How do I get a Dermatology Fellowship?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 03 April 2020
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To enter a dermatology fellowship program, doctors need to complete the requirements of the program and submit an application. Fellowships are often very competitive, and applicants should make sure their supporting materials are as strong as possible. The application process varies between programs, but applicants usually need to be board certified or eligible for board certification in pathology, and they will need to provide personal statements, curriculum vitae, and letters of recommendation.

Dermatology fellowships provide an opportunity for advanced training in fields like surgical dermatology, dermatopathology, and pediatric dermatology. They typically last a year. Fellowship experience can improve employment prospects in addition to providing a doctor with more tools to treat patients. Doctors who think they are likely to apply for a dermatology fellowship should lay the groundwork early by performing well in medical school and residency. Seeking opportunities for professional advancement like attending conferences is also a good idea for doctors who plan to apply to fellowship programs.

The first step requires determining what kind of dermatology fellowship is of the most interest and generating a list of potential programs. Many programs welcome visitors, and visiting can offer a chance to meet people in the program, find out more about it, and establish professional connections. Prospective applicants should also take note of the application requirements, process, and deadline. It is often necessary to apply a year or more in advance.


Applicants to a dermatology fellowship program usually need dermatology training. Sometimes a program will accept training in another medical field; for dermatopathology, for example, pathology credentials are often acceptable. They must be on track to complete their training and get board certification when they apply, or be fully certified, depending on the program. Doctors should seek out letters of recommendation as early as possible, giving recommenders time to craft an appropriate letter. Publication and research credits will bolster a dermatology fellowship application, and doctors in residency should take advantage of any opportunities for additions to their experience and skills.

With application materials gathered together, applicants can submit by mail or electronically, depending on the program. Applicants should always check over their materials to make sure the application is complete and to check for common problems like typos, forgetting to provide contact information, and not adhering to length requirements for personal statements. After submitting the materials, applicants will usually receive a notice that they were received, and will get requests for interviews or more information if the dermatology fellowship is interested.


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