Dermatology


Residency Program

Welcome to the Dermatology Residency Program at the University of Alberta.

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    The Division of Dermatology (DD Derm) was founded in July 1987 by its first Divisional Director, Dr. Kowichi Jimbow. 

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    Focus on skin oncology remains the main clinical and research in the division from its conception to the present day. in a dermatology setting in Canada. 

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    Dr. T. G. Salopek, who trained with Dr. Jimbow, established the Multidisciplinary Melanoma Group at the Kaye Edmonton Clinic/Cross Cancer, one of the most active Melanoma Centers.

Interview/CaRMS Specific Information 

Our Dermatology Residency Training Program is fully accredited (November 2017) and accepts one to three residents every year through CARMS. Sometimes we accept a resident within the return of service program with Saskatchewan. Those residents arrive as a postgraduate year (PGY) -3, as the Saskatchewan program provides PGY-1 and -2 training. We also accept foreign graduates from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Currently, we have 14 residents, including two foreign medical graduates. The core teaching is bedside when the residents see the patients together with the staff. The responsibility of the residents gradually increases and by the end of PGY4 and PGY5, the staff would only see the patient for final review.

Interviews will be held Wed, March 17, 2021 and will be in virtual format via Zoom.
Interviews will be in MMI format and traditional panel combination.

Notification/Invitation:
Program will notify all applicants through CaRMS Online and will send email invitations directly to applicants selected for an interview.
Details regarding the interview process:
The interview date is coordinated with the Dermatology Program at the University of British Columbia and the University of Calgary, in order to accommodate candidates travelling from other regions of Canada.

Invitations for interviews will be posted by email, and only applicants selected for interview will be contacted. Please ensure that the program has your current email address.
This Interview Day will give you the opportunity to meet with Teaching Faculty and Residents at the Division of Dermatology & Cutaneous Sciences at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta. It is a crucial part of the CaRMS application process, allowing you to gain further knowledge of our Dermatology Program, and facilitate our Selection Committee to select the most suitable residents for the CaRMS Match.

The applicant/interviewer interaction will be that of MMI (Multiple Mini-Interview) format as well as the panel format. In this MMI, applicants will complete an 80-minute circuit of mini-interview stations, rotating from station to station and then will have a panel interview that will consist Dermatology Division Members and Residents.

The MMI is similar to an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) used by medical schools, except that it is not “clinical”. At each station, applicants will be presented with a “scenario” or question. They will then respond to a series of questions pertaining to this topic before proceeding to the next stations. The MMI does not require any specific knowledge of any topic (eg. dermatology-related expertise).

As in any examination process, the actual scenarios will remain confidential. However, examples of scenarios can be found in the following article: Eva KW, Rosenfeld J, Reiter HI, Norman Gr, An admissions OSCE: The multiple mini interview, Med Educ 2004; 38(3): 314 – 326.

The MMI format is designed to determine non-cognitive characteristics of applicants we believe will make for good residents, and ultimately full-fledged specialists in dermatology. The stations will assess characteristics such as reliability, responsibility, collegiality, self-directedness, compassion, willingness to work hard, teamwork, altruism, and more attributes that we have established are important. There is good evidence that performance in MMI is correlated to success in candidate selection, and candidate/interviewer feedback are generally positive. We are certain this will be the case for our Interview Day.

CASPer exam
All applicants must complete a CASPer (Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal

Characteristics) test. CASPer is an online test that assesses for non-cognitive skills and interpersonal characteristics.

To see an example of the test structure and schedule a test, please visit http://www.takeCASPer.com.

Please direct any inquiries on the test to support@takecasper.com.

Note: CASPer scores are only valid for the match cycle in which the exam was taken. If applicants have taken the test in a past match cycle, they must write a new exam for the current match. Applicants who take the test in the

Contact Us

Dr. Eunice Chow 
Program Director, Dermatology

Anna Johnson
Program Coordinator
Email:  mednderm@ualberta.ca  


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Dr. Eunice Chow
Program Director


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Anna Johnson
Program Administrator 

Welcome to Our Program

Welcome to the University of Alberta Dermatology Program!

Dermatology is the exciting and evolving branch of medicine dealing with the care of skin, hair, nails and their diseases. Our program has a longstanding history that goes back to 1988 when the program accepted its first dermatology residents. The program is run by a dedicated group of clinician-teachers and researchers. The main academic teaching centre is located at the Kaye Edmonton Clinic, a multidisciplinary ambulatory clinic that is home to nearly 100 specialized outpatient clinics attached to the University of Alberta hospital. In our dedicated clinic space of over 12 rooms and 3 procedural rooms, the dermatology team at the KEC provides consultative and ongoing clinical care for patients covering the entire spectrum of skin diseases: inflammatory, malignant, and genetic. In addition to general dermatology clinics, we have specialty clinics such as the Vulvar Dermatology clinic, Contact Dermatitis/Patch Testing clinic, Hair Diseases Clinic and Pigmented Lesions clinic. We also work collaboratively with multiple other specialties in order to provide the following multidisciplinary clinics: Multidisciplinary Melanoma Clinic, Hematology-Dermatology and Cutaneous lymphoma clinic, Dermatology and Rheumatology clinic, Occupational Hand and Eczema clinic, and Psychiatry-Dermatology Skin Health clinic. Our community-based colleagues also have a large role in teaching our dermatology residents, giving our residents a well-rounded education and clinical experience. Our dermatology residents are a tight-knit group who work collaboratively with the academic and community dermatology staff to provide excellent patient care to Edmontonians and also to patients across northern Alberta, the Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. We value honesty, collegiality and professionalism. A growth mindset is essential to a successful learning journey. If you believe you have these attributes and is ready for a challenging yet rewarding residency and career, we can’t wait for you to join our team!

Dr. Eunice Chow  
Program Director

 


Our Program

Our mission is to promote and provide world class excellence in dermatology teaching, medical discovery through research, leadership, and clinical service as well as to provide a comprehensive, safe and supportive training program that allows our Dermatology Subspecialty Residents to not only achieve and excel at the competencies laid out by the Royal College, but also provide them the support to achieve their personalized career and life goals.

2019-2020 SSRs (Subspecialty Residents)

Dermatology is the branch of medicine dealing with the skin and its diseases. A dermatologist takes care of diseases and some cosmetic problems of the skin, scalp, hair, and nails.

In spite of minimal exposure to dermatology in medical school, dermatology residency is very attractive and one of the most competitive. It is a five-year program, where the first two years our residents spend in internal medicine or pediatrics (minimum 12 months) followed by a minimum of 10 months of selected medical and surgical specialties. The final three years are mostly spent in a Dermatology Clinic in the university setting, and in the community.

Program Highlights
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All residents are engaged in research, and have numerous publications.
There is a dedicated research block in PGY5 year.

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The dermatology clinics are hosted in a new facility (KEC – Kaye Edmonton Clinic). The clinic also have full phototherapy (UVA & NB-UVB) and patch testing units.

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Offering services in dermatology and dermatologic surgery

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We have a full light therapy centre offering PUVA and UVB therapy

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Patch testing capabilities

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All academic activities are virtual during Covid 19.
Pediatric dermatology,
Dermatopathology, and
Cosmetic dermatology teaching


Residency at a Glance

Residents admitted to our program through the CaRMS match are selected by the Residency Program Committee (RPC). The functioning of the training program is administered by the RPC which is chaired by the Program Director; the RPC is comprised of dermatologists from academic and private practice, and two resident representatives (one junior & one senior) elected by peers. The RPC meets a minimum of FOUR times yearly. Residents admitted to our program through the CaRMS match are required to complete FIVE years of residency training, THREE of which are dedicated entirely to dermatology.

Our residents have ample opportunities for educational experiences during their training. Every week there is an academic half-day when they do not see patients, but spend time on lectures, patient rounds, etc. Lectures are delivered not only by divisional members but very often there are invited lectures from other divisions and other universities as well. The residents attend the American Academy of Dermatology meetings, which provide tremendous educational value, as well as the possibility to network with other Canadian and American colleagues. There is funding available for PGY-5 to attend the annual Mock Royal College Dermatology exam in Toronto (the DRIVE program). They participate in Journal Club, melanoma rounds, and cutaneous lymphoma rounds. 

Year 1 and 2
Years One and Two, although basic clinical years, are geared towards dermatology.

The hospitals involved in this training are: University of Alberta Hospitals, Grey Nuns Hospital, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Stollery Children's Hospital, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Misericordia Community Hospital and the Cross Cancer Institute.

Mandatory rotations for dermatology residents, as stipulated by the Dermatology Specialty Committee (RCPSC), are infectious diseases and rheumatology; as well as completion of either ONE year of internal medicine OR ONE year of pediatrics during the PGY1 and PGY2 years.

One elective block is offered during PGY1 and 2 years. The content and location of these electives is determined by resident interest, areas of need based on ongoing resident evaluations and opportunities offered by sites of excellence and external funding. The final proposal for electives will be made by the resident in consultation with the residency program director, with final approval by the Residency Training Committee. Residents are expected to share knowledge acquired during elective with their fellow-residents through a presentation to be made most appropriately at academic half-day.
Year 3
PGY 3 - 5
These years are dedicated entirely to dermatology training, as described below.

PGY 3
Three years of clinical dermatology training, including general adult dermatology, pediatric and geriatric dermatology, dermatologic surgery (including Mohs surgery), melanoma clinic, multi-specialty clinics, wound healing , laser and cosmetic, and on call rotations.

  • Rural Dermatology
  • Dermatopathology
  • Contact Dermatitis / General Dermatology
  • Academic Dermatology
  • Elective
  • Community Dermatology
  • On call/ UDC (University Dermatology Clinic)
Year 4

PYG 4
The facilities and expertise offered during Year Four and Five are similar to that described above for Year Three, except that an increased graded level of responsibility and performance/knowledge will be expected.

  • Pediatric /Melanoma
  • Dermatopathology
  • Contact Dermatitis / General Dermatology
  • Laser & Cosmetic
  • Academic Dermatology
  • Elective
  • Community Dermatology
  • Mohs surgery
  • On call/ UDC (University Dermatology Clinic)
  • Senior resident clinic longitudinal
Year 5
PGY 5
This year is dedicated entirely to dermatology training, as described below.

  • Pediatric / Melanoma
  • Community Dermatology
  • On call/ UDC (University Dermatology Clinic)
  • Dermatopathology
  • Research
  • Contact Dermatitis / General Dermatology
  • Cosmetic Dermatology
  • Elective
  • Mohs surgery
  • Senior resident clinic longitudinal

Teaching Hospitals

We are a fully accredited program that follows the guidelines set out by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Clinical rotations are conducted at the following sites: 

University of Alberta Hospital (UDC - Kaye Edmonton Clinic)

Royal Alexandra Hospital 

Stollery Children's Hospital 

Grey Nuns Community Hospital

Misericordia Community Hospital 

Cross Cancer Institute 

Each site has a hospital library for access to reference materials. In addition, the Walter F. Scott Health Sciences Library, located at the University of Alberta Hospital Site serves the region.

UAH and STARS helicopter

Education by Research

 

Research is an integrated part of the residency program, and the residents can choose to take a research block to initiate or finish a research program. Since all academic staff has a significant research component, the residents are usually supervised by one of them. Even simple research projects: case reports, description of case series, or similar, teach our trainees useful skills, such as literature search, formulating research hypotheses, writing skills, critical appraisal of the literature, or basic statistics. Participation in review papers allows them to gain a deep knowledge of selected diseases or pathogenetic processes.  Most of the scientific papers from our division have been authored or co-authored by a dermatology resident.


All residents are highly encouraged to present at national and international academic conferences.

We are fortunate to be part of a very well-funded and research-oriented University which offers not only financial resources but also administrative and statistical assistance through the Research Services Office (RSO) at the University of Alberta.

Residency Leadership

 

The Dermatology RPC (Residency Program Committee) is chaired by a Program Director, Dr. Eunice Chow. The RPC includes all divisional members and Dr. M. Taher (who is in private practice). The RPC holds six to eight meetings annually, depending on the needs of the program. The Chief Resident and the resident representing junior residents are invited to the RPC meetings. 

We have recognized a number of strengths and weaknesses of the program. Because of its smaller size, the residents generally are given more individual attention by the academic staff, and the residents have more opportunities to work with the various staff members. Attendance in specialty clinics allows for more in-depth knowledge development in areas where the expertise is not readily available, such as melanoma, cutaneous lymphoma, autoimmune diseases, psychodermatology, hair diseases, etc. The program also has a large component of community-based rotations where the residents are exposed to higher volumes of patients, general dermatology, cosmetic dermatology and lasers, and special surgical techniques such as Mohs surgery. 

Teaching Rounds

There are bi-weekly, patient-centered Grand Rounds held throughout the year. Typically, three to five patients are reviewed. The patients are referred to the rounds either from the patients seen at Kaye Edmonton Clinic or are referred by community dermatologists, either for second opinion or because of high didactic value (rare presentations of the diseases, rare skin disorders, etc). The patients are seen and examined by the residents and attending staff, which is followed by the presentation of the case by the residents and discussion. The rounds are usually attended by Dr. E. Schloss who is a certified dermatopathologist, to facilitate discussion on histopathology. Grand rounds provide educational opportunities for the residents and the staff. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the rounds have been held virtually using patient photographs.

 Dermatology Journal Club

There is a monthly Dermatology Journal Club, with presentations and discussion of scientific articles by hematology staff physicians and residents. The rounds are attended variably by the dermatologist from the community as well.

Subspecialties

There are multiple subspecialties of dermatology you will be exposed to throughout the residency program.

General Clinical Dermatology
The Division of Dermatology at the University of Alberta enjoys dedicated clinic space in the new Kaye Edmonton Clinic Building, (Level 3, 3C1.01, 11400 University Avenue, Edmonton, AB). The space allocated to dermatology includes: TWELVE examination rooms, TWO procedural rooms (that incorporate several lasers) and a fully equipped phototherapy unit (ONE narrow-band UVB unit, ONE combination unit [UVA for PUVA and NB-UVB] and ONE hand-foot NB UVB machine).

Specialty clinics are addressing:

vulvar diseases - TWO clinics per week
contact dermatitis/patch testing - THREE clinics per week
low-risk melanoma and tumour surveillance clinic in immunosuppressed transplant patients - THREE per month
multidisciplinary (oncologist, surgical oncologist, dermatologist) melanoma clinic - ONE per week
multidisciplinary lymphoma clinic (dermatology/medical oncology/radiation oncology/hematology)
hair clinic
There are THREE procedural clinics per week. Pediatric patients are incorporated into general clinics and this is complemented by FOUR dedicated pediatric clinics per week in the Stollery Children's Hospital.
Pediatric Dermatology
This is a longitudinal clinic that is attended throughout the PGY3-5 resident years. Residents are expected to obtain a history, complete a physical exam, arrange appropriate investigations and administer /prescribe appropriate treatment. All pediatric cases are reviewed with attending staff.

The dedicated pediatric dermatology clinics are under the supervision of Dr. Loretta Fiorillo (Program Director). All residents rotate through on a sequential basis and have equal opportunity to pediatric dermatology. Dr. Fiorillo holds Royal College certification in dermatology and paediatrics. She conducts 4 to 6 high volume clinics each week that see an average of 40 patients daily. About 2 to 4 biopsies and 5 fungal scrapings are done daily. These are patients referred by family physicians, pediatricians and other dermatologists. They cover a wide variety of disorders, from common conditions to many rare and genetic disorders. Approximately 10% of all patients seen in the outpatient dermatology clinics are pediatric patients.
Dermatologic Surgery
During general dermatology clinics, patients often require biopsies. These are most commonly punch biopsies, but shave biopsy and elliptical excision are also performed. These are generally performed by the resident under the supervision of the attending dermatologist.

Dr. Salopek offers two dermatologic surgery clinics per week, on Tuesday. In these clinics, excisions of benign and malignant lesions are done. Procedures include punch biopsies, punch excisions, shave excisions, curettage, electrosurgery, wide excisions, flap closures, nail surgeries from simple avulsion to ablation of the nail unit, and cryosurgery.

Residents also participate in the surgical clinics of Dr Lortie, M. Taher and Keeling, all certified Mohs surgeons. A dedicated Mohs surgery rotation is offered in both PGY4 and 5 years.
Dermatopathology
This is offered through Dr. Mahmood at UofA, and several dermatopathologists at Dynalife. Dr. Mahmood conducts monthly dermatopathology teaching on a thematic basis. Residents are given 10-12 slides on a certain theme of disorders, and are expected to review them on their own time. A session is conducted for one hour each month to discuss the cases. Also, while on Dermpath residents are given several dermatopathology slides to review. Residents are also expected to review independently daily dermatopathology before finalizing the outcomes under supervision. Further, residents are challenged with monthly dermatopathology quizzes associated to their monthly dermatology exams.
Community Dermatology
Residents are highly encouraged to take advantage of training opportunities offered by community dermatologists. The program offers a mandatory community rotation and one rural dermatology rotation in R 3 year, one community and one cosmetic rotation (also held outside the university) in the R4 year and three community rotations in year 5 to prepare the resident for independent practice. Community rotations are held in private dermatologists’ offices throughout Edmonton. All the supervising dermatologists hold a University appointment. The residents are encouraged to rotate through different offices to be exposed to a variety of practice styles and interests
Cosmetic and Laser Dermatology
This is offered to PGY4 and 5 residents at the clinics of Dr Z. Taher, who has an extensive numbers of lasers.
Rural Dermatology
In this rotation the residents are exposed to the challenges of practising in a remote community, physically away from many specialists, sophisticated resources and support. The rural locations associated with our program are Canmore a picturesque mountain town at the edge of the Banff national park, and Red Deer a city located half way between Edmonton and Calgary.
Senior Dermatology Resident’s Clinic
This newly instituted longitudinal continuity clinic has been established to prepare the residents for independent practice and exposure to the challenges of chronic diseases. It runs for 1 year, from the last 6 months of PGY4 to the first 6 months of PGY5.

Resident Testimonials

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What do you like about Edmonton: Great sports town. Offers a lot of outdoor activities all year round. The restaurant scene is great. There are a lot of affordable housing options. A huge variety of geography is available with only a short drive out of town.

What are the highlights of the program for you:
The great teaching from the staff at the University. Opportunities to learn from community staff. The support from residents of all years.

Dr. Brent Chambers (R2)
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What do you like about Edmonton:
Near the ski hills, i.e. Banff, Canmore, & Jasper! Also my family is in BC so this is much closer for me since I went to Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS for Medical School.

What are the highlights of the program for you:
Resident unity - there is resident cohesion, we are a really strong working group here in Edmonton. Our seniors advocate our voices on our behalf to the program. There is a lot of support between residents during calls, studying, presentations. Our newly revamped Academic days are an absolute unique and fresh way of getting to learn as much as possible from our 2-volume 10kg (Bolognia) bible! We have state of the Art facilities at the Kaye Edmonton Clinic. Our pediatric dermatology director (Dr. Loretta Fiorillo) is second to none in terms of learning from her especially on call (which she is 24/7!) because she is certified in both a pediatric residency and a dermatology residency. We also have subspecialized clinics at the Kaye: Multidisciplinary Melanoma, Cutaneous Lymphoma, Connective tissue disease, Vulvar dermatology and Psychiatric Dermatology.

Dr. Fatmah AlZahrani (R4)
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What do you like about Edmonton: Great food scene, a city built around nature, ski trips, friendly people.

What are the highlights of the program for you:
Dedicated staff, good combination of self-directed learning and organized curriculum, great facilities (Kaye is beautiful), interesting patients.

Dr. Mariah (R5)