Update to 2023-2024 Application Cycle

Our goals for this application cycle based on the Association of Professors of Dermatology Program Director Task Force:

  • Encourage a consistent approach to residency recruitment across dermatology programs.

  • Advocate for equity in the recruitment process, particularly given the unequal burden of COVID-19 on certain populations and in certain geographic areas.

  • Decrease the application burden on students and programs.

Recommendations to Programs:

  • Application review
    • We understand the challenges in reviewing, but maintain our support for holistic review of applications, particularly given the unique and unequal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on research, clinical, volunteer, and other extracurricular experiences.
    • We recommend against the use of Step 2 CK or CS as mandatory elements of the application process or for offers of interviews

    • Our program will use a supplemental application to assist in holistic review of candidates.
      • UF Dermatology will be participating in the supplemental ERAS application offered through the AAMC’s ERAS program.
      • Applicants will be required to complete the MyERAS application
      • Most dermatology programs will utilize the supplemental ERAS application. For more information, please see AAMC’s website.
  • Letters of recommendation
    • We recommend at least one letter of recommendation from a dermatology faculty member but suggest that other letters from non-dermatology specialties be allowed and given equal weight, particularly for students without a home dermatology program.
    • We recognize that committing to provide letters may be challenging during this time for many reasons. Faculty members may consider writing letters of recommendation reflecting resident input and/or departmental support or collaborating with colleagues for a joint letter.

  • Interviews
    • UF Dermatology interviews will be held in-person for external candidates to ensure equity.
    • Interviews take place in January 2024 at our facilities in Gainesville, FL

Additional Recommendations to Students

  • Application process

    • We understand that many research projects and volunteer experiences have been halted, delayed, or changed secondary to the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts that students have put forth in these areas are valuable and will be considered by programs during application review regardless of outcome.

    • We recommend at least one letter of recommendation from a dermatology faculty member but recognize that this may be difficult for students without a home dermatology program. We urge programs to review applications holistically and give equal weight to letters of recommendation from faculty in other specialties. Students should consider faculty with whom they have worked closely, regardless of the specialty.

    • While programs strive to perform holistic review on all applications, this is more challenging when faced with increasing number of applications per available position.

      • For US allopathic and osteopathic first-time applicants, we recommend applying to at most 40-60 programs. Applicants are encouraged to seek individualized advice from dermatology and medical school advisors to guide their decision regarding number of applications to submit. This advice should account for USMLE Step scores, COMPLEX scores, clerkship grades, research, and extracurricular activities.

      • Applicants can visit ApplySmart to review data available from the AAMC on dermatology residency applications and returns.

  • Coordinated interview invite release

    • Participating programs will not release more interview invites than interview slots available. Programs not participating have also been asked to follow this guideline and to post the date of interview invite release on their websites.  A list of participating programs will be released later in mid to late August.  Last year, the majority of programs participated with most programs releasing on the 2nd date.

UF Dermatology will participate in this coordinated release.

Timeline for UF Dermatology

  • Monday November 6, 2023: first round of interview invites released (generally for programs with November or early December interview dates)
  • Wednesday November 8, 2023: applicants begin scheduling interviews; must respond by November 10
  • Additional interview invites will be released as they become available starting after November 10, 2023.
  • Programs have been encouraged to notify all applicants of their status (interview, waitlist or decline) by January 1, 2024

Interviews

  • The AAMC released a statement recommending virtual interviews across specialties for the 2023-2024 application cycle. Rather than enacting a specialty-wide decision and recognizing the differences between programs, the APD Residency Program Directors Section recommends that every program consider the costs and benefits of various interview formats (in-person, virtual, hybrid) and make an educated decision for their program, taking into account applicant costs, exposure to the program, uniqueness of clinical sites, environmental/sustainability factors, equity, and the myriad of other aspects that influence this decision. Dermatology residency programs should share information about their interview format(s) with applicants early in the process.
  • UF Dermatology will be conducting in person interviews in January 2024 at our facilities in Gainesville, FL

Pre- and post-interview communication guidelines:

  • Before and during interview season, applicants are asked to refrain from contacting programs to express interest or provide application updates prior to interviews, except in truly exceptional circumstances (eg couples matching updates, major life events that impact preferences).
  • Questions about a program that cannot be easily answered by available materials (website, social media, etc) can be directed to the program.
  • Post-interview communication of preference – including “letters of intent” and thank you letters – should not be sent to programs. These types of communication are typically not used by residency programs in decision-making and lead to downstream pressures on applicants.
  • Programs are also encouraged to either avoid direct communication with applicants after interviews and before Match Day, or at a minimum, ensure that such communication is informational in nature, avoiding efforts to persuade or pressure candidates, in line with NRMP guidelines. Applicants should not equate lack of communication from programs with lack of interest, just as programs will not equate lack of communication from applicants with lack of interest.

As dermatology residency program directors, we recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in increased disparities in strength of applications due to lack of opportunity for students with smaller home programs or in areas more affected by this crisis, particularly as some students may additionally be struggling or have struggled with personal or family COVID-19 illness during this time.

In this time of great personal and professional stress, we hope that by addressing specific concerns, students will feel more comfortable approaching the process and maintaining their application plans, knowing that we will take into consideration the multitude of extrinsic factors affecting applications this year. Additionally, we hope that consistent practices among programs will allow for an improved application process for both students and programs this cycle and beyond.