Resident Rounds. Part I. Program Spotlight: The Southern Illinois University Division of Dermatology Residency Training Program

April 2013 | Volume 12 | Issue 4 | Features | 479 | Copyright © April 2013

Megan Lent MD and Melissa Sirichotiratana MD

Division of Dermatology, Southern Illinois University, Springfield, IL

Resident Rounds is a section of the JDD dedicated to highlighting various dermatology departments with residency training programs. Resident Rounds includes three sections: (1) a program spotlight, highlighting pertinent information about the department and residency training program; (2) a section presenting study materials used by residents at the program; and (3) a section designed to highlight recent interesting cases seen at the institution. This issue of Resident Rounds features the Southern Illinois University Division of Dermatology Residency Training Program. The editor of Resident Rounds is Omar A. Ibrahimi MD PhD. He is currently the Founding and Medical Director of the Connecticut Skin Institute. Dr. Ibrahimi is also a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dermatology Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. If you are interested in highlighting your training program in a future issue, please contact Dr. Ibrahimi at
The Southern Illinois University (SIU) dermatology residency program was initially approved in 1994 because of a need for dermatologists in downstate Illinois and surrounding rural states. Although the SIU campus, including the first year of medical school education, is located in Carbondale, IL, Springfield is home to most medical student and residency training. As the state capitol and home to President Abraham Lincoln, Springfield has a rich history and serves as the major health care, economic, and cultural center of central and southern Illinois. Distinctly designed around the concept of continuity of care, the program places an emphasis on resident–patient continuity, taking precedence over attending–patient continuity.
The residency program accepts 2 residents per year. SIU is one of few categorical dermatology programs in the country, as all SIU dermatology residents complete their internship with the SIU Department of Internal Medicine. There are currently 4 full-time faculty members in the SIU Division of Dermatology, including 2 general dermatologists, a Mohs micrographic surgeon, and a dermatopathologist. The program is also fortunate to have several voluntary faculty members, including a pediatric dermatologist, who are committed to teaching. All faculty at SIU are highly invested in the residents’ education. The faculty’s primary goal is to provide an exceptional educational experience to all program residents. The strong sense of morale and camaraderie and close interaction with faculty members fosters a comfortable and effective learning environment.
As noted above, continuity of care is a main focus of the program and the foundation of the training structure. Another unique aspect of the training program is the longitudinal subspecialty rotations; during the last 2 years of training, each resident spends 1 day each week in Mohs micrographic surgery and 1 day studying dermatopathology, in contrast to the traditional monthlong rotation blocks. This structure ensures that graduates from the program will have outstanding clinical and surgical skills as well as the lifelong drive and ability to continue learning and improving while practicing dermatology.
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Two afternoons per week are set aside for didactics, including dermatopathology conference, journal club, lectures, visual recognition conference, and a textbook reading quiz. Once per month, we host the SIU dermatology grand rounds for regional dermatologists, as well as the monthly melanoma multidisciplinary conference, where faculty and residents from