The mission and heart of the UCLA - West LA VAH Dermatology Residency Program is to train our physicians to be outstanding dermatology clinicians, specialty educators, researchers and leaders in our field. Our Program Director, Dr. Vanessa Holland, and her leadership group ensure that UCLA trainees receive a multidisciplinary experience where they gain expertise in medical dermatology, various sub-specialties within medical dermatology, pediatric dermatology, dermatopathology, and dermatologic surgery.
In addition to the traditional three-year clinical track, UCLA Dermatology also offers the Specialty Training and Research (STAR) Program for applicants interested in a career in research. The STAR program provides physician-scientists entering our program with combined M.D./Ph.D. degrees a comprehensive clinical training integrated with a post-doctoral opportunity. This affords the resident the opportunity to pursue advanced research training in an area of focused interest.
STAR trainees have a dedicated half to full day during the first two years of training to formulate and initiate research projects. The traditional third year of clinical training is divided into two years to promote adequate protected time for research while maintaining a complete and thorough clinical experience (2+2 four-year track).
Dermatology residents in the STAR track are eligible for American Board of Dermatology certification upon completion of the track. An overview of the STAR program can be found at: https://medschool.ucla.edu/star-about-star.
At UCLA Dermatology, along with UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine, we aim for excellence in patient care, education, research and community service. We are privileged to care for patients of all races, ethnicities, ages, genders, sexual orientations, physical abilities, socioeconomic status, and religions. We are committed to recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty, staff, residents and fellows from diverse backgrounds and life experiences who will value and celebrate the unique perspectives that each individual brings to our community. We are committed to promoting health equity and fostering an inclusive multicultural community as we believe that diversity leads to excellence.
To prioritize this effort, the division of dermatology has created a sub-committee comprised of our residents, our surgical fellow and faculty members. For more information on our institutional commitment, please see the UCLA Office of EDI website: https://equity.ucla.edu/.
The UCLA Dermatology resident curriculum devotes two half days per week to resident didactics and education, and includes faculty-led textbook review, dermatopathology review, hands-on practical training sessions, and journal club review of current literature. Lectures are designed to cover the broad range of topics necessary for the training dermatologist, and allow for open discussion and questions throughout.
To foster development in public speaking and junior mastery of the subject at hand, residents are also tasked with giving two Grand Rounds lectures on topics of personal interest and relevance to the field during their time in training. Speakers from other divisions and departments, as well as from outside institutions, are also invited to present at Grand Rounds on a monthly basis on various areas of expertise.
Currently, all didactics and Grand Rounds are held remotely via Zoom, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Hospital is an integral part of the residency training program. The hospital is located approximately 10 minutes from the Westwood campus, with the dermatology clinic occurring five half days per week. Four residents staff the medical clinic each day, with an additional resident scheduled on surgery. The faculty at the West LA VA includes several full-time faculty from the residency program, as well as voluntary academic affiliates based in private practice. Dr. David Beynet is the Chief of the VA Dermatology section and serves as the Residency Program Site Director at the West LA VA. There is extensive surgical experience at this site, including over 600 Mohs cases per year.
Olive View-UCLA Medical Center is a county hospital located in the north end of the San Fernando Valley, approximately 30 minutes from UCLA. The county facility has both inpatient and outpatient adult and pediatric services to meet the needs of low income and medically indigent patients, as well as the surrounding middle-class community. Approximately 50% of patients identify as Hispanic, while the other 50% identify as Caucasian, Asian, African American, Pacific Islander and many other diverse ethnicities. Olive View is also the referral center for the ValleyCare system of County-operated clinics. These community-based clinics serve residents of the San Fernando, Santa Clarita, and Antelope Valleys in north Los Angeles County, and provide Olive View with a large patient population and an extraordinary breadth of diversity. Dr. Yang Yu serves as the Residency Program Site Director at the Olive View-UCLA Medical Center dermatology clinic. Currently, three dermatology residents staff the clinic on one half day per week.
Our program offers comprehensive training in general dermatologic surgery, Mohs micrographic surgery, and cosmetics. Residents are provided ample opportunities to meet and exceed the number of surgical and cosmetic procedures required for completion of residency. Residents also have the opportunity for additional surgical exposure through in-service sessions and elective time. In addition, UCLA offers a Micrographic Surgery and Dermatologic Oncology one-year fellowship.
Our program works closely with our Pathology Department, headed in the Division of Dermatopathology by Dr. Chandra Smart. Our dermatopathology colleagues dedicate three hours per week of dermatopathology training to our residents and graciously attend our weekly Grand Rounds to comment on patient presentations and histologic correlation. A dermatopathology fellowship is offered through the Department of Pathology and is run by Fellowship Director Dr. Peter Sarantopoulous.
The Los Angeles Metropolitan Dermatological Society (MetroDerm) holds eight educational meetings per year for dermatologists in the greater Los Angeles area. The evening meetings are comprised of live patient presentations, invited speakers, interactive discussion panels, and histologic presentations. Each regional residency program, which includes UCLA, Harbor-UCLA, UC Irvine, USC and Kaiser Los Angeles, hosts one annual meeting. During these university-hosted meetings, complex patients with educational relevance are presented to the members of the society.
Camp Wonder is a week-long camp held annually in Livermore, Calif., and offered to children with complex cutaneous disease and varied genodermatoses including epidermolysis bullosa, ichthyosis, basal cell nevus syndrome, ectodermal dysplasia, and many others. The camp is supported by charitable donations, staffed by faculty and resident volunteers from various institutions including UCLA, USC, UCSF and Stanford, and is offered at no cost to campers’ families. Campers are able to participate in activities such as swimming, boating, arts and crafts, archery, fishing, nature walks, and theater; and to bond with other children their age experiencing similar medical concerns.
Camp Wonder provides an opportunity for residents and faculty to gain new insight into the daily burdens of severe skin disease while helping to provide both medical care and a much-needed respite for campers and their parents.
Residents also have the opportunity to provide dermatologic care to an underserved population at the Venice Family Clinic, a free clinic for local residents held two evenings per month. Medical students, UCLA faculty, and additional local dermatologists participate as well.
Please reach out to our Program Coordinator with any questions you may have:
Student Affairs Officer
What is your accreditation status?
The UCLA Dermatology Residency Program has full ACGME accreditation.
What subspecialty clinics are offered?
Residents rotate through the following current clinics throughout their training:
What subspecialty clinics on the forefront?
Do residents have continuity clinics?
Yes, our PGY-3 and PGY-4 trainees have a continuity clinic every two weeks throughout their senior years of training. These continuity clinics currently occur at our main UCLA clinic locations (Westwood and Santa Monica), and residents are paired with a single faculty member who serves as a mentor for their clinic throughout this time. Residents are able to schedule follow up for their patients and serve as the primary provider for these visits. We hope to soon extend these clinics to our PGY-2 residents.
What electives are available?
Residents currently have elective time to rotate through other UCLA subspecialties, which includes wound care, rheumatology, plastic surgery, and head and neck surgery, as well as the opportunity to create other electives on a case-by-case basis. PGY-3 and PGY-4 residents are also provided with one month of “away” time each year to support learning opportunities outside of our institution. Recent residents have participated in numerous funded rotations, including AAD rotations with the Native American Health Service and Botswana, as well as mentorship grants through the Women’s Dermatologic Society and the Gay and Lesbian Dermatology Association.
Unfortunately, at this time, these rotations are on hold due to the current pandemic.
What meetings do residents attend?
Residents of all years are encouraged to attend the Annual AAD Meeting. STAR Residents are also encouraged to attend the annual SID meeting. An additional three days per year are available to each resident to attend other conferences, to foster opportunities for presentation and additional learning. Residents then share key learnings with their peers during didactics.
How many vacation days are allotted per year to a resident?
Four one-week blocks of vacation are provided each year. Requests for additional time off for any other purpose except those qualifying as medical leave or maternity/paternity leave should be submitted to the Program Director for review in advance.
Does your program offer “pre-match” or other positions outside of the NRMP Match?
Our program offers residency positions only through the NRMP (National Residency Matching Program).
Does your program accept applicants who have done a prior residency?
Yes, we welcome applicants who have had previous residency training.
Does your program accept applicants who are already board certified in another specialty?
Yes, we welcome applicants who are board certified in another specialty.
Does your program accept transfers from other dermatology residency programs?
Residents interested in transfer to our program will be considered, provided our program is not at full ACGME capacity and may be supported by the division/department.
In applying for the Dermatology residency, can one apply to both the Clinical and the STAR Programs?
You must choose one track only, either the clinical Dermatology program or the STAR Dermatology program. These are separate matches. Applications for both programs will not be accepted. If you apply to both, you will be contacted by our program coordinator to select one program. If one program isn’t selected, your application may not be reviewed.
If a STAR resident chooses to leave the STAR residency program, can they transfer into the clinical residency tract to complete their training?
Unfortunately there is no guarantee that a position in the traditional clinical program will be available at the time requested, but it will be considered.
What salary and benefits do Dermatology residents receive?
Please visit the UCLA Graduate Medical Education website for more information.
Copy of the residency contract.
Click here for a copy of the current residency contract.
Submit all your application documents to ERAS.
Graduates of International Medical Schools must possess valid ECFMG certificates, be eligible for J-1 visa sponsorship and have the State of California eligibility letter at the time of application. We are currently limited with regard to acceptance of international trainees given the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Refer to ERAS for the status of your application. We will review applications and select from the candidates with complete applications as of the deadline. At that time, we will contact candidates for interviews that will take place during January.