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Zacky

How do I get my foot in the door with derm faculty not in my university?

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I'm an incoming medical student curious about the field of dermatology but not attending one of the Ontario medical schools with a derm residency program. What are some tips for starting connections with faculty members in these residency programs? Would I cold email them with the intent of working on research with them? Or should I try to schedule observerships first? Are there ways to build long-term relationships with these faculty despite the distance? And lastly, would there be any benefit in connecting with dermatologists in my own university?

Please go easy on me. I am quite clueless about this, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Talk with your school's faculty (the people who usually meet with students and give advice) and upper years. Usually they will give you advice on establishing a working relationship with someone, or put you in contact with someone that does.

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That's a tough one, you are already disadvantaged compared to students at one with derm faculty. Odds are not zero, but reduced.

Good thing you are thinking about it in MS1 because competition is probably tougher than getting into med school.

Try to find out all the community dermatologist in your city, see if any faculty at your university has any connection to them, no matter how slight, could be useful. Even if you can't do elective, at least get an observership, get some face time etc.

The best way is to fan out a web and catch as many connections as you can through faculty at your university, maybe the plastic surgeon or pathologist or rheumatologist know derm faculty somewhere, and through that connection you can get elective, or research. A phone call or even better some face time is always preferred to emailing, but worse case just mass cold email. 

Look broadly for summer research opportunities in derm/dermpath, cast a wide net, don't be afraid to go to another province, or another country for a few months. 

If you speak French, that could be a big plus if you can apply for QC schools. 

If you can ace the USMLE, you just gave yourself more ammunition for US residency.

Good luck.

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