Dermatology Residency Program

Dermatology Residency Program

Among the more than 100 medical specialties and subspecialties, the Department of Dermatology was the third department established at Cleveland Clinic and is currently located on the sixth floor of the outpatient superstructure, known as the Crile Building

The Department of Dermatology has grown over the years to include over 26 full time clinical staff including specialists in general and pediatric dermatology, contact and occupational dermatitis, phototherapy, oral and bullous diseases, and hair disorders. Our surgical dermatology department include 7 full time Mohs surgeons, as well as cosmetic surgeons who routinely perform procedures involving lasers, peels, neurotoxin and soft tissue injections, liposuction and sclerotherapy. We also have a full time research staff. Currently, we have 17 individuals undergoing extensive and rigorous training in this all-encompassing dermatologic learning environment. 

2018-2019 Applicants for the Cleveland Clinic Dermatology Residency Program

Please be advised that this year's candidates should have completed and received their Step 1 USMLE scores. We encourage, but do not require, completion of Step 2 CK USMLE on October 30, 2017. No exceptions will be made due to the large number of applications we receive each year.

Interview dates:
January 11, 2018
January 12, 2018
January 25, 2018
January26, 2018

Program Goals

The Department of Dermatology offers a four-year categorical training program that fulfills the requirements of the American Board of Dermatology. Candidates apply for a four-year program to include a year of transitional GL-1 training.

A commitment to excellence in residency training is one of the highest priorities of the Cleveland Clinic. Our Dermatology Residency Program (DRP) provides a comprehensive academic and clinical experience in dermatology and the subspecialty fields of dermatopathology, pediatric dermatology and dermatologic surgery.  Such training enables our graduates to pursue with distinction careers in academic dermatology, clinical dermatology, as well as subspecialty training in dermatopathology, pediatric dermatology and dermatologic surgery.

The overall specific goals of the Dermatology training program include:

  1. To provide residents with the requisite skills in differential diagnosis and in the management of dermatological problems which span the spectrum of common as well as complex dermatological diseases that encompass a multidisciplinary approach.
  2. To foster the development of essential personal and intellectual attributes which will facilitate growth and development throughout their career.  Such intellectual attributes include a commitment to practice medicine based upon scientific knowledge rather than personal anecdote, the ability to critically assess and utilize the medical literature, as well as a rigorous intellectual approach to differential diagnosis and patient management.  Essential personal attributes of the dermatologist include honesty and personal integrity, compassion, and the recognition that the artful practice of dermatology consists of the humane and empathetic application of scientific knowledge.
  3. To facilitate and foster the personal career development of every resident physician participating in the training program. While service and clinical experience are essential components of house staff training, the highest priority is to ensure an exemplary educational experience, which prepares a resident to embark on whatever career path is ultimately chosen.
  4. To develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to achieve competency in the six areas of Core Competency as defined by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). These six areas are:
    • Patient Care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health
    • Medical Knowledge about established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and cognate (e.g. epidemiological and social-behavioral) sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care
    • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement that involves investigation and evaluation of their own patient care, appraisal and assimilation of scientific evidence, and improvements in patient care
    • Interpersonal and Communication Skills that result in effective information exchange and teaming with patients, their families, and other health professionals
    • Professionalism as manifested through a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles, and sensitivity to a diverse patient population
    • Systems-Based Practice, as manifested by actions that demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care and the ability to effectively call on system resources to provide care that is of optimal value
  5. To develop the skills and knowledge necessary to participate in a successful scholarly activity during their 4 years of residency training. Residents will develop the ability to:
      • Assess, critique, and synthesize the medical literature and apply it to patient care
      • Refine clinical questions, test hypotheses, properly design studies, and analyze and interpret data
      • Share this information with colleagues and other professionals both orally and in writing

Program Director: Christine Poblete-Lopez, MD
Assistant Program Director: Melissa Piliang, MD
Duration: 4 year categorical program
Number of Residents: 4
Time: Full time

For more information, please contact:

Christine Poblete-Lopez, MD
Program Director

Melissa Piliang, MD
Associate Program Coordinator

Cheryl Williams
Residency and Fellowship Coordinator

The Graduate Medical Education Department -- NA23
Cleveland Clinic
9500 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44195
Phone: 216.444.5690
Toll-free: 800.323.9259
Fax: 216.444.1162

Useful Links

Program Overview

Intern Year
Our program is a four-year categorical program and as such, all of our residents complete their PGY-1 year at Cleveland Clinic. Staff and residents agree that this structure has many advantages including excellent training in general medicine, familiarity with the hospital and its electronic medical records system, and generation of many colleagues in fields other than dermatology.

Thirteen four-week modules have been chosen to provide a well-rounded fund of knowledge in general medicine while providing exposure to fields of medicine and surgery that routinely have the most overlap with dermatology, such as rheumatology, infectious disease and plastic surgery.

The 13 modules include five modules of inpatient medicine with exposure to subspecialties including hematology and oncology, nephrology, and pulmonary and critical care medicine. Interns work side by side with residents on call to see admissions and take care of patient care issues as they arise. There is a daily cap of five admissions per team, with a total patient cap of 10 patients per intern. The maximum duration of a shift is 16 hours with at least 10 hours off between shifts, in compliance with ACCME regulations.

Other modules include dermatology clinic, dermatopathology, infectious disease consults, emergency medicine, and vacation. Weekly didactic conferences are held in conjunction with the Internal Medicine Department, where lunch is provided.

Resident Rotations for PGY-2 through PGY-4
The majority of the resident’s time is spent in the outpatient setting. There are 12 monthly modules during each academic year, divided among general dermatology and subspecialty clinics, each of which are staffed by respective experts in the field. These include monthly rotations in dermatologic surgery, dermatopathology, pediatric dermatology, photodermatology and patch testing. In general dermatology clinics, residents are similarly exposed to subspecialized clinics in connective tissue diseases, bullous diseases, hair loss, lymphoma, as well as bread and butter dermatology.

Residents also cover the hospital inpatient and consultation services for a one month module. Residents have the opportunity to evaluate and treat inpatient dermatological problems, develop diagnostic strategies, interpret laboratory findings, order medications and counsel patients. Residents round daily with a staff member who discusses the problems and reviews residents’ decision and management plans. Dermatology admissions are also cared for by the consult resident and rounded on daily in conjunction with the primary service.

The first several months of residency familiarize the new resident with the program. Under close supervision by the staff and senior residents, new residents practice the history taking and physical examination. Plans for diagnosis and treatment are discussed with staff physicians who make the ultimate decisions at this stage.

Residents learn many specialized techniques and procedures as well as administrative routines, protocols, instructional and departmental policies and the language of the specialty.

Teaching is emphasized throughout the residency and some additional educational opportunities are included in the first year schedule (PGY-2). These include weekly chief rounds consisting of an afternoon of teaching sessions surrounding a particular aspect of dermatology. Sessions include pathology unknowns, article reviews, and high yield board review materials. These teaching sessions are run by the senior residents. Teaching conferences, textbook club, and other scheduled educational events are outlined below.

During the second and third year of dermatology, new patients are assigned to residents, with staff physicians acting as consultants. Surgical skills are polished. The administrative and teaching responsibilities of serving as chief resident are granted to a deserving senior resident(s). Research projects are completed and presentations at major medical meetings are expected.

A four week elective is incorporated into the third year resident’s schedule. Senior residents may train in different departments within Cleveland Clinic or at an approved institution outside of Cleveland Clinic, potentially working with future colleagues, or pursuing fellowship interests.

Continuity Clinics
Continuity clinics allow the residents an opportunity to assume primary responsibility for patient evaluation and care and ensure follow up with a cohort of patient overtime. These weekly clinics begin in the first year and continue through the rest of the resident’s training.

Resident Surgery Clinics
Surgical clinics allow residents to have a hands-on opportunity to polish their procedural dermatology skills. Supervised by any of our surgical teaching faculty, each resident has an assigned clinic every other week. Procedures from electrodessication and curettage to standard excision, other cosmetic procedures are typically seen in these clinics.

Program Strengths

  • Large department with multiple world-renowned staff in clinical dermatology, dermatopathology, and dermatologic surgery.
  • Clinical dermatology includes training with staff encompassing all facets of clinical dermatology including contact dermatitis, phototherapy, oral clinic, hair clinic, pediatric dermatology, and general dermatology.
  • Surgical department provides exposure and training encompassing all facets of surgical and cosmetic dermatology including Mohs micrographic surgery, multiple lasers, neurotoxins, peels, soft tissue augmentation, sclerotherapy, hair transplants, liposuction, and photodynamic therapy.
  • Culturally diverse patient population with extensive exposure to all skin types.
  • Tremendously supportive program directors.
  • High volume of patients with emphasis on continuity.
  • Categorical program with internship tailored toward dermatology including rotations relevant to medical and surgical dermatology.

Educational Opportunities

Throughout the year, residents attend and participate in various scheduled teaching conferences as outlined below. Noon conference time is used primarily for journal clubs, textbook club, and didactic lectures.

Textbook Club
Currently, Andrews’ Clinical Dermatology is the text reviewed and readings are assigned on a weekly basis. Additional textbooks used for selected chapters and textbook club readings include Fitzpatrick’s General Dermatology, Bolognia’s Dermatology, Wolverton’s Drugs in Dermatology, Spitz’s Genodermatoses, Robinson’s Surgery of the Skin, Hurwitz’s Clinical Pediatric Dermatology, Weedon’s Skin Pathology among others. The various curricula for dermatopathology, dermatologic surgery and pediatric dermatology are similarly covered during these protected education time.

Journal Clubs
The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Archives of Dermatology, and Dermatologic Surgery journals are routinely reviewed. Selected readings may be reviewed from Journal of Investigative Dermatology, International Journal of Dermatology, British Journal of Dermatology, and Drugs in Dermatology, among others. Typically, residents are assigned specific articles to review, critique and summarize for the benefit of the group.

Grand Rounds
Every Thursday morning, patients with rare or unusual skin conditions or patients who pose diagnostic or therapeutic challenge participate in grand rounds attended by staff, residents, and medical students from Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, and Metro Health Medical Center departments of dermatology. The location of grand rounds rotates among the three programs. Cases are presented by the first year residents and discussed as a group following patient viewing.

Dermatopathology Lectures
Weekly dermatopathology lecture series are supplemented with additional workshops, outside lecturers, and review sessions throughout the year.

Staff Lectures
Each staff provides didactic lectures based in their areas of interest and the chief resident and program directors help coordinate many other lectures throughout the year.

Guest Lectures
Guest lecturers both from within Cleveland Clinic and outside institutions are invited to the dermatology department for participation in grand rounds, meetings and noon conferences.

Interdepartmental Combined Conferences
These combined conferences with other departments such as Plastic Surgery, Infectious Diseases, Rheumatology, Vascular Medicine, among others, occur throughout the year. These conferences focus on diseases and interesting or complex cases that hold a shared interest for the involved departments.

Cleveland Dermatological Society
Coordinated by Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and Metro Hospital dermatology departments, this meeting occurs 4 times per year and consists of the most interesting and complex cases in dermatology, attended by over 100 dermatologists from northeast Ohio.

Attendance and participation in important regional and national meetings is encouraged and supported. For the last few years, all residents have attended the annual AAD meeting, and most also present interesting cases at the Gross and Microscopic symposium, or other podium presentations. Second year residents participate in the annual Indiana Basic Science Course to augment exposure to basic science principles.

Additional meetings residents often attend include Ohio Dermatological Society (ODA), American Society of Dermatological Surgery (ASDS) and American Society of Dermatopathology (ASDP), and Society for Investigative Dermatology meetings, among others. Locally, residents are required to attend department CME events and the annual Dermatopathology Workshop, all organized by members of our department.

Procedural Dermatology Fellowship

Procedural Dermatology Fellowship

Program Goals

The Department of Dermatology offers a one-year fellowship in Micrographic Surgery and Dermatology Oncology Fellowship Program. Our department offers two such fellowships each year, fully approved by the American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS) and the ACGME. The Fellowship is only open to dermatologists who are either American Board of Dermatology certified or are eligible to take the American Board of Dermatology exam.

The goal of this fellowship is to thoroughly train an individual in all phases of procedural dermatology including Mohs surgery and reconstruction, excisional surgery, hair transplantation, cryosurgery, resurfacing techniques, laser surgery, tissue augmentation, sclerotherapy, liposuction, and other physical modalities.

Allison Vidimos, RPh, MD is the Director of the Micrographic Surgery and Dermatology Oncology Fellowship Program, and Dr. Christine Poblete-Lopez, MD is co-director. Drs. Jennifer Lucas and Jon Meine are approved surgical faculty. This exposure to several surgical faculty members broadens the scope of the program significantly.

Program Structure

The fellow spends several days per week in the Mohs Surgery Unit. During this time, he/she initially serves as first assistant, and then later attains graded responsibility for primarily treating cases under staff supervision. Each year approximately 3000 skin cancers are treated in our main campus and satellite Mohs surgery locations. The majority are also repaired in our unit. The other time periods are varied. New patients are evaluated in consultation for cancer surgery or cosmetic procedures. Post-surgical patients and other continuing cases are seen weekly. Considerable time is devoted to laser procedures.

A very collegial relationship has been developed between our department and those of Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology, and Plastic Surgery. Thus, the fellow in procedural dermatology has an opportunity to spend time with these other services to participate in combined cases with them.

In terms of didactic material, Tuesday evenings once a month is set aside for fellow oriented teaching. Case based conferences and journal clubs covering topics pertinent to procedural dermatology are covered during this monthly conference. The fellows also attend and participate in the residents' weekly conferences encompassing a thorough review of dermatologic surgery topics as well as quarterly cadaver labs. Fellows receive certificates in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS). Every fellow attends the annual ACMS meeting.

We expect every dermatologic surgery fellow to complete at least one publication during their fellowship regarding some phase of surgery or cutaneous oncology, as well as submit a quality improvement project.

Our fellowship offers a broad experience in all aspects of dermatologic surgery, and our patient population is a very diverse one.

Application Process

Applications are processed through the central application service (CAS) of the San Francisco Match. Click here to submit your application.  

The deadline for submission of the required materials is September 1 of the year prior to the start of the academic year. Interviews will be arranged in the fall for qualified candidates. 

  • Allison Vidimos, RPh, MD
    Director of Micrographic Surgery and Dermatology Fellowship 
    Cleveland Clinic
    9500 Euclid Ave., A61
    Cleveland, OH 44195
    Phone: 216.444.3345

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Dermatopathology Fellowship

Dermatopathology Fellowship

The Cleveland Clinic Dermatopathology fellowship is a one-year ACGME-approved fellowship. Eligible candidates must have completed their dermatology or pathology training and be board eligible or certified.

The Dermatopathology fellowship is an integrated fellowship which includes a year of dermatopathology and concurrent  exposure in clinical dermatology or anatomical pathology, which is dependent on the fellow’s previous training.

Each fellow is exposed to a variety of dermatopathology subspecialties, special studies and techniques. The major emphasis is placed on inflammatory disease, cutaneous tumors, pigmented lesions, laboratory procedures, immunopathology and molecular diagnostic techniques.

Limited and clinically relevant time is spent in clinical pathology, microbiology, mycology, bacteriology, virology and electron microscopy. Research projects, teaching, publications and local and national presentations are encouraged and expected.

Learn More

For more information, please contact:

Katherine Williams
Fellowship & Dermatopathology Section Coordinator
Robert J. Tomsich Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Institute
216.444.2168 or

Wilma F. Bergfeld, MD
Fellowship Program Director
216.444.2168 or

Additional Resources

Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Graduate Medical Education -- NA23
9500 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44195
Phone: 216.444.5690
Toll-free: 800.323.9259

Useful Links

Dermatology Elective Rotation

Dermatology Elective Rotation


To provide an opportunity to observe the work-up and management of the full spectrum of dermatology patients on a busy outpatient service.


The student observes the work-up and management of patients, attends teaching rounds, lectures, Journal Club, and learns the principles of dermatologic diagnostic and therapeutic techniques, such as tissue examination for fungus and mites, skin biopsy and histopathologic examinations.

The student also is exposed to more complicated dermatologic procedures such as microscopically controlled surgery for skin cancer (Mohs micrographic surgery), laser surgery, hair replacement surgery, and facial resurfacing.

The professional personnel of the department consists of 15 well-trained and experienced full-time staff members, 13 residents in various stages of specialty training, two dermatologic surgery fellows, two dermatopathology fellows, one lymphoma fellow and one environmental fellow. Also, we have just brought on a consultant pediatric dermatologist who is here two times a month establishing new pediatric patients. 

The Department of Dermatology comprises primarily an outpatient service that treats more than 50,000 patients per year. In addition, dermatologic consultations are rendered to about five or more inpatients per day for all other services on request. The entire range of dermatologic disease is seen at the Cleveland Clinic, from acne to pemphigus. Interesting, unusual and difficult patients often are referred here. The student meets with the chief resident(s) on the first day for assignments.

Evaluation forms are given to staff members to whom the student is assigned. A report will be given to deans and phase coordinators on request.

Medical students interested in doing an elective rotation in Derm should go to:

Program Director:

Christine Poblete-Lopez, MD

Assistant Program Director:

Melissa Piliang, MD

For more information, please contact:

To receive additional information or to schedule a rotation, contact the:
Medical Student Education - NA24
Cleveland Clinic
9500 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44195
Phone: 216.445.7435

Complex Medical Dermatology Fellowship

Complex Medical Dermatology Fellowship

The Cleveland Clinic Department of Dermatology is seeking applicants for a non-ACGME-accredited Complex Medical Dermatology fellowship. This full-time, 12-month position will offer a comprehensive and strongly mentored clinical experience in complex medical dermatology, including outpatient care, inpatient care, and dermatopathology. There will also be regular clinical collaboration with our team of expert faculty physicians across several medical disciplines. The fellowship will offer exceptional opportunities for conducting clinical and/or translational research, clinical trials, and teaching experiences.  Attendance and presentation at scientific conferences will be encouraged. 

This fellowship will provide an outstanding foundation for a career in academic dermatology. Clinical responsibilities will include time dedicated to inpatient dermatology consultation, outpatient dermatology patient care, dermatopathology, and clinical teaching.  This fellowship position will also include protected time for research, professional development and scholarship.

Patients with a variety of complex medical dermatologic diseases will be seen in an outpatient setting, including dermatomyositis, lupus erythematosus, fibrosing skin diseases, neutrophilic dermatoses, hidradenitis suppurativa, atopic dermatitis, cutaneous T-cell lymphomas, autoimmune blistering diseases, vasculitis, and psoriatic disease.  Hospitalized patients with these diseases may also be seen while rotating on our hospital consult service, but more common diagnoses in the hospital setting will include a spectrum of adverse drug reactions (including DRESS syndrome and Stevens-Johnson syndrome, acute graft-vs.-host disease, calciphylaxis, and ulcers of varying etiology). 

Fellowship Eligibility

The appropriate applicant must have an M.D. or equivalent degree, be board-certified or board-eligible in dermatology, and must have demonstrated qualifications for clinical care and teaching. Credentials allowing ability to obtain an Ohio Medical license is critical. Fellowship start date may vary, but can be any time starting July 31, 2020.

Interested applicants should email the following to fellowship director: Anthony Fernandez, MD, PhD

  • Updated CV
  • 2-3 letters of recommendation from physicians who served as either (a) supervising physicians during residency at least one letter must be from a previous supervising physician), or (b) as colleagues of the applicant in practice, if the applicant has practiced dermatology after board-certification for at least 12 months.
  • Personal Statement
  • Copy of American Board of Dermatology certification or Residency graduation certificate.