Medical Specialty

How Competitive is a Dermatology Residency? Updated in 2023

If you want a career as a dermatologist, here is how competitive the medical specialty is to match into a dermatology residency. Dermatology is the branch of medicine that involves the skin, specifically diseases related to skin, hair and nails along with cosmetic issues.

Statistics on the Dermatology Match

In 2022, dermatology had a total of 834 applicants and 544 spots. This equates to 1.53 applicants per position. Of the 595 U.S. MD seniors who applied, 169 did not match.

Total Positions Total Number of Applicants Number of Applicants per Position
544 834 1.53

Osteopathic (DO) Students Matching into Dermatology

In 2022, the total number of DO Senior Applicants was 58. Of those, 41 matched, for a 70.69% match percentage. This makes dermatology a Not Friendly field for osteopathic students.

Total DO Applicants Matched DO Applicants DO Match Percentage
76 38 50%

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) Matching into Dermatology

Because there are 1.09 U.S. MD applicants per 1 program spot, dermatology is considered to be Not Friendly for IMGs students.

Honors, Research and Awards for Dermatology Residency Candidates

The average matched U.S. applicant had 9.4 volunteer experiences and 3.7 work experiences. They had 5.8 research experiences and 19 abstracts, presentations and publications. That makes this specialty on where the number of publications needed is Very High.

Research Experiences Abstracts, Presentations and Publications Work Experiences Volunteer Experiences
7.2 20.9 4 11

Average Step 1 and Step 2 Scores for Dermatology

The mean U.S. Step 1 score for matched medical students in dermatology was 248. The mean USMLE Step 2 CK score was 257.

Overall Competitiveness of Dermatology Residency and Chances of Matching

The overall competitiveness level of dermatology is High for a U.S. senior. With a Step 1 score of 200, the probability of matching is 47%. With a Step 1 score of >240, the probability is 75%.

How long is a residency in dermatology? What is the lifestyle like for a dermatology resident?

Compared to other residencies, dermatology has a Medium training length. As far as lifestyle, dermatologists generally have a Low stress lifestyle. Of course, lifestyle is very subjective and if you love what you do, it does not matter! And if you hate what you do, it can still be rough no matter what. In medicine, you should find the specialty that makes you enjoy your everyday interactions with patients, staff and colleagues.

What is the average salary for a dermatologist?

The average salary post-graduation from a dermatology residency is $411,000, provided one does not go on to sub-specialty training which can change the salary substantially. Academic versus private practice as well as location also play a large role in physician compensation.

What are fellowships one can do from a dermatology residency?

Following the successful completion of general dermatology residency, some physicians may choose to continue their graduate medical education with subspecialty training. Board-certified subspecialists complete additional training and qualifying examinations beyond those required for board certification in dermatology. Currently, the American Board of Dermatology certifies the following fellowships:

What are the best dermatology residencies in the country?

The best residency for dermatology, or any specialty, is very driven by personal preference and situation. How close you are to family, loved ones, the type of training environment, the opportunities available are all things to take into consideration above and beyond name recognition of a program. However, there are some highly regarded names in the world of dermatology including:

    • San Francisco, University of California
    • Columbia, New York Presbyterian Hospital
    • University of Pennsylvania, of
    • Johns Hopkins University
    • Wake Forest University School of Medicine
    • New York University (NYU)
    • Boston University/Tufts University
    • Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN
    • Yale-New Haven Medical Center
    • Northwestern University

Much of the data above is available from the AAMC Charting the Outcomes report.

Explore Other Specialties:

SpecialtyAverage Step 1 Score (Matched)Average Step 2 Score (Matched)
Child Neurology233246
Diagnostic Radiology241249
Emergency Medicine233247
Family Medicine221238
General Surgery237249
Internal Medicine235248
Internal Medicine/Pediatrics236250
Interventional Radiology247255
Neurological Surgery248252
Obstetrics and Gynecology232248
Orthopaedic Surgery248255
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation228241
Plastic Surgery249256
Radiation Oncology243250
Vascular Surgery239247


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