Dexterity required for dermatology

Discussion in 'Dermatology' started by CuriousMSII, May 16, 2017.

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  1. CuriousMSII

    CuriousMSII

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    May 16, 2017
    I'm currently an MS2 (soon to be MS3) that is interested in dermatology. When I was 12 I suffered a spinal cord injury that left me with some deficits in the muscles of my hands. The thenar muscles in particular are the weakest. This has not presented an issue thus far in my medical education. I can do basic suturing without much trouble.

    I'm curious as to whether ya'll think that this will present an issue for me in residency and beyond. Do you know any dermatologist with physical disabilities? Is this something I should disclose?
     
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  3. asmallchild

    asmallchild Lifetime Donor SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

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    If you can handle basic suturing then you should probably be fine. Like anything else, you'll get better as you practice even with muscle deficits. I've known dermatologists (multiple actually) who are color blind (try taking a dermpath exam with that) and they are able to make do.

    I'm of the mindset that you shouldn't disclose weaknesses unless it truly impairs your ability to get the job done.
     
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  4. Tamahawk

    Tamahawk 7+ Year Member

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    Dec 14, 2009
    Agree with everything asmallchild said. Suturing is the only thing manually challenging that you need to be able to do, and it sounds like that isn't a problem. Wouldn't bother mentioning it as a disability.
     
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  5. CuriousMSII

    CuriousMSII

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    May 16, 2017
    Thanks for the replies. That is reassuring. I was also wondering if there are particular residency programs that have relatively less surgery?
     
  6. asmallchild

    asmallchild Lifetime Donor SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

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    Bad ones ;)

    In all seriousness, you don't want to go to a program that has less surgery. If you are interested in those, just head where the other students are running away from.

    You want a program that will give you strong surgical volume/exposure and more importantly, some level of independence (programs linked with a county hospital, VA, etc)

    If you choose to be less procedural upon becoming an attending, that's certainly fine (although that typically means decreased income). But I think the surgical aspect of residency is an important part of training and having that knowledge will make you a better, well-rounded dermatologist.
     
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  7. CuriousMSII

    CuriousMSII

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    May 16, 2017
    Lol good to know. Thanks for the reply!
     

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