MD Undergraduate

Throughout all of medicine and especially family practice, Dermatology is a major patient concern, and the undergraduate curriculum is designed to equip physicians-to-be, regardless of their specialty, with the essential clinical skills and information they need to take care of their patients, many of whom have skin problems.

Dr. Se Mang (Simon) Wong is the Director of Undergraduate Teaching, which comprises the basic and clinical medical student teaching during the 2nd and 3rd year Integument and Clinical Dermatology weeks, which are mandatory for all students in UBC Medical School.

MEDD 421 – Foundations of Medical Practice III

The 2nd year Integument Week course makes extensive use of the web and consistently receives excellent student evaluations, especially in terms of the customized learning resources available. This course is part of the problem-based learning curriculum, the current instructional model for UBC Medical School.

Week Objectives

  • Describe the basic macroanatomy and microanatomy of the skin, adnexae, nails and external musosae, including variations with location.
  • Describe and integrate the structure and function of epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous layers.
  • Describe the basic anatomy and physiology of hair and sweat structures, and of  the integumentary vasculature and nervous supplies.
  • Describe normal and abnormal cutaneous growth and differentiation.
  • Demonstrate the appropriate use of dermatologic terminology.
  • Briefly describe the pathophysioloy, histology, basic clinical features, approach to diagnosis and treatment for common inflammatory disorders of the integument.
  • Briefly describe the pathophysioloy, histology, basic clinical features and approach to diagnosis and treatment for common integumentary infections and infestations.

MEDD 431

The 3rd year clerkship course is mandatory for all students. The dermatology clerkship will combine a mixture of:

  • Hospital-based consultations as part of a team under the direction of the dermatology resident
  • Hospital-based out-patient clinics, also primarily under the direction of the dermatology resident
  • Office-based clinics run by staff dermatologists, in which the student’s role will primarily be observational
  • Didactic sessions within the Department of Dermatology and Skin Science

The student will be able to describe the basic features and diagnostic methods for common Dermatologic disorders, broadly subdivided under the headings of Infectious, Inflammatory, Neoplastic, and Genetic Conditions.  The student will become familiar with basic morphological terms and will be able to describe dermatological conditions accurately.  The student will be able to generate a meaningful differential diagnosis based upon morphology.

The student will be able to define those office-based techniques of diagnosis and treatment used for caring for patients with skin disorders.  It is not required that the student develop expertise with performing these techniques.

The student will be able to briefly describe basic treatment options and possible complications for common skin conditions.  This will include basic surgical techniques and their application.  It will also include common medications, both topical and systemic, including indications, contraindications, side effects and dosage schedules.  The student will also develop some knowledge of more complex and advanced Dermatological surgical and medical therapies available through Dermatological consultants, but is not expected to acquire sufficient skill or knowledge to put these therapies into use themselves.


Please note that acceptance into an elective in Dermatology at UBC will neither help nor hinder a future application for Residency.

These are clerkships for medical students who seek additional practical clinical experience in Dermatology. These are offered on a space-available basis, and we accept UBC medical students and external medical students by application. This builds on the foundations learned in MEDD 431 and takes the student through advanced clinical techniques and more focused patient consultation and interaction. More information is available here, including application procedures and more.