Medical Student Education


Some general considerations in applying to dermatology:
•  Dermatology is regarded as a highly competitive residency, with the medical school academic record and USLME scores generally comprising the core of the application,
•  Research or other scholarly activity represents another key element of the portfolio, requiring advance planning and scheduling. The dermatology research elective is most effectively utilized with discussion and planning with the faculty mentor well in advance of the elective (e.g. to allow for IRB approval, etc).
•  The advanced dermatology elective provides the opportunity to explore the specialty more in depth, offers potential opportunities to find research/scholarly experience, and enables contact with faculty who can write letters of recommendation. As such, the advanced dermatology elective, while not required for application, is recommended for all potential applicants.
•  Dermatology electives at other medical schools, while not required, may be beneficial in providing additional experience in the specialty, documenting dedication to the field, offering potential research opportunities, and facilitating possible letters of recommendation. Advance planning is also crucial here.
•  Seeking advice from departmental faculty is strongly encouraged for any student considering application to dermatology residency. The clerkship director and coordinator are available to serve as advising resources.

Visiting Medical Students

Applications for away rotations in the Department of Dermatology will be accepted from 4/1/24 through 4/30/24, with notification of acceptance 4 weeks prior to your approved rotation.  Rotation dates for the Fall Semester are as follows:

  • 7/8/24-8/2/24
  • 8/5/24-8/30/24
  • 9/2/24-9/27/24
  • 9/30/24-10/25/24

The Department of Dermatology offers fourth-year electives to visiting medical students enrolled in a LCME accredited medical school during the months of July through October.  These four-week rotations are approved and arranged by the department.

Students interested should submit the following in a PDF to Tori Barnes at

  1. Name
  2. Class year
  3. E-mail
  4. Phone
  5. Name of Medical School
  6. Name of Undergraduate School/Degree
  7. Letter of Interest
  8. Current CV
  9. Medical School Transcripts
  10. USMLE 1 Score

Following approval from the Department of Dermatology, the applicant will need to complete the application process outlined here . Upon completion of these criteria, you will be allowed to formally apply and be approved as a visiting student.  (Until this process is complete, the elective as approved first by the Department is not “official”). 

UI Visiting Student Scholars Program

The University of Iowa (UI) Visiting Student Scholars Program offers a stipend through a competitive application process to support 4-week visiting electives for medical students who are from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine. Dermatology is participating in this program and invite you to find out more from this link:

If you have questions, please contact Tori Barnes at

Vincent Liu, MD, FAAD

Vincent Liu, MD, FAAD

Medical Student Clerkship Directory