideally take place within the first 2 years of the combined Med-Derm program. In some cases, a longer period will be necessary to decide or trainees may ultimately decide to change tracks. Whatever the circumstance, choosing a specific track with the aid of mentors will optimize both the educational experience of residents and allow for a seamless transition to an academic career that builds upon this specialized training. Specific tracks will be largely comprised of elective rotations (both inpatient and outpatient) to supplement the regular combined training curriculum. In addition to identifying a particular training path, residents will choose advisors within each track in order to provide guidance throughout the duration of training.
A) Primary care
Residents who wish to focus on a career within primary care medical dermatology can focus on Women’s Health, General Internal Medicine (GIM), Allergy, or Medical Informatics. This track entails completion of the required Med-Derm curriculum but residents can also rotate in the outpatient Women’s Health medicine clinic, Women’s Health dermatology clinic and Vulvar/Mucosal dermatology clinic if interested in a career with an emphasis on Women’s Health. For those interested in GIM, additional outpatient medicine primary care clinics can be chosen, as well as further training in Quality Improvement. Trainees interested in additional inpatient and outpatient Allergy experiences can also choose this track.
B) Hospital medicine
Residents who foresee a career in hospitalist medicine can spend additional time beyond the core inpatient rotations during their medicine and dermatology training. Trainees who choose this path can focus on Medical Informatics or can choose inpatient rotations such as palliative care, perioperative medicine and other medical subspecialty inpatient consultative services as a counterpart to additional dermatology inpatient electives. As a component of the hospital medicine track, residents will participate on the Department of Medicine Quality Committee during years PGY-3-5.
C) Infectious disease/ Global health
Residents will rotate on the General ID consult service as well as the Transplant ID consult service (solid organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients). In addition, trainees who select this track will spend time in the HIV clinic, and will be given the opportunity to travel to an international site such as the Centro Medico Humberto Parra clinic in Palacios, Bolivia. This clinic’s well-established partnership with Northwestern will afford residents interested in this career path with a rich tropical medicine experience. Alternate foreign rotations can also be arranged with approval. During the PGY-5 year, residents may choose to pursue additional continuity clinic time working with ID faculty and fellows.
In addition to the core inpatient oncology rotations that comprise the Internal Medicine residency training, individuals can choose additional oncology exposure on the inpatient oncology and palliative care consult services, as well as oncology outpatient and radiation oncology clinics. The Dermatology core curriculum provides additional oncology exposure through clinics of the Skin Cancer Institute of Northwestern University, particularly the multidisciplinary melanoma and cutaneous lymphoma clinics, and the TARGET (Treatment of Adverse Reactions and Graft-versus-host disease Effects of cancer Treatment) clinic. In addition, residents with an interest in oncology will spend time on the inpatient dermatology consult service, which provides consultative care for all hospitalized cancer and stem cell transplant patients. During the PGY-5 year, residents can opt for further continuity clinic within oncology.
Residents interested in a career with a focus on Dermatology-Rheumatology can rotate on additional rheumatology inpatient consult months and outpatient rheumatology clinics to increase the experience in treating patients with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and other autoimmune and connective tissue diseases. During dermatology training, residents rotate through the multidisciplinary psoriasis/ psoriatic arthritis clinic and nephrogenic systemic fibrosis clinic. The inpatient dermatology consult experience provides residents with the chance to care for patients with acute complications of connective tissue diseases as well as severe psoriasis and other erythrodermic conditions. During the PGY-5 year, residents can choose additional continuity clinic within rheumatology.
F) Customized tracks
Med-Derm residents that may be interested in 1 or more of the existing tracks can also create unique personalized tracks. Such tracks will require approval by the Program Director.
II. Medicine-Dermatology Educational Curriculum
The benefit of dual training in medicine and dermatology is not limited to the development of one’s ultimate career path. This combined training also allows for Med-Derm residents to act as educators to peers within both respective departments. Attendance at Medicine morning report, grand rounds and other required medical subspecialty conferences, as well as Dermatology morning didactics and grand rounds, will be expected per the core Med-Derm curriculum. As part of the larger mission of the Med-Derm program, residents will be asked to perform the following educational activities:
A) Medicine PGY-2 lecture: Med-Derm residents will be expected to present a topic of their choosing at the noontime PGY-2 Medicine Lecture Series. Residents will be
assigned a mentor in Dermatology or Medicine as a means to learn the skills of giving an effective talk.
B) Medicine journal article review: PGY-2 residents are expected to review a Medicine article from within the last year as a means to learn how to critically review medical
literature. This review will be published locally in an annual Year in Medicine publication.
C) Medicine PGY-3 case conference: PGY-3 residents are expected to present at one of the following Medicine conferences: M&M, Morning Report or Clinicopathologic
conference (CPC). Residents will be paired with faculty from Dermatology and Medicine to identify a case and develop the presentation.
D) PGY-2-5: Residents will be expected to present interesting inpatient dermatology cases 1-2 times annually to both medicine residents (Medicine morning report) and
dermatology residents (Dermatology morning didactics).
III. Research Project
One additional goal of the track set-up is to allow residents to complete a research project with relevance to the chosen track. This will entail mentors from the departments of Dermatology and Medicine working with trainees to facilitate the completion of a project by the end of residency. The particular focus of the research project will prepare residents for the next phase of their career.
One position is offered each year. First-year positions are selected through the National Resident Matching Program. Four (4) letters of recommendation are required: two (2) from Medicine, one of which must be a Chairman's letter, and two (2) from Dermatology.
The program number for the Internal Medicine/Dermatology residency program (listed on ERAS) is 7851644007.
Visit the ERAS site for more information.
Jonathan Cotliar, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology & Medicine
Aashish Didwania, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine
Residency Program Coordinators:
Kelly Munger, Department of Dermatology
firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 312-695-7932, Fax: 312-695-0664
Maija Hasiba, Department of Medicine
email@example.com Phone: 312-926-2253; Fax: 312-926-6905
Department of Medicine: http://www.medicine.northwestern.edu/
Department of Dermatology: http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/depts/dermatology/index.html
Northwestern Graduate Medical Education:
For more information on Northwestern McGaw policies and procedures, please visit: www.gme.northwestern.edu