Dermatology and Clinical Research Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Fellowship (Boston, MA)

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 info@dermcare.expert,  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.  


Application Process  

Requirements  
1. Cover letter  
2. Resume  
3. Transcript  
4. References or at least one actual letter of recommendation 

Submit materials to:
​1) ​info@dermcare.expert
​2) ​Handshake​, or
3)​ School’s career center listing, if applicable 

Timeline  
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 
 


FAQs  

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.