Dean S. Morrell, MD
Summary of the Residency:
Our residency is a nationally accredited, three-year program, which meets all training requirements of the ACGME. As of 2016, sixteen full-time training positions have been approved by the ACGME.
Prior to entry into our program, each trainee must have creditably completed at least one postgraduate year within an ACGME-approved program. Most of our residents have had one prior year in internal medicine, although additional years of training, or training in another approved field, such as pediatrics, have also occasionally been taken by some of our trainees prior to entering our residency program.
As our overall goal, it is our intent that every graduate of our residency program will have acquired outstanding clinical skills, encompassing all major areas within the field of dermatology. In so doing, our graduates will then be able to successfully pursue any of several career paths, including clinical practice or academic medicine. To accomplish this goal, each resident will be taught clinical dermatology through the evaluation and management of a large patient population, which is seen within a variety of outpatient and inpatient clinical settings, under the close supervision of our clinical teaching faculty, both in Chapel Hill and at affiliated hospitals and departmental clinics elsewhere. The latter currently include UNC Hospitals, Piedmont Health Services, and a private office setting at Southern Village.
This traditional approach to clinical training will be complemented by a series of weekly didactic lectures, conferences, and journal clubs, the contents of which comprise a curriculum which is intended to meet all recommended areas of study, as prescribed by the ACGME, to include dermatopathology. At present, this encompasses approximately 6 hours of didactic teaching per week, exclusive of one-on-one teaching within out clinics and on the wards.
Training will be further supported and enhanced by the presence within our department of a number of federally funded research laboratories, clinical investigative programs, and active dermatopathology and immunodermatology service laboratories, each of which can provide additionally worthwhile educational experiences to our trainees.
The success of our residency training program over many decades is reflected in (i) the very high level of performance of our graduates on the certification examination of the American Board of Dermatology, (ii) the ability of our trainees to obtain fellowships (i.e., in dermatological surgery; dermatopathology; pediatric dermatology; etc.) or research postdoctoral positions within other nationally acclaimed institutions, and (iii) the number of our graduates who have gone on to develop their own academic careers in clinical or investigative dermatology.
We attempt to accommodate residents with varying career goals. Although most of our graduates go on to clinical practice, others may wish to pursue academic careers. Indeed, over the past twenty years, approximately 25% of our graduates joined the faculty of a department of dermatology, usually after having pursued additional postdoctoral training.
For those residents interested in research academic careers, opportunities do exist within our department for elective rotations with any of our faculty who have active research programs (laboratory or clinical).
At present, every senior resident has four weeks of elective time, which may be used to pursue any area of academic interest pertinent to the field of dermatology, upon approval of the Program Director and Elective Committee.