San Francisco Veterans Hospital (SFVA)

Comprising several months of the first-year resident experience and occasional months thereafter, the SFVA rotation introduces residents to both medical and surgical dermatology, with an emphasis on cutaneous oncology. Residents at the VA spend one day per week with direct exposure to Mohs micrographic surgery and surgical repairs, as well as a half-day per week performing other surgical procedures. The resident team also directly reviews the pathologic specimens generated from their surgical and biopsy procedures with the dermatopathologist in a weekly VA dermatopathology scope session. A telemedicine experience is part of the VA dermatology rotation. The dermatology residents based at the VA also perform inpatient consultations at that site.

Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFGH)

At San Francisco's vibrant county hospital, dermatology residents work with a uniquely diverse patient population and gain exposure to a tremendous range of dermatologic disease. A high-volume, high-yield clinical experience, the SFGH rotation begins to increase resident autonomy, preparing trainees for the pace and range of dermatologic practice while providing supervision from outstanding UCSF faculty based at the General. While at SFGH, residents also perform surgical procedures, review their biopsy specimens with dermatopathology faculty at a weekly scope conference, spend one half-day each week in a dedicated pediatric dermatology clinic, and perform inpatient consultations. Trainees also rotate through a nationally recognized weekly clinic specifically dedicated to caring for HIV-infected patients.

UCSF/Mount Zion Practices

Our dermatology residents also spend several months each year at our UCSF / Mt. Zion campus, where the Department of Dermatology is headquartered. The general dermatology clinics at Mt. Zion provide exposure to medical dermatology that ranges from common diseases to complex referral or consultation cases from practitioners across the western United States. The Mt. Zion site also houses a tremendous range of exceptional subspecialty practices led by highly recognized faculty, most of which are built in to specific Mt. Zion resident rotations. Some of these specialty clinics include a large pediatric dermatology practice, a psoriasis and phototherapy center, and clinics focused on hair and nail disease, cutaneous lymphomas, occupational and environmental dermatoses, pigment disorders, melanoma, high-risk skin cancer patients, vascular anomalies, autoimmune diseases, large or rare tumors, ulcers and wounds, acne and rosacea, and others. Busy dermatologic surgery and dermatopathology units are also based at Mt. Zion.

UCSF dermatology residents spend about four to five months over three years on pediatric-dermatology focused rotations at Mt. Zion under the supervision of our four pediatric derm faculty. In addition to a large general pediatric dermatology practice, these rotations include exposure to a multidisciplinary vascular anomalies conference, pediatric laser therapy, a multidisciplinary atopic dermatitis practice, and others. Each month, one of the two residents on pediatric dermatology serves on a special rotation with substantial time set aside for inpatient consultations at the UCSF Children's Hospital.

In addition to the surgical exposures at the VA and SFGH described above, our residents have one month set aside each year for a dedicated dermatologic surgery rotation that occurs at our Mt. Zion campus under the supervision of our four dermatologic surgeons. This rotation involves substantial exposure to Mohs micrographic surgery, complex repairs, other surgical procedures, and a wide variety of cosmetic procedures.

Residents also have one month set aside each year for a dedicated dermatopathology rotation that also occurs at our Zion campus. We feel that an in-depth curriculum in and exposure to dermatopathology is critical to an understanding of skin disease, and residents are taught directly by our world-renowned dermatopathology faculty.

Residents also rotate on a month-long, dedicated, adult inpatient consult service at our UCSF University Hospital at least twice during their training. This outstanding rotation is overseen by three members of our faculty with nationally recognized expertise in the emerging subspecialty of consultative dermatology.

Continuity Clinics

To optimize longitudinal care for those patients who need complicated diagnostic work-ups, prolonged monitored therapies, or have other difficult-to-manage issues, a continuity practice was established for our residents in each year of training. Our residency program highly values trainees gaining increasing familiarity with a consistent group of patients, recapitulating what a graduate would expect to face in his/her own eventual practice. Residents are assigned each year to weekly half-day continuity clinics at one of our three core sites. In addition, these practices have an incorporated didactic component consisting of a short weekly conference discussing pharmacotherapeutics in dermatology.


With the approval of the Department of Dermatology's Resident Education Committee (REC), each senior resident may be offered the opportunity to pursue his/her academic interests beyond the Department's curriculum for one month. Interested residents are required to submit a well-structured and meritorious proposal for elective activity to the REC. Designed to afford residents added flexibility to advance their academic careers, the elective month can provide a valuable opportunity.

Building on the success of our specialized training tracks for physician scientists and pediatric dermatologists, the department now seeks to tailor the 3rd year of training when possible for those residents who are performing well and have a serious academic interest. In addition to utilizing departmental resources and faculty, we partner with the UCSF Pathways Program, which offers extensive curricula and experiential opportunities for medical students, residents, and students from other health professions in basic research, clinical research, global health, health policy, and medical education innovation.

<< Back to Education and Training