Research and Elective Opportunities
Our community is strongly committed to encouraging residents to explore other educational and career opportunities beyond those encountered during a traditional dermatology residency. A high value is placed upon exploring areas of personal interest to help put the trainee on a path of leadership and/or renowned expertise in whatever area excites their passion.
2+1 Track in Basic Science Investigation
Residents with a strong interest in pursuing a career devoted to laboratory investigation may elect to enter the “2+1” track. This track is specially designed for trainees to get an early start in establishing their scientific training by replacing the majority of their last (PGY-4) year of clinical training with postdoctoral laboratory work. In the first two years, participants receive their clinical training similar to fellow residents, while their third year of residency is instead spent largely in their chosen laboratory. During this third (PGY-4) year participants continue to spend 25% of their time learning clinical dermatology—this time is comprised of a weekly continuity clinic as well time on the inpatient consult service. Residents are required to declare their intention to enter this track by January of their first (PGY-2) year of dermatology residency. Residents are encouraged to perform research related to cutaneous biology, which includes the areas of cell biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, immunodermatology, and pathology. All investigation is conducted in well-equipped modern facilities in the Department of Dermatology, or in the laboratories of other members of the faculty of the School of Medicine. The faculty members who head these laboratories have contributed widely to the scientific literature in their respective fields.
Clinical Scholars Track (CST)
Our program recognizes that a career in academic dermatology does not necessarily mean bench research. In fact, most modern dermatology departments are comprised largely of physicians that have devoted their career to education and/or clinical investigation. We recognize that many trainees with astounding promise in academics may never choose this career path if they are not formally exposed to these options during their residency training.
Participants can choose to participate with a focus on education (Educator Track) or clinical research (Investigator Track), or a combination of both.
The Clinical Scholars Track is designed for those residents that would like a more structured exposure to these disciplines—participants can choose to participate with a focus on education, clinical research, global health, quality improvement and/or innovation. The goals of the program are to foster academic leadership skills, enhance networking at a national level, develop skills in effective teaching and junior mentorship (Educator Track), and enhance skills in clinical study design/protection of human subjects/epidemiology and statistics (Investigator Track). The goals will be accomplished with a combination of formal training courses, attendance at national dermatology retreats, and completion of a mentored project. With the exception of a week-long course in education and/or clinical research, participation in this track generally involves time spent in addition to their requirements of the clinical residency. Residents are encouraged to declare their interest in entering the CST by January of their PGY-2 year.
Residents have an opportunity to complete a 1-month clinical elective during their training, which is provided with the goal of supplementing their education with unique opportunities that might not be available within Stanford. Residents are asked to complete a proposal outlining the opportunity which is subject to approval by the Residency Advisory Committee prior to the rotation.
Prior electives have included rotations in infectious disease dermatology, skin of color, and procedural dermatology with national experts in these fields.
After the elective, all residents make a formal presentation providing educational highlights from their elective experience. Prior electives have included rotations in infectious disease dermatology, skin of color, and procedural dermatology with national experts in these fields. Residents have also completed electives abroad, including recently an elective in Taiwan through the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health and an elective in Botswana through the AAD Residents’ International Grant. Funding for international electives is available through Stanford via the Center for Innovation in Global Health with the opportunity for additional training in global health during residency for interested residents.
In lieu of a clinical elective, residents may choose to dedicate a month of their training to a research experience. In the past, residents have used this opportunity to complete projects initiated through the Clinical Scholars track or to explore a new academic area of interest. Previous research electives have included completing a clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of tofacitinib in the treatment of alopecia areata and an investigation of a novel clinical finding in a subset of patients with dermatomyositis. Residents are asked to make a formal presentation after the elective to discuss the results of the project.