Perspectives of Dermatology Program Directors on the Impact of Step 1 Pass/Fail.

Peter Choi, Erik E. Langenau, Michael B. Roberts, Travis W Blalock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: The shift of Step 1 to Pass/Fail has generated several questions and concerns about obtaining residency positions among allopathic and osteopathic students alike. Determining the perspectives of Dermatology Program Directors in regards to post-Step 1 Pass/Fail is critical for students to better prepare for matching into dermatology.

METHODS: After receiving Institutional Review Board (IRB) exemption status, the program directors were chosen from 144 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and 27 American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Dermatology programs using contact information from their respective online website databases. An eight-item survey was constructed on a three-point Likert scale, one free text response, and four demographic questions. The anonymous survey was sent out over the course of three weeks with weekly individualized reminder requests for participation.

RESULTS: A total of 54.54% of responders had "Letters of Recommendation" in their top 3. Forty-five percent of responders had "Completed Audition Rotation at Program" in their top 3. And, 38.09% of responders had "USMLE Step 2 CK Scores" in their top 3.

CONCLUSION: Approximately 50% of responders agreed that all medical students will have more difficulty matching dermatology. Based on the survey study, Dermatology program directors want to focus more on letters of recommendation, audition rotations, and Step 2 CK scores. Because each field seems to prioritize different aspects of an application, students should attempt to gain as much exposure to different fields such as through research and shadowing to narrow down their ideal specialties. Consequently, the student will have more time to tailor their applications to what residency admissions are looking for.

Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023


  • allopathic
  • dermatology
  • osteopathic
  • residency
  • usmle


  • Medical Education
  • Medicine and Health Sciences

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