For Residents

Enhancing Dermatology Education: Resident Presentation Opportunities

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Dermatology residency is a time to maximize educational experiences, which include opportunities to attend academic meetings and present research and clinical cases. In this article, resident presentation opportunities at major academic dermatology meetings are reviewed.


Dermatology residency is busy with 3 years of clinical duties, academic responsibilities, and administrative work. In addition, it is a time to maximize educational experiences in dermatology from didactics to hands-on learning. It also is a time to take advantage of special opportunities that are available to residents, including attending academic meetings and giving oral 
and/or poster presentations. Major dermatology conferences often have designated sessions for residents that provide an excellent chance for residents to share interesting cases or present their research. This article provides a review of selected presentation opportunities available to residents at the major academic dermatology meetings.

American Academy of Dermatology

The Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) accepts abstracts for oral presentation from both residents and fellows for its “Residents and Fellows Symposium” and “Gross and Microscopic Symposium.” The “Residents and Fellows Symposium” is an opportunity to present either clinical or laboratory research in a 9-minute oral format. Up to 20 abstracts are chosen for presentation along with 4 alternate abstracts. Furthermore, awards are given to the top 3 abstracts in both the clinical and laboratory categories. Those accepted for the “Gross and Microscopic Symposium” give a 5-minute oral presentation of a case with interesting clinical and histopathological findings. Submission guidelines for these presentations are available 
on the AAD Web site (

Residents and fellows also are eligible to submit abstracts for the AAD’s electronic poster exhibits and presentations. The posters are presented electronically and are displayed and/or are available to be viewed throughout the meeting. The abstracts are blind reviewed by the Poster Exhibits Task Force on a scale from 1 (unsatisfactory) to 10 (outstanding). Presenters with abstracts that receive a passing score (2.5 or higher) by judges are allowed to discuss their poster in a live 5-minute oral presentation.

The AAD’s Summer Academy Meeting, which also takes place annually, does not have separate resident-specific poster or oral presentation sessions; however, it does offer an electronic poster exhibit and presentation session.

Pediatric Dermatology

The Annual Meeting of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology ( accepts abstract submissions for its “Cases of the Year” session as well as poster presentations. Residents, medical students, and fellows who are chosen for a “Cases of the Year” or poster presentation are eligible for a travel award that is available on a competitive basis. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Section on Dermatology also offers an additional travel award for a resident or fellow who presents a case or poster at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology.

American Society for Dermatologic Surgery

The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery has an Annual Meeting ( 
annualmeeting/) that includes a competitive “Resident Oral Abstracts” session. If selected, residents give a 5-minute presentation and abstracts are published in the Annual Meeting program book.

American Society of Dermatopathology

The American Society of Dermatopathology Annual Meeting has several opportunities for residents and fellows to present abstracts ( 
-abtracts/). Submissions to the “General Abstracts” category are selected for either oral or poster presentation. Ambitious dermatology or pathology residents may choose to submit their case report abstracts to the “Duel in Dermatopathology” competition, which includes an oral presentation and publication of abstracts in the meeting program book. Finally, the “Dermatopathology Fellows Abstract” category is a special category for dermatopathology fellows to present an oral or poster presentation. Any resident or fellow who is accepted for oral or poster presentations is eligible for a “Physician-in-Training Award” (except winners of the “Duel in Dermatopathology” competition), which are granted to the best oral and poster presentations.


Beyond dermatology residency, there are many opportunities for resident education through attendance at academic meetings as well as presentation of case reports and research. The major dermatology meetings often have specific sessions to give residents a chance to share their work or interesting cases. This guide may be helpful to residents who are hoping for such venues to enhance their education and even their curriculum vitae.

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