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Dermatology Residency

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


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 combined residency and graduate studies program leading to a Certificate of Residency and Master of Science degree.

Training is designed to assure development of clinical competence in dermatology by facilitating development of clinical proficiency, skills, and knowledge of dermatology through exposure to cases of different levels of complexity. This goal is facilitated by location of the Veterinary Medical Center in a large metropolitan area (population over 1.5 million) that provides a rich variety of case material as well as a referral base that includes Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia and Michigan. State-of-the-art equipment and facilities are available to develop technical expertise in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

All residents at The Ohio State University complete a significant piece of original research to meet requirements for obtaining their MS degree. The research has to be completed and defended prior to completion of the 3-year training program. We believe that completion of the MS degree provides significant advantages to the resident in their maturation and development as a dermatologist. Regardless of the residents anticipated career (private practice, academia, research, or industry), the completion of advanced didactic courses (for example; biostatistics, immunology, pharmacology) and a prospective  research project where the resident serves as a principal investigator provide insights and understanding that are rarely achieved in clinical residency programs.

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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; Satisfy the criteria necessary to qualify for Board Certification, and to prepare the resident for successful completion of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology Certification Examination 
  • Prepare for future career goals of teaching, clinical research, scientific publication, or specialized practice; and Complete a Master of Science or PhD degree in a specific area of research endeavor related to dermatology
  • Complete a Master of Science or PhD degree in a specific area of research endeavor related to dermatology

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Faculty and staff


Dr. Lynette Cole
Associate Professor

Dr. Wendy Lorch
Assistant Professor

Dr. Sandra Diaz
Assistante 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.
  • Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. the Ohio State University cannot sponsor or process F, J, or H-1B visa applications for resident positions. We also cannot accept TN visas. Successful applicants must be available to report to The Ohio State University Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences no later than the scheduled beginning of the program.
  • Applicants must be graduates of an AVMA-recognized College or School of Veterinary Medicine and have completed a one-year rotating internship or acceptable equivalent clinical experience.
  • All requirements must be met to hold and maintain a limited license to practice Veterinary medicine in the State of Ohio – click here for information on licensure requirements.
  • Currently admission requirements include:
    • a minimum 3.0 GPA for all undergraduate coursework 
    • a minimum 3.0 GPA for professional (veterinary degree) studies;
    • a minimum 3.3 GPA for all graduate coursework;
  • The dermatology faculty will review match applications and send out invitations for a group interview. The faculty prefer that each invited candidate attend the 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

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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 to facilitate integration into our program and activities.
  • Following the general orientation program for all residents, new dermatology residents will meet with the faculty to discuss and plan the three years of didactic coursework and submit this to the departmental post-professional education committee for approval.
  • Typically, new residents will spend the first few days or weeks on clinical duty in an observatory capacity. Thereafter, new residents will take primary case responsibility and discuss each case with the faculty clinician on duty before deciding on diagnostic approach and therapeutic management of the case. This period is variable dependent on the clinical knowledge and skills of the resident.

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Advisors and mentoring

Clinical advisors
Each of the dermatology faculty members 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 typically also often be with the dermatologist on duty at the time the case was seen. General group discussion of cases also occurs during the regular dermatology service meeting on Tuesdays at noon or informally as the need arises.

Academic advisor
The principal academic advisor is decided once the area of research is identified. Until that time, all dermatologists are involved in initial discussions and planning of the direction of the resident's research. The dermatologists who are not the academic advisor to the resident will always serve on the advisory and examination committees for the MS degree.

Masters committee
Once the specific area of research is selected, an Advisory committee will be formed that will consist of the academic advisor, the dermatology faculty and any other faculty members who may be able to provide advice in the development of a specific research project, during the project and to completion of the study. Typically, the Advisory committee serves as the Examination committee for the Masters defense. These committees must consist of at least 2 graduate faculty members.

The dermatology faculty members serve as mentors throughout the course of the residency, graduate course program and research project. We regard mentoring of our residents as one of our most important, and most enjoyable, duties. We are committed to providing support, guidance and help in all aspects of their professional lives during the course of the residency. We care about our resident's professional and personal development and aim to assist our residents in being the best that they can possibly be and to prepare them for successful careers in dermatology.

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Clinical service responsibilities

Dermatology service clinical operation
When the resident is on clinical duty, activities include: receiving patients, performing procedures, in-house and telephone consults, teaching students and rounds. Please see Appendix for a typical weekly schedule that indicates the time of each activity.

Clinical duty
The faculty clinician may request that a resident take primary case responsibility for a specific case if it is a good learning case, provides unique opportunities etc. The residents share primary case responsibility for all in-house consults requested from other specialty services – initially these will be reviewed by the faculty clinician similar to our own patients. When residents are on clinical service, they will also share and be responsible for all telephone consultations from our referral DVMs.

Expectations of development of clinical knowledge and skills
 An initial goal is for the resident to develop adequate clinical skills and knowledge to be able to take responsibility for 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, but this point should be reached by the end of the 1st year of the residency. During the 2nd year, we expect the resident to develop insights and understanding that will allow them to approach more complex cases with logic and understanding. In the 3rd year of the residency program, we expect the resident to diagnose and institute a therapeutic plan for almost any patient that they see, regardless of the complexity or uniqueness of the case.

Faculty oversight and mentoring
The dermatology faculty regard resident training and mentoring as one of their most important tasks. We are always available for discussion and advice on clinical, research and graduate program concerns. 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’s individually, such that at the completion of the program we are certain that our residents will be skilled, knowledgeable and able to pursue with confidence any career in veterinary dermatology.

Emergency duty
The dermatology resident is expected to be available for any dermatology emergency seen at the VMC. As such, a dermatology resident is always "on call" for these emergencies, although they are few and far between. Emergency duty for dermatology emergencies is shared equally by the dermatology residents. Dermatology residents do not participate in any "regular" emergency duty for the VMC.

Time off clinics
Time off clinics: Policies for time off clinics are standard for all residents and can be reviewed in the Residency Handbook. In brief, each resident is allocated 24 weeks off clinics over the course of 3 years. The 24 weeks includes personal leave time (2 weeks/year) and professional leave (3 weeks over the entire 3 years), with a balance of 15 weeks for scholarly activities. A special request can be made for up to 6 additional weeks off clinics – this must be justified for completion of resident research studies or other acceptable activities. It should be noted that residents will not be allowed to accrue this “off clinic” time such that is taken all at once in the 3rd year for boards preparation or the like.

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Teaching responsibilities

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.

Residents will be expected to be in rounds on all occasions when on clinical service unless they are attending a graduate class. Within the first 3 to 6 months of the residency, residents will be expected to contribute to rounds by leading discussion of their cases, answering student questions, stimulating students to develop core dermatologic knowledge and leading discussion on specific topics.

Please see the appendix for the weekly schedule. The dermatology group meets on Friday mornings for Journal Club and on Tuesday mornings for dermatohistopathology. Book review occurs on Monday mornings except the first Monday of the month when all residents and faculty attend the departmental Research Seminar

Journal club
Journal club typically includes discussion and critique of 2-3 recent or classic journal articles selected and led by either one of the residents on an equal rotational roster. 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 2 business days.

Book review
Over the course of the 3-year program, book review sessions of selected textbooks that may include (amongst others) Muller + Kirk's 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, Feldman and Nelson’s Endocrinology, Gross et al’s Dermatopathology, all volumes of Advances in Veterinary Dermatology as well as relevant issues of Vet Clinics of North America. Review sessions of text books (in conjunction with formal Integumentary didactic courses – see below) are designed to help the resident develop study notes in preparation for the ACVD board certifying examinations.

Dermatopathology rounds
Residents attend dermatopathology rounds with the preceptors, at least two ACVP pathologists, and residents in pathology for 1 hour every month (see chart) – 3rd Tuesday of the month. This hour is dedicated to the review of the case material provided by the dermatology residents, preceptors and the pathology service. On the weeks where the resident and preceptors do not meet with the pathology service (i.e. 3-4 x monthly), the resident and preceptors review their own case material as well as sections from our bank of histopathology slides. Initially, the preceptors provided hands on guidance, followed later by giving the resident slides to review prior to the session and then presenting these slides to the preceptors, and finally, unknowns are given to the residents for their description/ diagnosis at the time of the session.

Didactic teaching to professional students
Dermatology residents are asked to provide a "National boards dermatology review" to the senior veterinary students annually. In addition, there is the opportunity for residents in their 2nd or 3rd year to contribute 1 or 2 hours of lectures in the didactic Integumentary course taught to the sophomore class each spring quarter as well as a dermatology case based elective course offered in Autumn quarter – this is an option and not a requirement.

Interns and other residents
Small animal interns can elect to rotate through dermatology for 1 week. The interns participate in rounds and Friday morning seminars and the resident is expected to provide clinical guidance to the interns as they observe receiving.

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Educational opportunities

  • The residency is a structured program whereby we will complete reviews and discussion of all basic science and clinical teaching pertinent to dermatology during the didactic coursework and Friday seminars. The faculty has a series of lectures on skin structure and function which form an integral part of the learning process. Further, the faculty maintains extensive personal libraries of textbooks and journal articles that are available to the resident at all times.
  • As part of their MS degree program, residents must complete 20 credit hours of didactic coursework and a minimum of 10 non-graded credit hours during their residency. Courses are offered at the College of Veterinary Medicine as well as by other colleges at The Ohio State University. Typically, courses that are taken include immunology, research methods, and biostatistics, amongst others.
  • In addition, the dermatology faculty conduct courses on Comparative Structure + Function of the skin, Advanced Otology + Audiology, and Dermatopathology which contribute significantly to the credit hour requirement.
  • Residents are expected to attend the Residents Forum at the North American Dermatology Forum annually. The ACVD hosts a 1-2-day forum that provides approximately 8-16 hours of intensive didactic lectures presented by recognized experts that serve as a foundation for board examination preparation.
  • External educational opportunities such as externships are encouraged. These rotations of 1 week or more should be used to supplement the learning experience for the resident, for example, gaining exposure to species dermatology not often seen at our hospital or research training associated with the MS project. As described in the Residency Handbook, each resident is granted 15 professional days of leave over the course of the 3-year program for such activities. With the support of the academic advisor and service head, additional professional leave days (more than 15 days) may be requested for external educational experiences.
  • Other educational opportunities: The resident will attend the regular scientific sessions at the North American Dermatology Forum following the residents forum each year. In addition, residents are encouraged to attend any local continuing education conferences such as the Midwest Veterinary Conference, the Royal Canin/OSU conference etc. when material pertinent to their education is presented.

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Graduate Program (see Residency Program Handbook and, CVM Graduate Program Handbook

  • Residents in MS and PhD programs must successfully pass and complete 20 didactic graded credit hours of graduate courses and 10 non-didactic credit hours of graduate courses as a requirement for completion of their degree. Residents in MS programs must complete a minimum of 30 credits total. In the past, residents have fulfilled their didactic coursework requirements by the end of the 2nd year or early in the 3rd year of their programs.
  • Original research or clinical investigation leading to scholarly publications is required by the department. Significant research leading to an MS thesis is standard for residents. Residents in the MS program can request for the non-thesis option after arrival; Residents can request a transfer to the non-thesis MSc program up until the end of the spring semester of their second year of a three-year residency program. 

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Research and scholarly activity

As required by the ACVD, a research project will be planned and executed by the resident during the 3-year training period. Guidance is provided in preparing a grant proposal to seek intra- and extramural funding. All of our residents must complete a prospective, hypothesis-driven original research project. Significant research leading to an MS thesis is standard for residents. Residents in the MS program can request for the non-thesis option after arrival; Residents can request a transfer to the non-thesis MSc program up until the end of the spring semester of their second year of a three-year residency program. The research is typically hypothesis-driven and may be clinical or laboratory-based depending on the selected area of study. In the past, our resident’s research has often been in collaboration with other scientists within our department, in other departments at the CVM, in other colleges at OSU or researchers outside of OSU. The thesis or non-thesis research must be completed and defended prior to completion of the 3-year training program. Granting of a residency certificate is dependent on successful completion of the MS degree.

Scientific presentations
The resident must present the results of their research during the annual meeting of the ACVD (North American Veterinary Dermatology Forum) during the second or third year of their residency. An abstract and poster presentation of the resident’s research is required for participation in the annual  CVM Research Day which occurs in April. Finally, the Dept. of Veterinary Clinical Sciences also requires each resident to present their research during a research seminar to the faculty in their senior year.

The resident must publish the findings of their research in at least 1 manuscript in a peer -reviewed journal and be designated as the first author. This is a requirement of the ACVD Credentials committee and for completion of the MS degree. In the past, our residents have published 2 or 3 manuscripts emanating from their MS research project in highly regarded journals such as the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Journal of Veterinary Research and Veterinary Dermatology. These published articles are included in the MS thesis or non-thesis research.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences
Formal Resident Performance Evaluations are completed by December 1st and June 1st each year. Details of these evaluations can be found in the Residency Handbook.

ACVD evaluations
The ACVD requires that residents are evaluated by their mentors after 4.5 and 12 months of their programs and annually thereafter.

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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, Residency Timelines, Case log documents provided and updated annually by the Education committee of the ACVD.

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Board certification

  • We offer a comprehensive didactic and clinical training program that we believe provides excellent preparation for successful completion of the ACVD board certifying examinations. Since 1992, all of the dermatology residents at OSU have obtained their MS degree and all have passed the board certifying examinations (5 on the 1st attempt and 2 on the 2nd attempt).
  • It is important that our residents realize that although eventual board certification is anticipated, our primary goal of our training program is to encourage and assist our residents in becoming highly skilled and expert dermatologists.

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Click here to contact the VCS Resident Education Program Coordinator with Questions

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

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Updated 5/27/21