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Rural Dermatology Residency Track

The University of Mississippi Medical Center Department of Dermatology’s residency program is unique in that we offer a formal rural track. The purpose of this track is two-fold: to expose dermatology residents to the rewards of rural practice, and to train them for the unique, broad-spectrum approach. 

Our rural track has received an all-in exemption from the National Resident Matching Program’s (NRMP) The Match allowing us to accept a rural resident “outside-the-match” selection process. Our ideal candidate is someone who is from a rural area and who has a strong desire to return to their home to practice rural dermatology, often in solo practice or as a member of a very small group. Many of our applicants have partnered with their home universities and hospitals and have already started to make post-residency practice plans. Applicants should be those who are both academically accomplished and driven enough to handle the challenges of a broad-scope medical and surgical practice. Interested applicants should contact Drs. Jeremy Jackson, Nancye McCowan, or Adam Byrd for more information, and are strongly encouraged to schedule an elective rotation with Dr. Byrd at his rural office in Louisville, MS. We will also attempt to schedule clinic time at our main campus locations in the Jackson area so that applicants can also meet other residents and faculty. Rotations should be scheduled through the AAMC’s Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO). The UMMC Dermatology VSLO contact is our Education Administrator, Haidee Montgomery. Dedicated and independent rural-track interviews will typically take place in late October.

Rural Derm 1

From Left: Drs. Hannah Badon (rural resident),
Ross Pearlman (rural resident), Adam Byrd,
and Josh Ortego (rural resident)

Upon completion of their intern year, selected applicants will spend 9 months of each year at UMMC Dermatology clinics located in and around Jackson, MS with typical rotations at our VA Medical Center, Grants Ferry, Face and Skin Center, and Skin Cancer Center clinic locations. Rotations include, but are not limited to, Mohs surgery, dermatopathology, patch testing, pediatrics, and general dermatology clinical experiences. Applicants will also spend 3 consecutive months each year one-on-one with Dr. Byrd at the UMMC rural satellite clinic in Louisville, MS. The department currently offers a housing stipend, and rural residents make their own housing accommodations in Louisville. Residents return to Jackson every weekend, and typically have continuity clinic and didactics on Monday to limit trips between Jackson and Louisville (about 90 miles away). Thus, the rural residents typically spend Tuesday morning thru Friday afternoon in Louisville. 

Louisville Clinic Staff
Dr. Adam Byrd, center, with staff at UMMC's Louisville, MS Dermatology clinic

To date, rural residents and medical students have cherished their time in Louisville for a variety of reasons. They have previously reported having increased autonomy, close relationships with the smaller nursing/admin staff, and substantially more surgical and cosmetic exposure than traditional dermatology residents. The Louisville office, though fully academic, has a more “private practice” feel as there is only one attending and one resident. Learning aggressive surgical and medical dermatology in a rural setting is challenging, but highly rewarding!