1st Year Goals:

The main goal of the U-M 1st Year Dermatology Residency (PGY-2) is to provide the support and environment that allows you to acquire the basic clinical and scientific knowledge of dermatology as a specialty, while emphasizing a humanistic approach to patient care.

First year schematic
First Year sample Schematic

During this period you will:

  • Hone your clinical skills in the U-M Department of Dermatology's outpatient clinics.
  • Work with populations spanning newborns to geriatric patients.
  • Study the signs and symptoms of skin diseases.
  • Provide care for patients with outpatient diseases as well as for those requiring inpatient care.
  • Use basic science knowledge and resources to understand the mechanisms of diseases and disease management.
  • Critically evaluate and interpret literature in clinical and investigative dermatology.
  • Observe and perform a variety of surgical procedures, primarily biopsies and simple excisions.
  • In the Dermatology Treatment Center, treat patients with psoriasis and other conditions amenable to an intensive therapeutic approach, UV therapy, and modified Goeckerman.
  • Begin your dermatopathology training to diagnose diseases of the skin.
  • Become familiar with immunology techniques in dermatology, particularly immunofluorescence, western blotting and immuno-precipitation.
  • Act in the role of teacher with medical students and when presenting lectures on dermatology topics to other residents and faculty.
  • Provide initial differential diagnoses at Diagnostic Conference (Grand Rounds) each week.
  • Leverage your initial exposure in Melanoma Clinic to develop your approach to patients with melanoma.
  • Begin your transformation into an experienced and compassionate dermatologist.

1st Year Objectives:

The U-M Department of Dermatology, in our commitment to educate our residents in all aspects of the specialty, has developed the following objectives for 1st Year Residents. These are organized into Patient Care, Professionalism, Communication, Practice Based Learning and Systems Based Practice, and Medical Knowledge. Your performance against these parameters will be the measure of your success during your 1st Year of residency.

Patient Care:

  • Practice patient communication and shared decision-making under the close supervision of clinical faculty.
  • Increase your independence in your patient-doctor relationships.
  • Assemble necessary and accurate information about your patients' history, physical examination and lab results, and present it to your attending physician in a clear and concise style.
  • Learn techniques for examination of the skin and develop the appropriate differential diagnosis with input from your attending physician.
  • Under faculty supervision, leverage a wide variety of therapies and minor surgical procedures.
  • By completion of the 1st Year, confidently provide comprehensive differential diagnoses and plans of action for the management of acute and chronic cutaneous conditions.
  • Provide information about skin cancers including occupational and infectious conditions requiring prophylactic measures.
  • Become competent in minor surgical procedures.


  • Demonstrate that you are focused on the patients' best interest at all times.
  • Behave in an unselfish, responsible, reliable, polite, sensitive, honest and respectful manner in clinic and in didactic sessions, with patients and colleagues.
  • Participate in and initiate ethical discussions in conferences and clinics.


  • Use effective written, verbal and non-verbal communication in your patient interaction and collaboration with colleagues.
  • Grow as a teacher by presenting to your peers during Grand Rounds and lectures.
  • Master and use strong listening skills, demonstrating to your patients that you understand their situation, concerns and needs.

Practice-Based Learning and Systems-Based Practice:

  • Hone your ability to find and evaluate scientific evidence from studies that relate to patient cases.
  • Review medical literature with a critical eye.
  • Employ online medical sources selectively to educate your patients.
  • Foster the skills to identify and classify an issue, develop the exact question that addresses that issue, gather and assess the validity and usefulness of relevant information, and develop a plan of action in response to the problem.
  • Learn multiple methods for practicing medicine in different healthcare delivery systems.
  • Assist patients in navigating the complex healthcare systems.
  • Consider cost-containment and maintain awareness of the relative costs and benefits of differing procedures and treatments.

Medical Knowledge:

  • Accurately describe primary and secondary cutaneous lesions.
  • Present the reason for patient visits, current history and general medical history in a brief, concise manner.
  • Describe differential diagnosis.
  • Generate appropriate treatment options with awareness of common side effects.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic dermatopathology with ability to generate differential diagnosis.
  • Be able to perform all forms of biopsies, simple excisions, and cold as well as thermal destruction modalities.


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