Competitiveness: Extreme

Dermatology is an ideal specialty for those interested in treating a variety of skin diseases coupled with procedures, a high patient volume, and have a dedication to the Dermatology community. Dermatology is coveted as one of the most competitive specialties to Match into, especially for International Medical Graduates (IMGs). Training in Dermatology is typically four years with one preliminary year in Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, or a Transitional year and a 3-year advanced Dermatology program. While it is not impossible to get into a Dermatology residency program, since the competition level is so high, those interested in Dermatology should start gathering their resources early. Residency candidates planning to pursue Dermatology will need to have extensive volunteer activity, research, preferably three strong Letters of Recommendation in Dermatology and to focus on making connections within this incredibly tight-knit field.

ENTER YOUR CREDENTIALS Customize your Dermatology program list

IMG Profile

Average Stats for a Matched US IMG in 2018:

  • No data for 2018

Average Stats for a Matched Non-US IMG in 2018:

  • USMLE Step 1 score: 238
  • USMLE Step 2 CK score: 246
  • Research: 5.3
  • Abstracts/Presentations/etc: 12.3
  • Work: 3.1
  • Volunteer: 2.8

Specialty Factors

Every specialty has unique factors they want each candidate to have in their residency application. NRMP conducts regular Program Director surveys to identify which parts of the residency application are most important in differing specialties. Among the information gathered, Program Directors were asked to to cite factors they used to select candidates for interviews. They were also asked to rate each factor on a scale from 1 (least important) to 5 (most important).

The Top 5 Most Important Dermatology Application Factors

Percentage of Programs Citing Each Factor

  1. USMLE Step 1 score (100%), Specialty specific Letters of Recommendation (100%)
  2. Perceived commitment to specialty (94%), Evidence of professionalism and ethics (94%)
  3. Personal Statement (89%), Grades in required clerkships (89%), Perceived interest in program (89%)
  4. MSPE (83%), USMLE Step 2 CK score (83%), Personal prior knowledge of applicant (83%), Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) membership (83%), Volunteer/Extracurricular activities (83%)
  5. Other life experience (78%)

Average Importance Rating for Each Factor (scale of 1 to 5)

  1. Flagged by NRMP (4.7), Visa Status (4.7), Personal prior knowledge of applicant (4.7)
  2. Audition elective/rotation within department (4.5)
  3. MSPE (4.4), Any failed attempt in USMLE (4.4)
  4. USMLE Step 1 (4.3), Grades in required clerkships (4.3), Evidence of professionalism and ethics (4.3)
  5. Interest in academic career (4.2)

Fast Facts

Total Training 4 years (will require prelim)
Average Residency Salary $54,000
Average Work Week 45.4 Hours
Peak Interview Months December, January
Key Organizations and Societies: American Academy of Dermatology
  • Join the Dermatology Interest Group (DIG) early to access informational meetings and opportunities

Match Statistics

Main Residency Match and Post-Match Stats


IMGs Matched

133 /

Number of Programs/Positions


Post-Match SOAP Unfilled Positions

Main Residency Match


Post-Match SOAP

Program Track PGY-1
Participating Programs 1 1
Filled Programs 0 1
Positions Available 2 2
Filled Positions 0 2


  • Pediatric Dermatology
  • Cutaneous Surgery
  • Laser and Cosmetic Surgery
  • Dermatopathology
  • Cutaneous Lymphoma
  • Pigmented Lesion and Melanoma
  • Blistering Disease Clinic