Program Overview With its affiliated site Beacon Clinical Research, DermCare Experts offers its Dermatology and Clinical Research Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Fellowship, an innovative two-year program designed to help college graduates gain extensive exposure to patient care and clinical research as well as technical skills (e.g., phlebotomy, vitals, ECGs, basic suturing) necessary to strengthen their medical school application in this extremely competitive environment.
Successful applicants will become certified medical assistants deeply engaged in outpatient dermatology, one of the most competitive medical specialties to enter. In doing so, they will learn core clinical skills and critical thinking applicable to all areas of medicine, as well as gain an understanding about the fundamentals of patient management and clinical decision-making. By working alongside the physician, fellows witness the importance of continuity of care, as they are often the first point of staff contact the patient has with the clinic, and continue following the patient throughout their treatment. Fellows also enhance their interpersonal skills working with the clinic’s culturally and socioeconomically diverse urban patient base.
Program participants also work as certified clinical research coordinators fully responsible for leading a variety of trials sponsored by multinational pharmaceutical companies, and will have a first look at therapeutics in the pipeline. Fellows serve as the main contact for the pharmaceutical study monitor, while managing all aspects of patient recruitment and trial execution under the supervision of the principal investigator. Although many studies are dermatology trials, fellows also work on trials in other disciplines, and are expected to attend fully-funded research training conferences for the trials they run.
Fellows will also be asked to engage after hours in academic pursuits related to what they are learning in clinic. They are asked to read widely, ranging from textbooks to medical journals, as well as the popular press about hot button issues in medicine. Clearly, they will be expected to gain dermatology knowledge, and they may be responsible for leading discussions about issues they encounter in clinic by delivering presentations to their peers. Additionally, they have the opportunity to attend the clinic’s lecture series by invited speakers; grand rounds; educational dinner lectures in metro Boston; and dermatology conferences both in-town and out-of-town, the latter for which housing and transportation would be funded. Fellows are also encouraged to write publishable work when opportunities arise.
Through the program’s contacts, they also have the chance to shadow and network with physicians in other fields of medicine, thus expanding their understanding of different specialties. In addition, fellows work side by side with medical students who at times rotate through the clinic. Finally, they have the opportunity in their off-hours to work as study designers for Clinical Research IO, a spin-off from Beacon Clinical Research that is now one of the top three clinical research software companies in the industry.
Fellows also spearhead the clinic’s community and public health outreach, by arranging free skin cancer screenings and a variety of programming at community organizations. The clinic has also launched an Urban High School Premedical Mentorship Program, where fellows serve as Big Sibs to underprivileged youth to further their interest in medicine as a future career.
As appropriate, fellows may join the physician on international medical mission trips, with possible funding for expenses such as flights and hotel.
With this holistic and intensive training approach, those who graduate are uniquely poised to excel in the medical school application process and later as medical students, having (1) taken patient histories, (2) observed the dermatological physical exam, and (3) assisted in executing the physician’s assessment and plan — all in the context of comprehensive, high-quality, ethical, physician-led patient care. In particular, participants will be extremely well-prepared to undertake future dermatology rotations in order to enter the highly competitive dermatology residency match.
Applicants who are looking only to scribe from 9 to 5, and who are reluctant to invest the effort and hours this highly demanding and fully immersive fellowship requires, will find this program a poor fit. Successful fellows have grit; will accept and incorporate constant and blunt feedback without wilting under pressure; and are willing to work in a driven environment characterized by honesty and transparency with excellent patient care as the key touchstone. Fellows are much more than scribes or medical assistants, and should be prepared to function as junior trainees. They will become familiar with the parameters against which they will be evaluated in the future, as they will be assessed against the basic principles embodied in the core competencies of the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education, tailored of course to their very early stage of training.
Candidates are asked to submit a cover letter, resume, transcript, and a list of references, or at least one actual letter of recommendation, either directly to the clinic at email@example.com, or through their school’s career center listing such as Handshake. Interviews are conducted first online via video chat, and then followed with an on-site visit, depending on the pandemic. We actively seek diversity in all senses of the term: gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and socioeconomic status.
1. Cover letter
4. References or at least one actual letter of recommendation
Submit materials to:
2) Handshake, or
3) School’s career center listing, if applicable
Deadline to submit: January 1, 2021
Video interview invites will be sent out early to mid-January
Video interviews will take place February 8-19, 2021
On-site interviews will take place March 1-12, 2021
All applicants will hear back with a decision by March 17, 2021
Is this a paid opportunity? Yes, the fellowship is a paid experience.
Will everyone who turns in an application receive an interview? No. The fellowship is competitive in nature and only select applicants will move on to the interview phase.
What demographic is the fellowship geared towards? The fellowship was curated for recent college graduates who are looking to have enriched gap years through hands-on clinical experience and physician mentorship. This program is not for current medical school students.
Is this opportunity only available to Massachusetts residents? No.
I’m not from the Boston area. Is housing provided? No, housing is not provided. However, we will direct you to resources to help find housing in Boston, as many of our previous fellows have done.
How many years is this fellowship program? There is a two-year requirement for the fellowship.
What is the start date for the fellowship? June 2021
Do you require the MCAT to be done before the fellowship starts? We prefer that you complete the MCAT before the fellowship.