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Dermatology Residency

 Introduction | Objectives | Faculty & Staff | Prerequisites & Application | Employment & Benefits | Orientation | Advisors & Mentoring | Clinical Service Responsibilities | Teaching Responsibilities | Educational Opportunities | Research & Scholarly Activity | Evaluations | Specialty College Requirements | Board Certification


The residency program in Dermatology and Otology at the Ohio State University provides advanced clinical training and specialization in the diagnosis and treatment of skin and ear diseases of small and large animals under the supervision of 3 board-certified specialists. Faculty members are nationally and internationally recognized leaders in their respective fields. The residency is a 3-year residency leading to a Certificate of Residency from the OSU-CVM residency program. 

Training is designed to insure development of clinical competence in dermatology by facilitating development of clinical proficiency, clinical skills, in addition to building a solid foundation in dermatology knowledge from exposure to a variety of cases with variable levels of complexity. This goal is facilitated by the location of the Veterinary Medical Center in a large metropolitan area (population over 1.8 million) that provides case material from a referral base that includes Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Case management is carried out with the guidance and collaboration of experienced faculty. State-of-the-art equipment and facilities are available to develop technical expertise in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures which include a 128 slice multi-detector CT scan, 3T MRI, Nickon 6-headed Ci-L Ergo PKG microscope and DS-L3 Fi2 Digital camera system, FotoFinder System Dermoscope and Fotofinder Medicam 1000, H&O Equipment Cryopen B+, and two Karl Storz HD video otoscopes. 

All residents at The Ohio State University must complete a significant piece of original research that meets the requirements of the ACVD credential standards. 
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The objectives of the program are for the resident to:

  • Develop comprehensive, state-of-the-art expertise and clinical proficiency in dermatology and otology 
  • Satisfy the criteria necessary to qualify for Board Certification, and to prepare the resident for successful completion of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology (ACVD) Certification Examination 
  • Prepare for future career goals of teaching, clinical research, scientific publication, or specialized practice 

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Faculty and staff


Lynette Cole
Associate Professor

Wendy Lorch
Assistant Professor

Sandra Diaz
Assistant Professor
BVSc, MS, Dipl. ACVD

Dermatology staff

Deb Crosier (Dermatology technician)

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Prerequisites and application

  • All potential residents must meet the minimum requirements and qualifications (see Residency Program Handbook, CVM Graduate Program Handbook and Graduate School Handbook.)
  •  The residency in dermatology is a formalized program approved by the ACVD. All residents must:
    • Be a graduate of an approved veterinary school or college
    • Have completed a one-year internship or practice equivalency
    • Be approved to practice veterinary medicine in a state of the United States of America
    • Be a US citizen or permanent resident
    • Be a member of a National Veterinary Medical Association (e.g. AVMA)
    • Be of satisfactory moral and ethical character including but not restricted to being honest and truthful, not be habitually intoxicated or addicted to drugs, and not to have been convicted of cruelty to animals or a crime
  • The dermatology faculty requires that each applicant interview personally during an official visit to The Ohio State University. 

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Employment and benefits (see Residency Program Handbook)

  • Salary
  • Health insurance
  • Book/travel allowance
  • Personal + Professional days leave (from policy)
  • External consultation and employment
  • Licensure
  • Residents are classified as faculty
  • Tuition assistance

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During the first week of the residency program, all incoming residents participate in a comprehensive orientation program to introduce them to the department, college and university, complete necessary documentation, and facilitate integration into our program and activities.

  • Following orientation, residents meet with the faculty to discuss and plan the first few weeks and months of the first year.
  • New residents spend the first few days or weeks on clinical duty in an observatory capacity. Thereafter, residents take primary case responsibility and discuss each case with the faculty clinician before deciding on diagnostic approach and therapeutic management of the case. This length of this period is variable as it is dependent on the clinical knowledge and skills of the resident.

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Advisors and mentoring

  • Clinical advisors: Each dermatology faculty will serve in an equal capacity as clinical advisors. Residents will take advice and input from the duty dermatologist and follow-up advice on cases will also be with the dermatologist on duty at the time the case was seen. General group discussion of cases occurs during the regular dermatology service meeting or informally.
  • Academic advisor: The principal academic advisor is determined once the area of research    is confirmed. Until that time, all dermatologists are involved in initial discussions and planning of the direction of the resident’s research. The dermatologist who is not the academic advisor to the resident will always serve on the advisory committee.
  • Mentoring: The dermatology faculty members serve as mentors during the residency and research project. We regard mentoring of our residents as our most important duty. We are committed to providing support, guidance and help in all aspects of their professional lives during the residency. We care about our resident’s professional development and our goal is to prepare our residents for successful careers in dermatology, while simultaneously integrating college-wide strategies to ensure emotional wellness.

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Clinical service responsibilities

  • Dermatology service operation: The resident on duty will receive patients, perform procedures, and help conduct rounds each day.
  • Clinical duty: The residents see patients with the duty faculty clinician. The resident will be on clinics Monday-Friday, with the exception of all observed University holidays, vacation days, professional days, and scholarly days (185 clinical days per year). The cases are shared between the two residents with oversight from the faculty clinician. If one of the residents is off clinics, then the faculty clinicians on duty and the other resident will share case responsibility. Initially, residents discuss each case with the faculty clinician prior to meeting with the pet owner. As their experience and competence level grows, residents are required to provide the faculty clinician with an overview of the case. Owner requests for a specific clinician (at recheck visits) are honored if possible. The faculty clinician may request that a resident take primary case responsibility for a specific case if it is a good learning case or provides unique opportunities etc. The residents share primary case responsibility for all daily in-house consults requested from other specialty services – initially these will be reviewed by the faculty clinician similar to our own patients. Residents on clinical service will share responsibility for daily telephone consultations from referral DVMs and student/staff appointments.
  • Expectations of development of clinical knowledge and skills: The initial goal for the resident is to develop adequate clinical skills and knowledge to diagnose and management the average patient that is referred to the VMC. The time this takes depends on the level of experience and the progression of the resident, with expectations that this will be achieved by the end of the 1st year. During the 2nd year, the resident should develop insights and understanding that will allow them to approach more complex cases with logic and understanding, and by the 3rd year, the resident should be able to diagnosis and form a treatment plan for any patient that they see, regardless of the complexity of the case.
  • Faculty oversight and mentoring: Faculty are always available for discussion and advice on clinical and research program concerns year-round except when on vacation or professional leave. A faculty member is always on clinics with a resident every year of the resident’s training program. At no time are the residents left to run the clinic without a faculty member. We aim to provide a structured program that ensures the development and growth of the resident, while at the same time retaining flexibility to accommodate each resident individually, such that at the completion of the program we are certain that our residents are skilled, knowledgeable and able to pursue, with confidence, any career or opportunity in veterinary dermatology.
  • Emergency duty: The dermatology resident is expected to be available for any dermatology emergency seen at the VMC. A dermatology resident is always “on call” for these emergencies, although these happen infrequently. If the resident on emergency duty is called about any patient that is presented to the VMC with a primary complaint of skin or ear disease, the resident must attend to the patient at the VMC with the emergency clinicians. It may be necessary to attend to a patient with significant skin/ear disease even when this is not the primary presenting problem. Emergency duty for dermatology is shared by the residents on major holidays so that they are equally divided. Dermatology residents do not participate in any “regularly scheduled” emergency duty.
  • Time off clinics: Each resident is allocated personal leave time/vacation (10 days/year), professional leave time (5 days/year) (i.e. NAVDF meetings) and 150 days of non-clinic workdays during their 3-year residency period based on a 5-day work week. Time off to attend an annual dermatology meeting is not counted as part of the non-clinical days off but will be provided as professional leave.  Over the 3-year residency, 75 days (15 weeks) of the 150 non-clinic workdays will be allocated in weekly blocks for scholarly activities (approximately 5 weeks each year), with the remaining 75 days allocated as one day off every other week. If a resident chooses to pursue an outside educational opportunity, these days would be subtracted from these remaining 75 non-clinic days. In some instances, it may be necessary to allocate some of the remaining 75 days as weekly blocks for more focused, productive scholarly activities. 

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Teaching responsibilities

  • Clinic: Residents will be expected to participate fully in the teaching of senior veterinary students rotating through the dermatology service which includes discussion of cases and performing diagnostic procedures.
  • Case Rounds: Residents will be expected to attend rounds when on clinical service, which will be for an hour 3 to 4 days per week. Within the first 3-6 months, residents will be expected to contribute to rounds by leading discussion of their cases and specific topics, answering student questions, and stimulating students to develop core dermatologic knowledge. 
  • Seminars: The dermatology group (faculty and residents) meets once a week for Journal Club/Book Review (2 hours) and once a week for dermatohistopathology (1 hour). If additional case rounds are needed beyond the guidance provided on a daily basis with the faculty on clinics, cases are discussed with all mentors before Journal Club and Book Review.
  • Journal club: Discussion and critique of two recent journal articles selected and led by either one of the residents occurs for one hour weekly. It is expected that the resident also review and present at least two of the referenced supporting literature for the primary articles they present. Reviewed journals include all of those recommended by the ACVD, plus others containing articles recommended for resident review. The Ohio State University has on-line access to all currently available digital format journals, as well as most print journals.  For non-digital back issues that are not maintained in the University’s subscription database, inter-library loan assures access within three business days. 
  • Book review: Sessions occurs once a week for one hour. Review of selected textbooks may include Small Animal Dermatology, Scott’s Equine Dermatology and relevant chapters from Scott's Large Animal Dermatology, Medleau + Hnilica’s Small Animal Dermatology, Greene’s Infectious Diseases, Ettinger, Feldman and Nelson’s Endocrinology, new volumes of Advances in Veterinary Dermatology as well as relevant issues of Vet Clinics of North America and dermatology and endocrinology chapters of recent Current Veterinary Therapy. Book review in conjunction with formal integumentary didactic courses (see below) are designed to help the resident develop study habits and notes for the ACVD board certifying examinations.
  • Dermatohistopathology training: Residents, mentors, ACVP pathologists, and pathology residents attend dermpath rounds for an hour every month. The time is dedicated to the review of case material provided by the dermatology residents, mentors and the pathology service. The remaining 3-4 weeks of the month, the resident and mentors review their own case material as well as cases from our bank of histopathology slides, weekly. Initially, the mentors provide direct goals for guidance, followed by giving the resident slides to review prior to the session to present, and finally, unknowns are given to the residents for their description/ diagnosis. A 3-year structured syllabus is used for histopathology.    
  • Didactic teaching: Dermatology residents contribute 1-2 hours of lectures in the sophomore Integumentary System core course each spring. Residents will also participate in teaching dermatology techniques along with the faculty to the professional students once a year in the clinical skills course.  
  • Interns and other residents: Small animal interns may elect to rotate through dermatology for 1-2 weeks. The interns participate in rounds, morning seminars and the resident is expected to provide clinical guidance to the intern during receiving.

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Educational opportunities

  • Educational material: Faculty members maintain personal libraries and journal articles that are available to the resident. The Ohio State University Library system is a phenomenal resource for all required educational material.
  • Departmental integumentary courses: The dermatology faculty conduct courses in Comparative Structure & Function of Skin, Advanced Otology & Audiology, Advanced Topics in Veterinary Dermatology and Otology, and Dermatopathology I, II & III. These courses are one semester long (14 weeks).
  • Annual dermatology specialty meeting: Residents are expected to attend the annual ACVD Residents’ Education Forum at the North American Veterinary Dermatology Forum (NAVDF). This two-day event provides approximately 16 hours of didactic lectures that serve as a foundation for board examination preparation. The resident will attend the regular scientific sessions at the NAVDF following the resident’s forum each year.
  • External educational opportunities: Externships are available. These rotations are at least 1 week and are used to supplement the learning experience for the resident. For example, gaining exposure to species dermatology (exotics) not seen at our hospital or research training. Each resident will use non-clinical days for such activities.
  • Other educational opportunities: Residents are encouraged to attend local continuing education conferences such as the Midwest Veterinary Conference, the Ohio State & Royal Canin Symposium etc. to supplement their dermatology residency.

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Research and scholarly activity

  • Research project: The ACVD requires a resident research project to be conceptualized and carried out by the resident during the training period. Guidance is provided in preparing a grant proposal to acquire intra- and extramural funding. The research is hypothesis-driven and may be either clinical or basic science in nature. Our resident’s research is collaborative with other scientists within the department, other CVM departments, and colleges at OSU or with researchers outside of OSU.
  • Scientific presentations: The resident must present the results of their research project at the annual NAVDF/ECVS/ World Veterinary Congress during their residency. A poster, abstract and presentation of the resident’s research are required for the annual OSU-CVM Research Day.
  • Publications: The resident must publish their research in a peer-reviewed journal. This is a requirement of the ACVD Credentials committee. Our past residents have published 1- 3 manuscripts from their research project in highly regarded journals such as the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Journal of Veterinary Research and Veterinary Dermatology.

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  • Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences: Formal Resident Performance Evaluations are completed by January 15th and July 15th each year. Details on these evaluations can be found in the Residency Handbook.
  •  ACVD evaluations: The ACVD requires that residents be evaluated by their mentors    annually. The ACVD also requires the resident to evaluate their residency program.

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Specialty college requirements

  • Additional requirements for successful completion of the residency as mandated by the ACVD may be found in the Residency program guidelines which are updated by the Education committee of the ACVD. As part of these requirements, the resident will maintain a case log and submit a case report in the ACVD format for which the resident has been the primary clinician throughout the diagnosis and management of the case.

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Board certification

  • We offer a comprehensive didactic and clinical training program that provides excellent preparation for successful completion of the ACVD board certifying examinations. Since 1992, all of the dermatology residents at OSU have passed the board certifying examination (the majority the first time and all on the 3rd attempt).
  • It is important that our residents realize that although eventual board certification is clearly anticipated, the primary goal of our training program is to encourage and assist our residents in becoming highly skilled and expert dermatologists.

Specific questions regarding the program may be directed to: Dr. Gwendolen Lorch

Associate Professor of Dermatology and Otology



For general information, please contact the VCS Education Program Coordinator:
Chelsea Souder
(614) 688-0332

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Updated 8/31/22