Clinical Education

Outpatient Medical Dermatology

Outpatient medical dermatology training sites include Emory (the tertiary referral university hospital and the associated outpatient clinic), Grady Memorial Hospital (an internationally recognized teaching hospital that serves as a safety net hospital for the county), and the Atlanta VA Medical Center (the largest VA in the state of Georgia).  At these training sites, our residents are exposed to a rich breadth of clinical experiences and care for a diverse patient population.

At The Emory Clinic, residents work one on one with faculty in the faculty members’ general dermatology and specialty clinics.  Residents primarily rotate at The Emory Clinic during their first year of residency.  Some of the specialty clinics include:

  • Allergic contact dermatitis (patch testing) clinic with Dr. Sarah Chisolm and Dr. Salma de la Feld

  • Complex medical dermatology clinic with Dr. Justin Cheeley

  • Cutaneous oncology clinic (including Merkel cell carcinoma, melanoma, cutaneous lymphoma, cutaneous toxicity to immunotherapy and chemotherapy) with Dr. Erica Tarabadkar

  • Hair disorders clinic with Dr. Loren Krueger and Dr. Jamie MacKelfresh

  • Hidradenitis suppurativa clinic with Dr. Lauren Orenstein
  • HIV and LGBTQ dermatology clinic with Dr. Howa Yeung

  • Immunodermatology (blistering disease) clinic with Dr. Ron Feldman

  • Complex medical dermatology/pruritus clinic with Dr. Robert Swerlick

  • Melanoma and pigmented lesion clinic with Dr. Suephy Chen and Dr. Benjamin Stoff
  • Mohs micrographic surgery and procedural dermatologic clinic with Dr. Travis Blalock

  • Pediatric dermatology clinic with Dr. Leslie Lawley and Dr. Mary Spraker

At Grady Memorial Hospital, Dr. Laura Aspey serves as the chief of service for dermatology.  Residents rotate in the outpatient dermatology clinics at Grady during all three years of training.  4-5 residents work as a team each month under the supervision of 2 attendings.  Grady is the state’s largest public hospital and serves as one of the biggest safety net health systems in the United States.  Training at Grady includes general dermatology, complex medical dermatology, procedural dermatology (see below), and pediatric dermatology (see below).

Dr. Moses Elam serves as the chief of service of dermatology at the Atlanta Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center.  Like Grady, residents rotate at through the outpatient clinics at the VA during all three years of training.  Residents work in a team of 5-6 residents under the supervision of two attendings.  At the VA, residents develop proficiency in diagnosing and managing skin cancers, including surgical treatments (as described in more detail below).  Rotating through the VA also provides valuable training in general medical dermatology and geriatric dermatology.

Adult Inpatient Consult Dermatology

Residents participate in inpatient consults at Emory Hospital, Emory Midtown, Grady, and the VA.  Residents begin consult rotations in the second half of the first year of training and complete most consult months during the 2nd year of training.  At Grady and the VA, residents participate in the outpatient clinics and round on consult patients with the outpatient dermatology attendings.  At Emory University Hospital and Emory Midtown, the inpatient consult service at are directed by Dr. Justin Cheeley, who is board-certified in both dermatology and internal medicine.  Residents spend time in clinic and have time dedicated to see consult patients as well.  See further details about the Midtown rotation under teledermatology below.

Pediatric Outpatient and Inpatient Consult Dermatology

Emory Dermatology has 2 pediatric dermatologists, Dr. Leslie Lawley and Dr. Mary Spraker, and an ACGME accredited pediatric dermatology fellowship.  Outpatient pediatric patients are seen at Grady Memorial Hospital and The Emory Clinic.  Residents see pediatric patients during all three years of training during their Grady rotations, where 2 clinics a week include pediatric patients under the supervision of pediatric dermatologists. 

Primarily during the 2nd year of residency, dermatology residents spend 2 months on focused pediatric dermatology rotations. On this rotation, residents split their time between outpatient pediatric dermatology clinics at The Emory Clinic and on the pediatric inpatient consult service at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  Residents gain first-hand experience in diagnosing and treating common pediatric dermatology skin conditions and rare genodermatoses, learning from our dedicated pediatric dermatology faculty.

Procedural Dermatology

There is an abundance of procedural dermatology opportunities throughout the different clinical sites and throughout the three years of training.  Residents often describe the robust hands on surgical training at Emory as one of the most prominent features of the program.  Procedural Dermatology training at Emory and the ACGME accredited Procedural Dermatology Fellowship at Emory is under the direction of Dr. Travis Blalock.

At the VA, at least 2 half days a week clinics are reserved for procedures.  Residents in all 3 years of training participate in and perform surgeries under the supervision of the VA attendings.  Common procedures residents complete at the VA include surgical excision of benign/malignant neoplasms, intermediate and complex repairs, scar revision, electrodessication & curettage, nail avulsion & matrixectomy, chemical peels, and neurotoxin injections. 

At Grady, every Wednesday morning clinic is reserved for procedures.  Procedures performed by residents at Grady under attending supervision include surgical excisions of benign/malignant neoplasms, intermediate and complex repairs, and scar revisions with clinics intermittently dedicated to nail procedures. 

Residents rotate a half a day a week with the Mohs surgeon, Dr. Travis Blalock, during some of their outpatient dermatology months at The Emory Clinic as first year residents.  Then as third year residents, each resident has 2 months of rotations dedicated to procedural dermatology.  During the procedural dermatology rotation, residents participate in Mohs surgery with Dr. Blalock at The Emory Clinic and work closely with several of our adjunct faculty members who are Mohs surgeons in the Atlanta community.  During their surgery rotations, residents can choose to work with adjunct faculty specializing in hair transplants, as well as laser/cosmetic surgery.

Laser Surgery and Cosmetic Dermatology

Residents gain exposure to laser surgery at The Emory clinic where there is a vascular laser as well as a fractionated CO2 laser.  Also, on the pediatric dermatology rotation residents often join Dr. Leslie Lawley in the operating room to provide laser treatments to pediatric patients under anesthesia.  Additionally, adjunct faculty members in the Atlanta community host residents in their laser clinics.

Residents also have ample opportunities to train in injection of neuromodulators and fillers and chemical peels.  Emory attendings and adjunct faculty lead hands-on sessions to help residents develop and refine their cosmetic procedural skillset. 

Dermatopathology

Dermatopathology training occurs throughout the three years of training.  During all three years of training, residents participate in a weekly scope session led by a dermatopathologist.  Glass slides and virtual slides are reviewed.  Residents rotating at Grady also participate in a weekly dermatopathlogy case review lead by Dr. Douglas Parker where he reviews select cases from the past week or two biopsies from clinic.

Third-year residents participate in 2 months of dedicated dermatopathology rotations.  During this time, residents work one on one with dermatopathology faculty as well as alongside the dermatopathology fellow to review the slides at Emory University Hospital.

Teledermatology

A highlight of the Emory program is the opportunity to participate in both outpatient and inpatient teledermatology.   At the Atlanta VA, residents participate in 2 outpatient teledermatology as a one month-long rotations.  (Store and forward) cases are referred from clinics throughout Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina, increasing access to dermatological care in medically underserved areas.  Teledermatology consult requests are sent to our facility with a brief history, clinical photos, and dermoscopy images.  Residents work one on one with an attending to sign out the teledermatology cases. 

At Emory Midtown, third year residents participate in 2 one-month long rotations where teledermatology is used for inpatient consults.  Residents see the patients and capture images which are then reviewed with supervising attendings. 

These unique teledermatology experiences equip our residents with the clinical and logistical skillset for teledermatology, a tool that is expected to be increasingly utilized in future dermatology practice.

Resident Continuity Clinics

Many conditions in dermatology are chronic and require regular follow-up for monitoring disease activity and tailoring management.  Recognizing that following patients over time enhances the learning of our trainees, our program offers Resident Continuity Clinics for each resident at one of our primary training sites: Emory Clinic, Grady, and the VA.  Continuity clinics take place every Monday morning.

The Resident Continuity Clinics allow residents to develop expertise in the diagnosis and longitudinal management of a broad range of dermatologic conditions with supervision from the continuity clinic attendings.  Residents have flexibility to cater their continuity patient panel to their clinical interests and are viewed as the primary dermatologic provider by their patients.  A comprehensive treatment plan is designed by the resident with the supervision of the attending physician, and residents are able to follow their patient’s progress and, if indicated, to reevaluate and modify management strategies.  At some continuity clinic locations, some clinics are reserved for surgical procedures.  At Emory, residents can follow both adult and pediatric patients in continuity clinic.

Dermoscopy Training

Training in dermoscopy is implemented through didactics in the form of faculty and resident lectures, as well as through clinical practice at pigmented lesion clinic at Emory, on the VA teledermatology rotation, and throughout all rotations.