Our three pillars feed and support the other, and make the Department of Dermatology and Skin Science a unique learning and treatment environment.


One of the primary functions of the Department of Dermatology and Skin Science is to provide ongoing care to the community for all of their skin care needs. Our Dermatologists are leaders in their fields, using their training, expertise, and ongoing results from research to provide world-class patient care, primarily through the main treatment facility of The Skin Care Centre. By seeing patients on an ongoing basis we learn what the skin problems are in the community and what the needs of the community are.


The Department of Dermatology and Skin Science trains undergraduate medical students to have a grounding and basic training in Dermatology through the Undergraduate Program, while graduate medical students are trained to become fully licensed Dermatologists in our Postgraduate Program for residents. This program is recognized by both the Canadian Dermatological Association and the American Academy of Dermatology. Because the number of clinical dermatologists is no longer sufficient to keep up with retirements and the growing need for medical skin care, the Department of Dermatology and Skin Science has responded with increased resident training slots and the retention of basic clinical dermatology within the undergraduate medical curriculum. The department also draws on community dermatologists to provide clinical electives.

The development of clinical skills are achieved through examination of patients under staff supervision in the various clinical settings associated with the program and the study of the cutaneous manifestations of systemic disease as covered both in the seminars and through hospital consultations.  Dermatologic therapy is dealt with in different seminar series and in the various therapeutic clinics such as Surgery, Laser, Wound Healing and so on. Dermatopathology and immunodermatopathology is taught in various pathology sessions, and the critical analysis of literature is dealt with through staff exposure and specifically also in the Journal Club. Technical skills likewise are considered in the academic settings and in the various corresponding clinics. Ethics lectures have been introduced as of 1999.

Dates and times of important teaching and department events, including Morphology Staff Schedule, Dermatology Rotation Schedule, and Journal Club Schedule are available on our Schedules page in the Administration section.

The demand for dermatologic services continues, and all of our teaching clinics operate at over capacity throughout the year, with part of the high demand for services resulting from skin cancer screening and treatment. Faculty members of the clinics have dual credentials at both VGH and SPH. The overall clinical program at Vancouver General Hospital is based out of the Skin Care Centre.

This year a new Vitiligo treatment facility was opened in the Skin Care Centre, as a result of generous donation in 2004 from the Hamzavi Foundation to the Department of Dermatology and Skin Science. New clinic facilities for the Wound Healing Clinic were opened at Vancouver General Hospital in the new Academic Ambulatory Care Centre.

We also offer advanced Graduate Training for academic students wishing to pursue M.Sc and Ph.D degrees in Dermatology, and we also offer several Fellowship positions.

Our medical students, graduate students, residents, and fellows all benefit from the new knowledge generated out of our advanced research.


Our faculty are involved in rigorous and cutting-edge research through the Clinical Trials Unit and our five specialized laboratories:

  • Skin Cancer Biology Laboratory
  • Photomedicine Institute
  • Hair Research Laboratory
  • Immunodermatology Laboratory
  • Molecular Medicine Laboratory

By analyzing the needs of the community, we design research projects to address those needs. The output of our research is new knowledge, new drugs, new techniques, new patents, and more – we take this information back to our clinical settings to help and treat out patients.

The Research Laboratories produce in excess of 50 publications and reports each year, published in high quality journals internationally. Click here for our Publications and Reports.