Medical Student Education
We have a major commitment to teaching and mentoring medical students in the field of dermatology. The department actively participates in the first, second and fourth-year curricula at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University.
First Year Medical Students
As part of the Science Basic to the Practice of Medicine and Dentistry Course, first-year medical students receive a lecture "Basic Structure and Function of the Skin", given by Angela Christiano, PhD, Director of the Basic Science Research Group of the Department of Dermatology.
Second-Year Medical Students
The course Dermatology is given to all second-year students during a five–week interval during April and May of the academic year. The course consists of a series of lectures and small group sessions which include a clinical conference where students are able to examine patients. Upon completion of the course students should be able to:
- Use correct terminology to describe and classify the appearance of skin lesions
- Recognize the appearance of common dermatoses including acne vulgaris, dermatitis, papulosquamous diseases and skin neoplasms
- Recognize common skin signs of systemic diseases
All course information is available through Course Works. Should you require any additional information please contact the Medical Education Coordinator.
Fourth-Year Medical Students
The Department of Dermatology provides multiple electives for fourth-year medical students to gain exposure to clinical dermatology and research. Enrollment information and availability of dermatology electives at Columbia University and affiliated institutions are found on the Student Affairs website. Students may not contact the course director to be added to the roster. All enrollments occur through Student Affairs. Should you need information regarding the content of the courses please contact the Medical Education Coordinator.
All electives begin on the first weekday of the month and end on the last. Visiting students MUST adjust their schedules to meet this timetable as we are not obliged to honor your school's schedule.
Clinical Dermatology - Consult Elective
- Clinical diagnosis of dermatologic disease
- Treat and manage common skin diseases
- Recognize skin disorders associated with systemic diseases
Three students will spend the month working in the consultation and outpatient clinic settings at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Students will round daily and have the opportunity to individually evaluate patients under direct supervision. The students may, under appropriate supervision, have the opportunity to perform minor procedures such as skin biopsies. Students may be assigned projects such as case reports, case presentations and case series for publication. Students will attend one Dermatology Clinic Session per week. There is an assigned reading list and students are expected to participate in Kodachrome and Morphology lectures, resident didactic lectures, and departmental teaching conferences.
Clinical Dermatology - Clinic Elective
- Clinical diagnosis of dermatologic disease
- Treatment and management of common skin disease
- Recognized skin disorders associated with systemic disease
Two students will spend the month working in the Dermatology ambulatory care clinic of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital located in the Herbert Irving Pavilion. The students will have the opportunity to individually evaluate patients under the direct supervision of the attending staff as well as participate in one-on-one clinical experiences with the Dermatology Resident Staff. The students may, under appropriate supervision, have the opportunity to perform minor procedures such as skin biopsies. Students will observe and assist residents during specialty clinics, including pediatric dermatology and dermatologic surgery clinics. Students will attend Friday morning consultation rounds and Kodachrome and Morphology lectures, resident didactic lectures, and departmental conferences. Students are assigned a reading list and projects (e.g. case reposts, cases series for publication, cases for presentations).
Clinical Dermatology - Dermatology Preceptorship
Students can elect to participate in a month-long preceptorship with a participating member of the full-time faculty. The student and the faculty member on an individual basis schedule these electives. Each faculty member determines the curriculum and the responsibilities of each student.
The following faculty members participate in preceptorships:
Dr. Maria Garzon, Dr. Julian Mackay Wiggan, Dr. Kimberly Morel, Dr. Robert Walther
Faculty participation and elective availability vary with each month. Students are required to coordinate the course with the faculty member and LaTanya Brown, Medical Education Coordinator, prior to enrolling for the course with Student Affairs.
A full-time commitment is expected on the part of the student for immersion in a contemporary dermatologic research experience.
Students under the direct supervision of dermatology research faculty will participate in ongoing clinical or basic science research projects. Areas of ongoing research include the molecular basis of genetic skin and hair disorders, photobiology, control of cell cycle, keratinocyte proliferation, basement noprmembrane zone biology, chemoprevention of tumors, and dermatologic immunology. Students are asked to send a CV or biosketch to the course director together with schedule blocks in order of preference. The CV will be circulated among the research faculty, and the student will be assigned to a lab that can accommodate the student's schedule. Students who participate in this elective are automatically considered as a possible recipient of the Lowenfish Prize which is awarded annually for creative dermatologic research.