About the Program

The Dermatology Residency Training Program in the Department of Dermatology at The University of Iowa is a fully approved, three-year program which provides trainees with educational and practical experience that will enable them to deliver superior specialized skin care to patients.

Residents get comprehensive training in adult and pediatric dermatology and dermatologic surgery. The correlation of cutaneous pathophysiology and histologic findings with clinical disease and response to therapy is strongly emphasized in our clinical services. While the emphasis of training in this department is clinical, research (either clinical or laboratory) is encouraged and adequate time for such research studies will be made available on an individual basis.

There are 15 positions in the Dermatology Residency Training Program. All trainees are expected to complete the three-year program, but appointments are for one year with yearly reappointment. Five new residents are accepted per year. It is expected that all trainees will be eligible to sit for the examination of the American Board of Dermatology (ABD) upon completion of their residency.

The department is located in modern quarters including a clinic with 17 exam rooms, six Mohs surgery rooms, three laser surgery rooms and an ultraviolet therapy room. Facilities are immediately below the departmental offices of faculty and residents and in the attached Children's Hospital. The department also staffs outpatient clinics at the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Iowa River Landing. The Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center is located immediately adjacent to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and Iowa River Landing is 2 miles away. Our state-of-the-art departmental research laboratories, approximately 4,000 square feet, are within walking distance.

Approximately 30,000 patient visits are made yearly to the clinical service areas within the department. The residents carry a major responsibility for patient care, under faculty supervision. Patients are drawn from a large geographic area (all of Iowa, western Illinois, and northern Missouri), providing a wide spectrum of diseases. In addition to referrals from outside the University, a large number of referrals are seen from the University of Iowa Student Health Service and other specialty departments within University of Iowa Health Care.

Mission Statement

To promote the highest quality of health for patients with skin disease through creative teaching, systematic research, and the provision of empathetic, judicious, state-of-the-art medical care.


Accreditation of individuals trained in Dermatology is provided by the American Board of Dermatology (ABD). To be eligible for examination you must have satisfactorily completed 12 months of broad clinical training (PGY-1) and a formal residency training program in Dermatology of at least 36 months. For more detailed information visit the American Board of Dermatology’s website at www.abderm.org.


Dermatology 2022 group photo with sunset in the background

Thank you for your interest in the Dermatology Residency Program offered by the Department of Dermatology at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.

Our three year ACGME-accredited program affords outstanding professional training for residents in the latest skills and knowledge of dermatology in order to provide patients with quality care.

The department takes pride in offering:

  • The highest quality medical and surgical care for diseases of the skin, hair, and nails. These services are offered in modern facilities by recognized leaders in the field of dermatology
  • World-class research conducted by department faculty on basic and clinical skin disease research to advance scientific knowledge, in order to provide better care for our patients

Quick Facts

By the Numbers

  • 5 residents are accepted each year
  • 15 total residents are ACGME approved for our training program
  • 14 faculty members train and mentor dermatology residents

Scheduling Rotations

Required Rotations

All rotations take place at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.

Elective Rotations

A total of four weeks of elective time (including international) may be taken during the 2nd and 3rd year of residency training.


  • Competitive stipends
  • Comprehensive medical, dental, hospitalization and pharmacy benefits for residents/fellows and their dependents
  • 21 days of annual paid time off.

Board Certification Requirements

Visit the American Board of Dermatology for specifics on board certification requirements.

Department Overview


First and foremost is its tradition of excellence in dermatology training that goes back many years. Iowa is a department with strengths in both medical and surgical dermatology and a faculty that is committed to passing on their knowledge to our trainees. The faculty is equally balanced with experienced, skilled senior members and energetic, creative junior faculty members. Additionally, both the Carver College of Medicine and University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics are working together in advancing Dermatology. Both have recently invested in the infrastructure and new faculty opportunities for the Department. 

The Department also maintains a close affiliation with the Veterans Hospital, which is located directly across the street from UI Hospitals & Clinics. The VA supports both clinical training opportunities and research within the Department of Dermatology. Finally, the University of Iowa also enjoys the strong on-going support of the program by its graduates and the community of dermatologists and patients in Iowa.

Clinical Services and Personnel

The Dermatology Clinics is a full-service outpatient surgical clinic containing 19 examination rooms, eight Mohs Surgery suites, two lasers surgery rooms, and an ultraviolet therapy room.  The Department of Dermatology provides approximately 30,000 outpatient visits per year.

The dermatology medical personnel is comprised of 12 faculty physicians, 2 PhD faculty, 15 residents, 1 ARNP, and 1 PA. The department also utilizes the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City for its educational programs. 

The department is also currently active in recruiting several new faculty members to assist in serving the ever-growing numbers of patients who seek our specialized dermatologic care. 


The department enjoys recently renovated laboratory space in the Marshall Dermatology Research Laboratories that supports both basic and clinical research. New programs sponsored by the NIH, VA, and industry will offer research opportunities that span clinical, translational, and basic science research on dermatological diseases and conditions.

Resident's Life

First Year Residency

First year residents spend twelve months in the general and pediatric outpatient clinics which are located in the University of Iowa Hospitals and clinics, Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Iowa River Landing. By the end of the first year, we expect residents to be familiar with the clinical, pathological manifestations as well as treatment of the common congenital, inflammatory and neoplastic dermatologic diseases.

Residents should also be comfortable with punch and shave biopsies, liquid nitrogen cryotherapy, cyst excisions, simple excisions, UVB and PUVA photo therapy, and patch testing.

Second and Third Year Residency

In addition to time in outpatient clinics, there is a three-month assignment in cutaneous surgery, encompassing Mohs surgery and laser therapy. Three months are spent on the combined inpatient ward and consultation service and three months are also spent in dermatopathology. There are  rotations at the Iowa City VA medical Center where the resident is responsible for managing dermatological patients, the outpatient clinic, as well as the inpatiaent consultations and surgeries. A one month elective may be individually arranged.

Residents have the opportunity to participate in seminars and classroom teaching. They also are encouraged to engage in one-on-one teaching of medical students and have opportunities to speak to paramedical groups. Additionally, the dermatology residents interact with residents or fellows from other services on clinical rotations in the department.

While the emphasis in the training of resident physicians in this department is clinical, research (either clinical or laboratory) is encouraged. Adequate time for such research studies will be made available on an individual basis. According to the American Board of Dermatology guidelines, all residents should participate in basic or clinical research during their residency. Residents will be expected to participate in at least one clinically-relevant research project during their three-year residency period (a case report and literature review suitable for publication would fulfill this requirement). It is expected that each resident will acquire sufficient knowledge and skill to become a diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology.

There are educational conferences for residents, including textbook conferences, journal club, didactic lectures, and weekly grand rounds. The curriculum is designed to cover both basic science and clinical aspects of medical dermatology, dermatologic surgery and dermatopathology. Over the past 15 years we have had a 98% pass rate on the American Board of Dermatology certification exam.

Clinical Units

The breadth of dermatologic disease can be broadly classified into primarily medical and surgical/ procedural dermatology. Some medical dermatology problems are rather straightforward in many patients with respect to diagnosis and treatment options. However, other medical dermatologic disease can have life-threatening complications of the disease or treatment required to manage the disease. The faculty that practice predominantly medical dermatology routinely see mild to moderately severe medical dermatologic disease with residents on a daily basis. In addition, these faculty also work with residents in diagnosing and managing very severe medical dermatologic disorders both in outpatient and inpatient settings.

Surgical/procedural dermatology can be subdivided into conventional and advanced surgical dermatology. Residents participate in removal of both benign and malignant lesions with excisional technique or other destructive modalities throughout their residency. Additionally, residents are instructed on advanced surgical dermatology (Mohs surgical technique).

Another more recently developed functional unit of dermatology is cosmetic dermatology. This discipline includes various types of laser therapy, liposuction, injection of various filler materials, chemical peels, and use of Botulinum toxin for wrinkle effacement and hyperhidrosis. Dermatology residents work with the faculty in performing all of the above surgical and cosmetic techniques.

Medical Dermatology

A broad spectrum of dermatologic medical disease is seen at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics inpatient and outpatient services, University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center inpatient and outpatient services, and several outreach clinics of University of Iowa Health Care. These patients come from the local community as well as the State of Iowa and surrounding states, including western Illinois, eastern Nebraska and northern Missouri.

Many patients are referred by primary care and specialty physicians for further diagnosis and treatment of difficult problems related to skin disease. All patient care is delivered in conjunction with faculty.

Many of the department’s faculty have a primary clinical and research interest in life-threatening or potentially disabling skin diseases such as cutaneous lymphoma, severe psoriasis, allergic contact dermatitis-eczema, autoimmune blistering diseases (pemphigus, bullous pemphigoid, epidermolysis bullosa acquisita, linear IgA bullous dermatosis, dermatitis herpetiformis) and rheumatic skin disease (lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, scleroderma, vasculitis, etc.). A multidisciplinary Lymphoma Clinic has recently been established in the department and other subspecialty clinics are being developed. Long-term management of these disorders is provided by the residents teamed with specific faculty members. Patients with severe skin disorders may be admitted to the inpatient Dermatology Service at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. At present, this is a relatively low-volume service. There is an active inpatient consultation service for patients admitted on other department services who have cutaneous disease. They are seen by dermatology residents and faculty working as a team. The collegial team concept is emphasized throughout the Dermatology residency and all other activities of the Department of Dermatology.

Surgical Dermatology

Surgical skills are honed throughout the residency, both at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics and the adjacent Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The dermatologic surgery unit is currently comprised of one full-time Mohs surgeon and two full-time faculty with interests in cosmetics and excisions. The unit functions in an integrated role with the department. This provides an ideal setting for postgraduate education in medical and surgical dermatology. Residents are exposed to the principles of dermatologic surgery throughout their training and gain experience in the surgical management of skin disease. Throughout the three years of Dermatology training residents evaluate patients with surgical problems in the general dermatology clinic, present the relevant findings to the surgical staff, and participate in a surgical plan. The residents are assigned to the surgery service for a 2.5 month rotation in their second year, during which they are involved in the management of a full range of complex dermatological surgery cases. They prepare oral presentations for teaching conferences on surgical principles and present interesting cases, which illustrate these principles.

Faculty of the dermatologic surgery unit frequently collaborate with faculty from Head and Neck Surgery, Oculoplastic Surgery, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and other surgical services. Residents have the opportunity to care for patients at the initial evaluation, throughout the operative procedures, and during the rehabilitative and repair phases. Residents also attend multi-specialty tumor conferences, which serve an important educational and management role for higher risk tumors.

The resident physician is frequently involved in the evaluation and management of a large number and variety of cutaneous tumors. The residents are exposed to other procedures including surgical repair and reconstruction, skin grafting, laser and nail surgery, and aesthetic techniques. Journal review is done on a regular basis with an emphasis on dermatologic surgery. Residents play an important role in teaching basic principles of skin surgery and cutaneous oncology to medical students.

Pediatric Dermatology

Residents are incorporated into the pediatric dermatology clinic from day one of residency. All residents will become very comfortable seeing a wide variety complex pediatric dermatologic issues, both medical and surgical. Pediatric dermatology training continues throughout the three years of dermatology residency at Iowa.

In our program, there is an emphasis on procedural pediatric dermatology in addition to complex medical dermatology. Residents will become comfortable performing procedures on pediatric patients both in the outpatient clinic setting as well as with the assistance of the anesthesia team in the operating suite. In addition, residents will commonly have interaction with other pediatric subspecialists including (but not limited to) rheumatology, genetics, ophthalmology, general surgery, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, gastroenterology, neurology, interventional radiology, neurosurgery, and anesthesia. Multidisciplinary clinics in which residents can participate include vascular anomalies clinic, tuberous sclerosis clinic, and genetics conference. Establishing and understanding the importance of interactions between pediatric subspecialists as well as primary care pediatricians and dermatology is an integral part of our practice at Iowa. In terms of inpatient training, residents will have the opportunity to participate in a robust pediatric dermatology inpatient consult service during the second and third years of residency.

Overall, residents will complete residency training with comfort in addressing a host of pediatric conditions in general dermatology and would be extremely well equipped for a subsequent fellowship in pediatric dermatology.


Residents receive continuous training in dermatopathology throughout the three-year residency. One or two conferences a week are devoted exclusively to dermatopathology. Didactic conferences, “unknown” conferences, and monthly “great cases” conferences are attended. During “unknown” conference, eight to ten glass slides are put out for review and independent study. The faculty dermatopathologist then discusses the cases with the residents, emphasizing diagnostic features and the histopathologic differential diagnosis. Also, in the weekly conference schedule, the histologic findings of patients presented are reviewed via a digital projection microscopy system. Slides from tumors scheduled for surgical procedures are reviewed with the dermatologic surgery faculty to best determine the most appropriate surgical procedure. Once each month, the dermatopathologist and the resident assigned to dermatopathology present “great cases” of the month. Slides are reviewed by projection microscopy.

During the second or third year of the residency, each resident spends a three-month block of time on dermatopathology. During this time they, along with a pathology resident, are responsible for looking at the slides and arriving at a preliminary diagnosis. The resident assigned to dermatopathology then meets with the dermatopathology faculty to formally read all of the slides and arrive at the final diagnosis.

In addition to formal teaching and pathology sign out, there is an extensive teaching set of instructive dermatopathology slides available for independent study.

Dermatologic Research Program

The research program in the Department of Dermatology at University of Iowa College of Medicine is currently expanding. In addition to MD faculty, currently two Ph.D. full-time faculty participate in basic science research. The 4,000 square feet of dedicated bench research space was completely renovated, ceiling-to-floor, in 1999 to produce a state-of-the-art facility. Currently immunobullous disease is a major focus of research.