Program Overview

Our residency has been fully accredited since 1982 by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). We receive well over 400 applicants, interview 20, and accept 3 residents per year.

Our residents have come from the following medical schools:

  • Albert Einstein
  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • Cape Town
  • Columbia
  • Indiana University
  • John Hopkins
  • Louisiana State University
  • Medical College of Georgia
  • Medical College of Pennsylvania
  • Medical College of Virginia
  • Meharry Medical College
  • Morehouse School of Medicine
  • New York University
  • Ohio State University
  • Penn State University
  • Syracuse University
  • Temple University
  • Texas Tech University
  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • UMDNJ – New Jersey
  • University of Bucharest
  • University of Illinois-Chicago
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of South Alabama
  • University of Texas
  • University of Utah
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Washington University
  • West Virginia University
  • Wright State University

After completing their training at Penn State Hershey, our residents have done fellowships in dermatopathology, dermatologic surgery, Mohs surgery, and pediatric dermatology. They have entered private practice and academic dermatology as general dermatologists or sub-specialists within dermatology.

As part of our resident leadership training, a team building exercise called the Marshmallow Challenge ( was enjoyed by residents, medical students, faculty, and support staff. The lessons learned included collaboration, innovation, and creativity. The attributes of high performing teams were discussed—trust, conflict, commitment, accountability, and results (The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Lencioni). The winning team, pictured in the foreground, built a 23 inch structure.

Dermatology Resident Leadership Curriculum

Our residents have the unique opportunity to learn an enriching set of skills during their 3 years at Penn State Hershey Dermatology.

Objective: Develop lifelong leadership skills to enrich your dermatology practice in any setting.

Rationale: Current residency curricula elsewhere have carefully focused on creating knowledgeable and skilled physicians but generally have not emphasized training their residents in leadership skills. We propose that leadership skills are important and can be taught and cultivated. This ensures that our residents are capable of leading the dermatology department wherever their future setting may be!

Topics Covered by Diverse Learning Experiences:
• Leadership
• Team Building
• Enabling and Embracing Change
• Quality
• Conflict Management
• Effective Communication
• How to Run Productive Meetings
• Mentoring
• Cultural Competency



  • The Ice Cream Maker, Subir Chowdhury, Doubleday, 2005
  • Fish, Stephen C. Lundin, Ph.D., Harry Paul and John Christensen, Hyperion, 2000Institute for Health Care Communication– Clinician Patient Communication Seminar
  • Who Moved My Cheese, Spencer Johnson, M.D., and Kenneth Blanchard, Ph.D., G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1998Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni, Jossey-Bass, 2002
  • The One Minute Manager, Kenneth Blanchard, Ph.D., and Spencer Johnson, M.D., William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1981, 1982
  • Our Iceberg Is Melting, John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber, St. Martin's Press, New York, NY, 2005

• Fish video (overview of the "Fish Philosophy")
• Pickle video (overview of the "Give them the pickle" philosophy)

• How Good Leadership Makes Good Practice
• How Change Can Make Good Practice
• How Good Teams Make Good Practice

Case Studies:
• Evening clinic
• Acute Care Clinic
• Employee poor performance

Clinic meetings – Held once per month with all faculty, residents, and staff to discuss progress, problems, and strategies for improvement.

The 5 Strategic Imperatives:

The 5 strategic imperatives were designed to focus our attention on the needs of the clinic and the individuals that run it, in order to enrich the experience of our employees and our patients. A strategy retreat was conducted in place of a monthly clinic meeting, during which all faculty and staff attended in order to address the following imperatives:

1. Achieve the highest level of Quality, Safety, and Value
2. Educate and Invest in our People for Personal and Professional Success
3. Create an Extraordinary Patient Experience
4. Create Innovation through Research
5. Develop and Differentiate our Regional Integrated Academic Healthcare System

The following committees were designed of faculty, residents, medical assistants, schedulers, nurses, coders, so that all needs within the Dermatology Department could be addressed:

• Committee 1 – Strengthen our Culture of Respect (Invest in our People)
• Committee 2 – Identify and rectify reasons for employee turnover [burnout] (Invest in our People)
• Committee 3 – Develop standards for Patient Assurance (Extraordinary Patient Experience)
• Committee 4 – Reduce Patient Wait Time/ Improve Access (Extraordinary Patient Experience)
• Committee 5 – Define Patient Ownership (Quality/Safety/Value)

Since the strategy retreat, we have addressed countless issues in efficient patient care, minimizing waste, and maximizing patient safety.


The aim of the Penn State Dermatology Residency Program is to produce excellent clinical dermatologists. This is accomplished in a milieu that encourages personal growth, scientific discovery, and enrichment of patient care abilities. Basic dermatologic surgery skills with expertise to manage complications are taught. Critical analytical skills for the acquisition of new medical information are developed.  Dermatopathology interpretive knowledge will be acquired. A comprehensive fund of knowledge should be acquired for the diagnosis and management of common and rare clinical  dermatologic problems and also for passing the certifying examination.

To accomplish this, a faculty dedicated to patient care, teaching, research, and intellectual curiosity will provide the infrastructure for the resident learning experience. The resident will be expected to be self-motivated, responsive to guidance, invest the time and effort necessary for self learning, and be dedicated to patient care.

First Year Resident

  • Outpatient clinic: 9 patients per clinic (1 every 15 minutes). Eight ½ day clinics per week, including ½ day of Surgery Clinic and ½ day of acute care clinic every week.
  • In-patient consult service: 1 month.
  • Prepare summary of inpatient consult cases for the month to present to faculty and residents.
  • Attend all dermatology teaching conferences.
  • Prepare conference room for Grand Rounds.
  • Give one basic science lecture.
  • Cover for fellow 1st years on vacation, elective, etc.
  • Educating medical students and rotating residents in clinic.
  • Arrange and conduct 2 ethics article reviews.
  • 6-7 weeks on call. Rotate on call for week nights and weekends with other residents.
  • 2 weeks of Dermatopathology elective time
  • 1 week of Mohs elective time

Second Year Resident

  • Outpatient clinic: 9 patients per clinic (1 every 15 minutes).  Eight ½ day clinics per week, including ½ day of Surgery Clinic and ½ day of acute care clinic every week.
  • In-patient consult service: 6 weeks.
  • Attend all dermatology teaching conferences.
  • Research project formulated and proposal written by end of second year or case report in publishable form.
  • 3 weeks of Dermatopathology elective time.
  • 3 weeks of Mohs surgery elective time.
  • 6 weeks on call. Rotate on call for week nights and weekends with other residents.
  • Clerkship orientation for medical students and rotating residents.
  • Educating medical students and rotating residents in clinic.
  • Attend American Academy of Dermatology Meeting (submit abstract for presentation at Gross & Microscopic Symposium) or attend a sub-specialty meeting.
  • Organize Grand Rounds.
  • Take pictures of Grand Rounds patients. File individual case histories and corresponding patient pictures in Mirror.
  • Give one basic science lecture.
  • Camp Horizon - a camp for children with skin diseases - 1 week elective.
  • Cover for fellow 2nd years on vacation, elective, etc.
  • Arrange and conduct 2 ethics article reviews.

Third Year Resident

  • Outpatient clinic: 9 patients per clinic. (1 every 15 minutes).  Eight ½ day clinics per week, including ½ day of Surgery Clinic and ½ day of acute care clinic every week.
  • Share Chief Resident responsibilities.
  • In-patient consult month: 1 month.
  • Arrange on-call and vacation schedule of residents.
  • Attend all dermatology teaching conferences.
  • Conduct Patient Conference.
  • Give dermatology lectures to other departments and high school students as requested.
  • 2 weeks of Dermatopathology time
  • 2 week of Mohs elective time.
  • 3 week educational elective.  The elective can be done at another institution if desired. 
  • 5 weeks on call. Rotate on call for week nights and weekends with other residents.
  • Educating medical students and rotating residents in clinic.
  • Teach medical students during their clerkship the basics of dermatology through a series of lectures.
  • Attend American Academy of Dermatology (submit abstract for Gross & Microscopic Symposium) or a sub-specialty meeting. Attend Pennsylvania Academy of Dermatology Meeting (one resident presents at Resident's Forum).
  • Give one basic science lecture.
  • Maintain orderly dermatology library.
  • Cover for fellow 3rd years on vacation, elective, etc.
  • Edit annual newsletter.

Residency Education Overview

Upon starting their residency, each resident receives:

• General Dermatology Textbook – Bolognia: Dermatology of Andrews' Disease of the Skin
• Dermatopathology Textbook:  Lever's Histopathology of the Skin or Rapini's Practical Dermatology
• Digital camera
• Dermatoscope

Weekly Schedule

Every day begins with an 8 AM lecture, >95% of which are given by the attending physicians.  We cover a broad range of topics that range in general and subspecialty dermatology.  Wednesday morning lecture is an at-scope lecture lead by one of the dermatopathologists.

The typical week is split into 10 half day segments.  Six half day clinics are general dermatology clinics.  One half day is reserved for pediatric dermatology and surgery each.  The remaining two half days are reserved academic time, which can be used for studying, research, or pursuit of further education at any clinic in the hospital. 

All clinics are continuity clinics. 

Each resident spends one day (two half days) at a either the Nyes Road or Camp Hill satellite clinics.  This allows residents to experience different patient populations and office management styles.

Monthly Schedule

Penn State hosts nine grand rounds a year, with patients both from our hospital-based clinic as well as community dermatology clinics.  We attend monthly grand rounds hosted by Geisingers' dermatology department and three grand rounds presented by the Philadelphia Dermatological Society. 

Elective Schedule

First Year Residents

• 2 weeks of Dermatopathology
• 1 week of Mohs

Second Year Residents

• 3 weeks of Dermatopathology
• 3 weeks of Mohs

Third Year Residents

• 2 weeks of Dermatopathology
• 2 weeks of Mohs
• 3 weeks of away elective time

During these elective periods, residents will continue to have 1/2 day continuity clinic as well as Open Access Clinic. During their elective time, residents can take it upon themselves to arrange exposure to cosmetic procedures, plastics, etc.