Dermatology & Otology Residency

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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Our Team

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, except for all observed University holidays, vacation days, professional days, and scholarly days. The cases are seen with oversight from the faculty clinician. If there are two residents in the program, and 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. 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 like our own patients. Residents on clinical service will share responsibility for daily telephone consultations from referral DVMs and student/staff appointments. 
  • 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 120 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 120 non-clinic workdays will be allocated in weekly blocks for scholarly activities (approximately 5 weeks each year), with the remaining 75 days allocated as two non-consecutive days off on alternating weeks per month. 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.  

Resident Expectations and Responsibilities

  • 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.
  • 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 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 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 are designed to help the resident develop study habits and summaries in preparation for taking the ACVD board certifying examination.
  • 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 second Disease and Diagnosis course and third year Solutions to Clinical Problem core courses 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.   
  • Departmental graduate 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) and the dermatology resident will be expected to take these courses.
  • 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.
  • 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 is 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. 


Contact Us

Specific questions regarding the program may be directed to: 

Dr. Gwendolen Lorch
Associate Professor of Dermatology and Otology
Phone: 614-292-3551

For general inquiries, please contact the VCS Education Program Coordinator:
Chelsea Souder  
VCS Education Program Coordinator
Phone: 614-688-0332