Resident Rounds Part I: Program Spotlight – The University of Louisville Dermatology Residency Training Program

November 2011 | Volume 10 | Issue 11 | Features | 1289 | Copyright © November 2011

William Adams MD and Sunita Crittenden MD

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 University of Louisville Dermatology Residency Training Program. The editor of Resident Rounds is Omar A. Ibrahimi MD PhD. He is currently the Director of Cutaneous Laser and Cosmetic Surgery and a Mohs surgeon at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Ibrahimi is also a Visiting Scientist at the 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 University of Louisville Division of Dermatology is located in Louisville, Kentucky. The Division consists of four full-time faculty and over 30 faculty and volunteer clinicians, headed by one of the most well-known members in the field of dermatology, Jeffrey P. Callen. The Division includes two micrographic surgeons, seven dermatopathologists, two cosmetic dermatologists, two pediatric dermatologists and numerous clinical dermatologists from Louisville and the state at large. The program currently employs seven residents (Figure 1).
Residents receive a balance of clinical experience and didactic learning. In addition to the clinics at the Louisville VA Hospital, the University of Louisville Hospital, and Kosair Children's Hospital, residents rotate through a variety of private dermatology offices to learn about practice management, surgical and cosmetic procedures and complex medical dermatology. Residents also perform surgeries at the VA Hospital two to three times a month. When the residents are not in clinic, they have many other learning opportunities, including weekly Grand Rounds, journal club, and the chief resident book club. The dermatopathology instruction is particularly strong, with weekly “unknown” sessions, pathology lectures and slide review of residents' own biopsies as well as periodic clinical pathologic conferences.
In their first year, residents learn general dermatology and spend one afternoon a week with a micrographic surgeon to improve their surgical skills. First-year residents also begin taking VA inpatient consults during the day. As residents move into their second year, they focus on complex medical dermatology. By participating in weekly clinic with Dr. Callen, second-year residents learn how to manage patients from all over the world who have diseases with systemic and dermatologic manifestations through the use of immunosuppressive medications. Second-year residents also see consults at up to five different local hospitals and spend four weeks working closely with micrographic surgeons to learn the intricacies of taking, marking and examining specimens and practicing complex closures. Finally, in their third year, residents slowly transition to the independent practice of dermatology by working one-on-one with private attendings, who teach them to perform surgical and cosmetic procedures independently. They also take part in focused board preparation sessions.
Attending dermatology conferences and participating in research are two other ways that the Division allows residents to become better clinicians. University of Louisville residents attend meetings across the country, including both the summer and winter Academy meetings, the Indiana University Basic Science course, the Winter Skin Seminar, a Caribbean