Our program offers an extensive didactic curriculum that complements the clinical training provided over the three-year training period. The curriculum features daily protected didactic time in the form of weekly Grand Rounds with patient viewing sessions three times per month, a comprehensive educational curriculum that covers general and subspecialty areas of dermatology, virtual and slide-based dermatopathology, journal club, and board review sessions. We have adapted our curriculum to the new board certification process by interspersing board review lectures throughout the year ahead of BASIC, CORE, and APPLIED exam administrations.
Our esteemed faculty lead the vast majority of didactic sessions. Residents co-facilitate journal club sessions with faculty, lead textbook chapter lectures, and present “Best of” cases after inpatient consult blocks.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, all didactics have been successfully converted to a virtual format.
Sample Didactic Schedule
Highlights of Our Didactic Curriculum
Resident Boot Camp
In July and August, our first-year residents begin their dermatology training with this series of lectures aimed at building a strong foundation in medical dermatology and its subspecialties. This curriculum includes training in physical diagnosis and introductory lectures on common general dermatology diagnoses, skin/hair of color, dermatopathology, pediatric dermatology, dermatologic surgery including hands-on learning sessions, and cultural awareness.
Each week, our faculty and trainees come together for Grand Rounds, which is hosted by BIDMC, BWH, and MGH on a rotating basis. Three times per month, we present and discuss complex patient cases with patient viewing. These sessions focus on clinical morphology, differential diagnosis, and management of interesting and challenging clinical cases. In addition, once monthly MGH hosts a Grand Rounds Lecture featuring a prominent invited speaker.
The dermatopathology curriculum includes weekly faculty-led didactic lectures and weekly virtual or glass slide based sessions. The themes of the slide collections that we review correlate with the topics presented during that week’s lecture, providing an opportunity to reinforce the learning each week. We also have dedicated dermatopathology review sessions leading up to the BASIC and CORE exams, which focus on high-yield and commonly tested entities.
Residents and faculty co-lead our journal club sessions, during which we review the latest clinical and basic science research articles and practice critically analyzing research studies. We focus on the use of literature to answer clinical questions that arise on the wards and in the clinics, macro issues in dermatology, and dermatology’s relation to medicine and society.
Best of Consultation Services Case-review
Following each inpatient consultation rotation, residents present their most interesting cases from the rotation to their peers. This provides an opportunity for all residents to learn from the most unique and challenging cases seen throughout the year. Complex medical cases are presented with pathology review.
Surgery Simulation Curriculum
This series of hands-on sessions utilizes 3-D skin models in collaboration with the BWH Stratus Center to practice excision and suturing skills in a controlled setting, led by our surgery faculty.
Our faculty lead lectures and discussions that explore topics including cultural competency, bias and disparities in medicine, social determinants of health, and care of individuals from diverse backgrounds.
Health Policy and Advocacy Series
Residents participate in a series of lectures and workshops on concepts and current issues in health care policy. This curriculum covers a range of topics including health insurance, drug pricing, institutionalized racism, and advocacy strategies. In the spring, faculty and residents participate in Advocacy Day, during which our community brings issues we feel passionately about to our state legislatures and puts the skills discussed and learned to practice.
Skin/Hair of Color Series
This series focuses on the diagnosis and management of dermatologic conditions more prevalent in persons of color. Lectures cover a range of topics including pigmentation disorders, hair and scalp disorders, common hair care practices in individuals with afro-textured hair, and cosmetic treatment of patients with skin of color.
This series focuses on defining terminology used to describe a person’s gender and sexual identity as well as identifying barriers to care, providing a safe clinical environment, and diagnosing and managing common dermatologic conditions in gender and sexual minority individuals.
Art of Observation
This course is held every fall in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. It is co-led by museum educators and dermatology faculty. Residents utilize Visual Thinking Strategies at the Museum to strengthen their visual observation and communication skills.
Residents learning suturing skills during Bootcamp pigs foot session!
Inaugural and virtual Health Advocacy day with talk from Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley!
Residents use Visual Thinking Strategies to hone observational skills in our Art of Observation curriculum at the Museum of Fine Arts.