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Frequently Asked Questions

Is the PGY-1 year linked to the dermatology residency program?

Yes, all residents accepted to our program do a preliminary year in internal medicine at SIU prior to starting the dermatology program (PGY2-4). We find this arrangement to be advantageous, as residents entering the dermatology program are already familiar with the electronic medical record system, hospitals, and local healthcare landscape, allowing for a smooth and efficient transition. Additionally, our PGY-1 residents each spend 3 half-days a month in our dermatology clinic, during which time they are able to see a few focused patients, thus giving them exposure to dermatology patients, as well as familiarity with the dermatology visit process, documenting the visit note, and clinic workflow.

What is the setting for the clinical rotations?

All dermatology clinics are held in a single location in the SIU Clinics Building, which is also the location for all conferences and resident and faculty offices. Inpatient consults are at Memorial Medical Center, which is across the street, and at HSHS St. John’s Hospital, which is an approximately 5 minute drive from the clinic.

Will I get enough surgical experience?

Yes! With time set aside for procedures on continuity patients throughout the three years of training, as well as one day per week of Mohs in the PGY3 and PGY4 years, our residents perform far more surgical procedures than required by the ACGME.

Are there opportunities for research?

Definitely. Although the focus of our program is on patient care, there are abundant opportunities to conduct research, whether in the form of clinical trials, chart reviews, or case reports.  We anticipate that residents will complete at least one publication during residency.

What are the strengths of the program?

  1. Care of both small urban as well as rural populations that allow us to see a large variety of cutaneous pathology
  2. Resident continuity clinics, which provide excellent preparation for real-world general dermatology practice
  3. Abundant experience in dermatologic surgery
  4. Consistent and structured training in dermatopathology
  5. Favorable faculty to resident ratio
  6. A friendly and supportive learning environment
  7. A curriculum that evolves with the needs and educational styles of our learner

What are the weaknesses of the program?

Our group does not have a strong focus on cosmetic dermatology or bench research.

What is it like living in Springfield? 

Springfield is the state capital, and is a city of just over 100,000 people in the center of Illinois. By car, we are approximately 3-4 hours southwest of Chicago and 2 hours northeast of St. Louis.  We are surrounded by farmland, and serve many patients from outlying rural areas. Springfield combines the benefits of a small community (low cost of living, minimal traffic) with the opportunities of a capital city (museums, theater, lake, multiple city parks, biking/running trails, water park, state fair, Amtrak station, regional airport). Camping, fishing, hiking, and other outdoor activities are available at a variety of parks and recreation areas within easy driving distance. Learn more about our community, schools, cost of living and more.

What can I expect with regard to work hours?

This varies by the day and by the resident, however, we would anticipate that an average of approximately 40 hours per week will be spent on direct patient care and related tasks (documentation, phone calls, prescriptions, etc.). An additional 5-10 hours per week are spent in educational conferences, for about 50 hours per week of mandatory on-site activity. Additionally, most residents will need to spend an additional 15-20 hours per week reading and studying, and this can be done from home if desired. We emphasize that these are only rough estimates, and that actual numbers for a given week may be considerably different, depending on the complexity of cases and didactic schedule. Like most dermatology residency programs, we have never had difficulty in complying with resident work hour limitations.