By Christin Senior | November 25, 2021 2:31 pm

UCF’s College of Medicine is one of the nation’s top ranked schools for students matching into dermatology residencies, according to a recent report in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University College of Medicine, ranked medical schools nationally by the number of students — proportional to class size – who matched into dermatology residencies across the U.S. UCF ranked 13th nationally, tied with Stanford University. The top three rankings were Baylor College of Medicine, Harvard University and University of Michigan respectively.  

Dermatology is one of the most competitive specialties for residency applicants. In 2021, 734 applicants applied for 477 positions available nationally.  

From 2017-2020, the years earmarked for the study, 17 UCF medical students matched into residency programs at hospitals including UC Irvine Medical Center, Mayo Clinic and Boston University Medical Center.

The study showed that schools with their own dermatology residency programs had higher match rates.  The College of Medicine does not yet have a dermatology residency, and Dr. Jeff Greenwald, chair of dermatology education, said UCF’s ranking is a testament to the hard work and dedication of students and faculty.

“Dermatology residency programs are probably the most competitive to match out of any subspecialty,” he said. “So for students at a school of our size, not having a residency program, not having a clinical program the way a lot of medical schools do, it’s pretty incredible that that number of students has successfully matched.”

The study also cited mentorship as a key contributing factor to match success. Dr. Greenwald praised the work of Drs. Naveed Sami and David Weinstein, faculty physicians at UCF Health, the College of Medicine clinical practice, who lead dermatology electives for students.

 “Dr. Sami and Dr. Weinstein have consistently served not only as great role models for the students,” Dr. Greenwald said, “they have tremendously helped our students achieve dermatology publications which is a significant part of students’ success in the highly competitive dermatology match.”

In addition to research opportunities, students gain clinical experience working alongside the faculty dermatologists in their clinical practice.

“The success of medical students goes back to the old saying ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’” said Dr. Sami, who specializes in autoimmune and autoinflammatory skin diseases. “This is no different for medical students as they journey through medical school and beyond.  The dermatology faculty are hopeful the class of 2022 and beyond will continue to replicate the successful results.” 

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