DERMATOLOGY RESIDENCY PROGRAM
The five-year program training in dermatology involves the development of a thorough knowledge of the
skin, its appendages and mucous membranes both in health and disease, and the acquisition of clinical and
technical skills in the management of all diseases related to the skin. The training will provide expertise in
diagnosis, investigation and both medical and surgical management of skin diseases, while promoting
aptitudes of competence in dermatological consultation, education and learning.
In accordance with objectives specified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and by
the Collège des médecins du Québec, at completion of training, the resident will have acquired the
following competencies and will function effectively as:
At completion of training, a resident must have a detailed knowledge and understanding of:
1. Clinical skills
1.1. Sciences basic to dermatology (embryology, gross and microscopic anatomy, microbiology,
biochemistry, physiology and immunology)
1.2. Clinical skills in diagnosing cutaneous disease (skin, mucous membranes and appendages) by
the use of history, physical examination and pertinent investigative procedures.
1.3. The cutaneous manifestations of systemic diseases in patients of all ages.
1.4. Dermatological therapy: percutaneous absorption, the pharmacology and side effects of
topical and systemic medications, and the use and complications of electrosurgery,
cryotherapy and cryosurgery, immunotherapy, ultraviolet light and ionizing radiation, laser
surgery, dermatological surgery.
1.5. Dermatopathology and immunodermatopathology.
1.6. The formulation of an appropriate differential and provisional diagnosis.
1.7. The organization of appropriate laboratory investigation.
1.8. The development of an appropriate treatment plan taking into consideration the patient’s age,
general health, risk and cost of investigative procedures, risk and cost of therapeutic
interventions and epidemiology and natural history of the disease.
1.9. The dermatological literature and an analytical and critical appraisal of it.
2. Technical skills
2.1. Perform pre-surgical assessment for the most suitable therapeutic modality.
2.2. Obtain written informed consent for dermatological procedures.
2.3. Knowledge and experience involved in the use of local anesthesia, sterilization techniques,
appropriate sterile surgical techniques and suture materials.
2.4. All technical skills required for the practice of dermatology, such as skin biopsy (punch, shave,
saucerization, excisional), curettage and electrodessication, simple excision and layered
closure, cryosurgery and nail surgery.
2.5. Provide appropriate post-operative care and aid in wound healing
2.6. Acquire other diagnostic skills required for the practice of dermatology including, potassium
hydroxide preparations, scrapings for mites, Tzanck smears, Gram stain, fungal culture,
Wood’s light examination, viral immunofluorescence, hair mount, patch and photopatch
testing, epiluminescence microscopy.
2.7. Knowledge and understanding in the indications, techniques, limitations and complications of
complex dermatological surgery including Mohs micrographic surgery, flaps and grafts,
dermabrasion, laser surgery and cosmetic dermatological procedures such as chemical peels,
soft tissue augmentation, hair replacement.
After residency training, the graduate physician will be competent to function as a consultant in
Dermatology. This requires the physician to:
1. Communicate effectively with patients, their families in clearly understood language.
2. Be sensitive and listen effectively to the patients’ voiced concerns to better understand the
patients’ psychological, occupational and social needs, taking into account the diversities of race,
culture and gender.
3. Communicate clearly, thoroughly and as frequently as needed with medical colleagues,
particularly referring physicians.
4. Deliver in a professional manner written communication that is legible.
5. Communicate fully with those carrying out diagnostic tests (e.g. pathologists) in order to ensure
the best outcome for the patient.
6. Communicate effectively with and show respect towards nurses, paramedical and other health care
As part of his/her competence as a consultant, the graduate physician should be able to:
1. Consult effectively other physicians and health care professionals.
2. Contribute effectively to other interdisciplinary team activities.
3. Provide instruction to medical students, house officers, other health care personnel, patients and
the public at a level appropriate to their professional competence and education.
As part of his/her training, the graduate resident should:
1. Record and maintain complete and accurate medical records for every patient seen.
2. Understand and utilize information technology to optimize patient care and for life-long learning
and other activities.
3. Utilize health care resources cost-effectively to balance patient care, learning needs and outside
4. Develop effective use of time based on planning and punctuality.
5. Develop efficiency as well as accuracy in clinical skills.
6. Reserve time for reading and keeping current with the dermatological literature.
7. Understand the principles of practice management.
The graduate resident should:
1. Educate and be available as a resource person to counsel patients effectively on skin disorders.
2. Counsel patients on the importance of taking responsibilities for their own well-being and of
preventive medicine, specifically on issue of photoprotection and self-examination.
3. Understand the role of national and international bodies (e.g. Canadian Dermatology Association
Safety in the Sun, Skin Cancer Foundation) in the promotion of skin health and in the prevention
and treatment of skin diseases.
4. Learn about community resources and related patient support group.
To maintain the quality of his/her competence, the graduate resident should:
1. Develop, implement and monitor a personal continuing education strategy for life long learning.
2. Be able to critically appraise dermatology literature as well as non-academic or alternative sources
as they are related to patient diagnosis, investigation and treatment.
3. Be able to participate in clinical or basic science studies as a member of a research team.
4. Be able to describe the principles of good research and to judge whether a research project is
5. Be able to prepare a paper for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
As a competent consultant, the graduate resident should:
1. Deliver highest quality care with integrity, honesty, compassion and empathy.
2. Exhibit appropriate personal and interpersonal professional behaviours.
3. Practice medicine ethically and with sensitivity and respect for diversity, consistent with
obligations of a physician.
4. Recognize his/her own limitations with regard to skill and knowledge and seek advice when
needed by appropriately consulting other physicians and paramedical personnel when caring for
5. Demonstrate knowledge of medico-legal and bioethical issues that pertain to the practice of
The goal and objectives of each year will be detailed in the following sections, and only objectives
particular to the rotations not mentioned in the general objectives will be listed. Other objectives related to
various spheres of competence when not mentioned will be the same as in the general objectives.
POSTGRADUATE YEAR 1
The first postgraduate year consists of rotations in general internal medicine and internal medicine sub-
specialties and will provide the resident with a comprehensive training in a wide range of diseases in
internal medicine, with emphasis on areas of internal medicine that have particular relevance to the practice
CLINICAL TEACHING UNITS: ROTATION-SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
Rotations include: CTU and/or ICU
1. Acquire a solid knowledge base of basic science and clinical information related to general
internal medicine diseases.
2. Develop proficiency in the clinical diagnosis, investigation and management of a wide variety of
internal medicine disorders of a serious nature.
1. Develop the communication skills required for the effective and sensitive interaction with patient
and their families, especially when discussing serious conditions and announcing bad news.
1. Function as a member of a hospital-based health team consisting of students, residents, other
physicians, nurses, special therapists and technicians.
1. Learn to coordinate in-hospital care with ambulatory and community based resources for follow-
INTERNAL MEDICINE SUB-SPECIALITIES: ROTATION-SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
Rotations include: Infectious Diseases, Tropical Diseases, Sexually Transmitted Diseases or Mycology.
1. Acquire a broad knowledge of the basic science and clinical principles of infectious diseases
2. Become proficient in the methods of diagnosis, investigation and management of infectious
diseases in particular those relevant to cutaneous diseases.
3. Learn appropriate laboratory techniques for the identification of specific infectious agents.
1. Become familiar with community and public health principles in the investigation and
management of infectious diseases.
1. Develop a solid knowledge base of the basic science and clinical information related to neoplastic
2. Gain a proficiency in the clinical diagnosis and investigative procedures of neoplastic disease.
3. Learn the appropriate application of therapeutic modalities employed in the treatment of
malignancies, including surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy, especially the
indications and adverse effects of each modality.
1. Develop skills in communicating serious conditions to patients and their family with empathy and
RHEUMATOLOGY, ALLERGY AND IMMUNOLOGY
1. Develop a strong knowledge base of the basic science and clinical information related to:
rheumatologic diseases and other autoimmune disorders with a significant dermatological
allergic and immunologic diseases, particularly those with a significant cutaneous
2. Develop specific diagnostic and investigative skills appropriate to the assessment of
3. Become proficient in the methods of investigation utilized to identify specific allergic conditions.
4. Gain a comprehensive knowledge of therapeutic modalities used in rheumatologic diseases.
5. Learn the principles and practical considerations of the management of allergic/immunologic
1. Develop skills in participating as a collaborative member of the health-care team taking care of
patients with complex rheumatological conditions and in consulting effectively other health care
personnel when needed, including physical and occupational therapists, social workers and
1. Learn to utilize efficiently community resources and patient support groups in the care of patients
with complex rheumatological and immunologic diseases.
1. Counsel patients on the importance of taking responsibilities for their own well-being and
avoiding allergens and environmental exposure that may worsen their conditions.
1. Develop a solid knowledge base of the basic science and clinical principles of endocrinologic
diseases, particularly those conditions relevant to dermatology.
2. Develop skills in clinical diagnosis of endocrinologic disorders.
3. Gain proficiency in the appropriate methods of investigation and management of endocrinologic
POSTGRADUATE YEAR 2
The second postgraduate year provides reinforcement of general medical knowledge acquired during the
undergraduate years. The resident should become proficient in clinical examination, diagnosis and
management of a broad range of medical conditions by exposure to a variety of basic clinical disciplines
including Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine and Plastic Surgery.
FAMILY MEDICINE: ROTATION SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
Rotations include: Family Medicine or CLSC.
1. Reinforcement of clinical diagnostic, investigative and therapeutic skills developed during the
undergraduate training period.
2. Ability to diagnose, investigate and treat a broad range of common medical conditions.
1. Ability to effectively communicate with patients and family for the purposes of information
gathering, investigation and explanation of the nature of illness and therapy.
1. Ability to function and communicate effectively as a member of a team of health professionals,
including administrative and nursing staff, special therapists, and other physicians both hospital-
based and community-based.
1. Competence in formulating comprehensive management plans for common medical problems,
while recognizing the impact of socioeconomic factors on patient care and therapy.
2. Understanding of the ambulatory approach to investigation and therapy of medical disorders
including awareness of administrative aspects with respect to patient scheduling, follow-up,
investigation, and data retrieval.
ADULT EMERGENCY: ROTATION-SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
1. Reinforce diagnostic and investigative skills acquired during undergraduate training.
2. Assess a wide range of acute problems of both medical and surgical natures.
3. Develop efficiency and precision in technical skills used in the diagnosis and investigation of
acute illnesses, including physical examination, laboratory and radiological investigation.
1. Develop the ability to communicate effectively with patients and families regarding the nature
and management of acute diseases.
2. Develop the ability to communicate effectively with other members of the health team including
students, residents, other physicians, nurses, technicians and therapists.
PEDIATRICS: ROTATION-SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
Rotations include: Pediatric Wards, Pediatric Emergency and/or Genetics.
1. Acquire a strong knowledge base of common pediatric diseases and an overview of various
genodermatoses, particularly those with important cutaneous features.
2. Apply appropriate techniques of diagnosis, investigation and management to the pediatric patient.
1. Communicate effectively with patients, parents and other caregivers with respect to all aspect of
pediatric patient case-history taking, examination, investigation, management and discussion of
the nature of illness.
1. Learn to function as member of a health care team in the management of complex genetic
SURGERY SUB-SPECIALITIES: ROTATION-SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
Rotations include: Plastic Surgery, Ophthalmology, Surgery-Oncology or ENT.
1. Develop diagnostic and investigative skills in the assessment of disorders amenable to surgical
2. Observe and become familiar with a large variety of cutaneous surgical procedures.
3. Acquire a solid knowledge base of the basic principles and practice of surgical procedures and
techniques, including surgical anatomy, pre- and post-operative care, methods of anesthesia,
sterilization techniques and instrument care.
4. Learn the role of various surgical procedures in the management of cutaneous diseases, such as
biopsies, excisional and corrective procedures.
EPIDEMIOLOGY AND BIOSTATISTICS
1. Gain a solid knowledge base of the basic principles of epidemiology and biostatistics.
2. Understand the principles of good research, including ethical responsibilities and obligations and
the limitations imposed by different study designs.
1. Be able to use the above principles to judge whether a research project is properly designed and to
critically appraise the medical literature.
2. Be able to determine the most appropriate study designs for answering a given clinical question or
problem within a given set of resources.
1. Learn the principles of effective team work in the setting of clinical studies or basic research.
POSTGRADUATE YEAR 3
The third postgraduate year, consisting primarily of rotations in Dermatology clinics, should give the
resident a solid grounding in basic diagnostic, investigative and therapeutic principles and techniques
pertinent to a wide range of dermatological disorders, and enabling the resident to competently recognize
and treat common dermatological conditions.
CLINICAL ROTATIONS AT THE MONTREAL GENERAL HOSPITAL AND THE ROYAL
VICTORIA HOSPITAL: ROTATION-SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
The below objectives will also apply to Clinical rotations at the end of PGY-2.
During these rotations the resident will:
as Medical Expert
1. Develop skills in the diagnosis and management of skin disorders through the supervised
examination, investigation and management of adult dermatological patients in the clinics.
2. Become proficient in simple diagnostic procedures such as microscopic examination for fungi,
scabies and viral cytology, Wood’s light examination and epiluminescence microscopy.
3. Develop proficiency in the procurement and interpretation of appropriate laboratory
4. Acquire competence in basic office procedures, including biopsy techniques, curettage,
electrodessication, excisional techniques, cryotherapy and nail surgery.
5. Become knowledgeable of complications of dermatological therapy including emergency
procedures pertinent to the clinic setting.
6. Become proficient in the principles and practice of ultraviolet phototherapy, including UVB,
narrow-band UVB, topical and systemic PUVA phototherapy (MGH).
7. Acquire basic knowledge of laser therapy and specific skills in the assessment and laser treatment
of patients with CO2 laser, Versapulse laser and yellow/green lasers (MGH).
8. Become familiar with the indications and role of advanced surgical techniques such as Mohs
micrographic surgery, flaps and grafts and cosmetic procedures (RVH).
9. Acquire proficiency in the diagnosis and management of patients with leg ulcers including
specific investigative and therapeutic modalities required in their management, including Doppler
assessment, compressive devices and special wound care dressings (MGH).
10. Acquire proficiency in the recognition of atypical nevi and melanoma, and in the management of
patients with these diseases in the setting of a multidisciplinary clinic (RVH).
11. Develop proficiency in the assessment, investigation and management of patients with contact
dermatitis, including the screening, administration and interpretation of patch test and photopatch
testing procedures, and the reporting of results to the referring physician (RVH).
12. Develop skills in the assessment, investigation and management of organ transplant patients
with cutaneous problems (RVH).
1. Communicate effectively with patients and their families regarding investigation, therapy and the
nature of their illness.
2. Begin to develop consulting skills by communicating effectively both verbally and in written
reports with family physicians, other specialists and community health care personnel for the
purpose of patient management.
3. Develop proficiency in medical record notation.
1. Function as an effective member of the Dermatology clinic team by interacting with elective
students/residents, dermatology staff, nursing and secretarial staff in a cooperative manner for the
purpose of optimal patient care.
as Health Advocate
1. Develop skills in disease prevention through patient counselling, and facilitating patient access to
disease information via information pamphlets, Internet, and other sources.
1. Teach basic dermatological diagnosis and management to medical students and elective residents
from other services.
1. Practice prudent techniques of patient care so as to provide a high level of consideration for the
safety of patients, medical and nursing staff, and oneself.
POSTGRADUATE YEAR 4
During the fourth postgraduate year, the resident will continue to build a broad knowledge base of general
dermatological conditions, and to improve surgical and technical skills relating to diagnosis and treatment,
enabling them to evaluate and treat a wide variety of dermatological disorders of varying difficulty. They
will expand their clinical experience by rotations at the Montreal Children’s and Jewish General hospitals
where a more diverse patient population will be seen, both in terms of age and of ethnic and cultural
PEDIATRIC DERMATOLOGY: ROTATION-SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
During rotations at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, the resident will:
as Medical Expert
1. Acquire a thorough knowledge of pediatric dermatologic diseases.
2. Apply diagnostic, investigative and therapeutic techniques appropriate to the pediatric
3. Become proficient in the topical and systemic therapy of pediatric dermatological disorders.
4. Develop proficiency in the surgical management of common pediatric skin lesions including
biopsies, excision of benign tumors and cysts, and warts.
5. Assess a wide variety of patients of various ethnic and cultural origins in the outpatient clinic,
emergency and as inpatient consultations.
1. Develop proficiency in communicating with patients, caregivers and referring physicians for the
purposes of investigation and management.
1. Teach medical students and elective residents from other services in basic dermatological
diagnosis and management.
JEWISH GENERAL HOSPITAL: ROTATION-SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
During rotations at the Jewish General Hospital, the resident will:
as Medical Expert
1. Develop skills and proficiency in managing patients with a wide variety of dermatological
problems and of diverse ethnic background.
2. Improve skills in simple diagnostic procedures such as KOH examination, Tzanck smears, Gram
stain, Wood’s light examination and epiluminescence microscopy.
3. Improve proficiency in basic office surgical procedures such as biopsy, curettage, shave/elliptical
excision, cryosurgery, and simple and radical nail surgery.
4. Improve expertise in the use of UVA and UVB phototherapy.
5. Become familiar with various cosmetic procedures such as chemical peels, botox injection, hair
transplantation, blepharoplasty, liposuction, sclerotherapy for varicose veins.
6. Develop skills in various laser techniques such as CO2 laser, laser resurfacing, laser hair removal
and IPL laser.
1. Develop consultation skills, both in requesting and providing consultation
2. Develop communication skills for effective team work with other services.
1. Participate in teaching students/residents doing Dermatology electives.
POSTGRADUATE YEAR 5
The final postgraduate year of the residency program will provide the resident with the opportunity to
consolidate and refine the knowledge and techniques they have acquired in the previous years and utilize
them to develop independent consulting skills. They should function as junior consultants in their capacity
to examine, evaluate and treat conditions of all degrees of complexity, and be able to successfully manage
simple and complex cases with a minimum of supervision.
CONSULT ROTATION MONTREAL GENERAL HOSPITAL AND ROYAL VICTORIA
HOSPITAL: ROTATION-SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
During these rotations, the resident will:
as Medical Expert
1. Utilize the cognitive and technical skills acquired during the previous years to evaluate and treat a
large variety of dermatological conditions of varying complexity.
2. Practice the techniques of dermatological consultation in a hospital setting, with staff supervision,
in preparation for independent practice.
1. Become proficient in writing legible and succinct consultation reports.
2. Practice effective communication skills with patients, families and other health personnel to ensure
the provision of optimal patient care.
1. Function as a junior consultant within a team of primary care and consulting physicians and
1. Further develop teaching skills by sharing expertise with junior residents, elective students and
residents, and house staff from other hospital services involved in patient care.
DERMATOPATHOLOGY ROTATION PGY3-5: ROTATION-SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
During these rotations, the resident will:
as Medical Expert
1. Recognize the normal histopathology of the skin.
2. Develop and progressively improve and consolidate skills in histopathologic diagnosis of
3. Develop proficiency in the appropriate use of histologic techniques such as routine and special
histochemical stains, immunohistochemical techniques, immunofluorescence and electron
1. Relate histopathologic diagnoses to clinical information and report findings to the referring
physician for the purpose of patient care and increased understanding of the pathophysiology of
DERMATOLOGICAL SURGERY PGY3-5: ROTATION-SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
During these rotations, the resident will:
as Medical Expert
1. Develop surgical skills and have hands-on experience with advanced dermatological procedures
such as Mohs micrographic surgery, complex skin flaps and grafts, complex nail surgery.
2. Develop solid knowledge base of the use and complications of local anesthetics.
3. Gain proficiency in the appropriate use of anesthetic techniques such as infiltrative anesthesia,
tumescence anesthesia, regional and peripheral nerve blocks.
4. Gain proficiency in the use of various sutures and other wound closure materials.
5. Develop skills in management of post-operative wounds and surgical complications.
6. Have more hands-on experience in cosmetic procedures such as hair transplantation, liposuction,
blepharoplasty, chemical peels, laser dermabrasion, varicose veins injections.
7. Gain more experience in the use of various lasers such as IPL, CO2, hair removal lasers.
1. Communicate clearly but with empathy and sensitivity with patients regarding the serious nature
of their skin conditions and the need for complex surgical procedures.
1. Learn to work efficiently within a team in complex surgical cases with other health care
professionals such as plastic surgeons, ophthalmologists, ENT surgeons, laboratory technicians
1. Teach junior residents and elective students/residents basic cutaneous surgical techniques.
The specific objectives of research will depend on the project undertaken by the resident and will be
determined and assessed by the Research Coordinator.
In general, during these activities the resident will be able to:
as Medical Expert
1. Participate in clinical or basic science studies as a member of a research team.
2. Understand the ethical responsibilities and obligations and the limitations imposed by different
3. Prepare a paper for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
1. Disseminate dermatology knowledge to professionals and the public through formal and informal
1. Interact efficiently and professionally with other members of a research team by recognizing and
acknowledging their roles and expertise.
1. Understand and use proficiently information technology for the purpose of research.
2. Organize time efficiently to combine clinical work and research activity.
Revised May 2005