There is growing concern about the declining number of graduating dermatology residents entering academic medicine, posing a threat to the training of dermatologists who are required to treat the nearly one third of the US population which will suffer from skin disease at some point in time. Members of the Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID) represent a significant percentage of U.S. dermatology faculty. The organization is uniquely suited to address the problem given the access to both faculty and resident physicians. The SID mission is to exchange and disseminate scientific information relating to skin disease. The National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) is committed to supporting skin disease research and training basic and clinical investigators. The two organizations have a vested interest in reversing the trend as major stakeholders in maintaining a pipeline of dermatological educators and researchers. In order to leverage potential synergy in the missions of the SID and NIAMS, the concept of the Resident Retreat was developed. The SID Retreat for Future Academicians is an annual conference presented by the Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID) for a select group of first-year dermatology residents who have expressed an interest in pursuing a career in academics. The program tests the hypothesis that early and sustained exposure to like-minded residents, graduate students, post-docs and seasoned faculty will have a positive effect on a decision to follow the career path into academia. To achieve our goals, we plan to expand upon the format utilized over the past 10 years, which included discussions of grant writing, finding mentors, negotiating a job (and protected time), economics, work-life balance, developing an interest area, integrating academics into dermatologic specialties and finding funding. These themes have been very well received, but do not address how physician scientists create collaborative liaisons with PhD scientists to bring new knowledge into the field of Dermatology. We believe that this multidisciplinary approach is an important aspect of building scientific opportunity to improve our field, and is a core value of the SID. This modified format also positions the Resident Retreat as a venue to help attract the PhD community to the field of skin biology.
The Resident Retreat for Future Academicians is an annual conference specifically designed to increase the number of dermatology residents that enter academic dermatology by providing information on the benefits of the career path and eliminating some of the barriers to entry. This increase will sustain the pipeline of multidisciplinary educators and researchers in U.S. institutions necessary to find improved treatments and cures for the nearly 3,000 known skin diseases that afflict 65 million Americans.
|Pentland, Alice (2013) Building social and scientific networks to grow our global skin biology community. J Invest Dermatol 133:2497-2499|