Programmatic changes for the dermatology residency program at The University of Texas Medical Branch were first introduced in 2005, with the faculty goal incorporating formal dermatology research projects into the 3-year postgraduate training period. This curriculum initially developed as a recommendation for voluntary scholarly project activity by residents, but it evolved into a program requirement for all residents in 2009. Departmental support for this activity includes assignment of a faculty mentor with similar interest about the research topic, financial support from the department for needed supplies, materials, and statistical consultation with the Office of Biostatistics for study design and data analysis, a 2-week elective that provides protected time from clinical activities for the purpose of preparing research for publication and submission to a peer-reviewed medical journal, and a departmental award in recognition for the best resident scholarly project each year. Since the inception of this program, five classes have graduated a total of 16 residents. Ten residents submitted their research studies for peer review and published their scholarly projects in seven dermatology journals through the current academic year. These articles included three prospective investigations, three surveys, one article related to dermatology education, one retrospective chart review, one case series, and one article about dermatopathology. An additional article from a 2012 graduate about dermatology education has also been submitted to a journal. This new program for residents was adapted from our historically successful Dermatology Honors Research Program for medical students at The University of Texas Medical Branch. Our experience with this academic initiative to promote dermatology research by residents is outlined. It is recommended that additional residency programs should consider adopting similar research programs to enrich resident education.
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