Medical Training Review Panel: fourteenth report

Australian College of Dermatologists

Page last updated: 11 March 2011

Training Program

The college supervises a four or five-year vocational training program, which consists of supervised clinics in all aspects of dermatology including dermatological medicine and procedural dermatology.

Trainees pass through two defined stages during their training. These stages are designed to facilitate the progressive and cumulative acquisition of knowledge and skills. Basic training must be completed satisfactorily before the trainee can move to advanced training.

Basic Training

The purpose of basic training (years one and two) is to build on existing skills so that trainees acquire broad knowledge of the theory and practice of dermatological medicine and the basic sciences underpinning them. It is designed to give the trainee a sound base from which to further develop their skills in later years of the program.

Advanced Training

During advanced training (years three, four and five) trainees acquire skills in the treatment of more complex dermatological conditions and are given increased responsibility for patient management.

Trainees are required to prepare and have published two papers of a significant nature on a dermatological subject. At least one of these papers must be published in The Australasian Journal of Dermatology (AJD) and the other may be published in another peer-reviewed journal. They must also present at least two papers, one of which must be presented at the Registrars’ Forum or other session of the Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD) Annual Scientific Meeting. The second may be presented at the ACD Annual Scientific Meeting or the Australasian Dermatopathology Society conference or the Australasian Society of Dermatology Research meeting or another meeting of similar stature that has been approved in advance by the board of censors.

Trainee Selection

Entry into the training program requires completion of PGY2.

Trainee Assessment

Trainees pass through two defined stages in their training. These stages are designed to facilitate the progressive and cumulative acquisition of knowledge and skills. Basic training must be completed satisfactorily before the trainee can progress to advanced training.

Basic Training

To be eligible to proceed to advanced training trainees must pass the clinical sciences examination and the pharmacology examination within the first 18 months of training and perform satisfactorily in the workplace.

Advanced Training

Trainees are eligible to apply to sit the fellowship examinations in their fourth year of training.

These examinations consist of the following:

  • written papers in dermatological medicine, procedural dermatology and clinical pharmacology;
  • objective structured clinical examinations in procedural dermatology and laboratory dermatology; and
  • clinical vivas in dermatological medicine.
  • Trainees who do not satisfy all the requirements of the training program, including passing both the written and clinical fellowship examinations in their fourth year of training, must complete an additional year of supervised training. This training may be undertaken in an accredited training position, a supervised private practice setting or a combination of both.

    In addition to the examinations described above, trainees undertake regular formative in-training assessments and summative in-training assessments throughout the full duration of their training. They must also be assessed as competent to independently perform all essential procedures and treatment modalities as described in the Training Program Handbook.

    Overseas Trained Specialists

    Overseas trained specialist (OTS) applicants are assessed against the standards expected of recently trained Australian dermatologists, making allowance for the number of years since graduation in determining comparability.

    Applicants must submit all application material to the Australian Medical Council (AMC). The college assesses applications on behalf of the AMC. The ACD OTS Assessment Committee undertakes an initial assessment of the applicant based on their submitted documentation.

    There are three potential initial assessment outcomes:

    • Applicant is not comparable: the applicant is not substantially comparable to an Australian-trained dermatologist and could not obtain equivalence with further supervised clinical training in Australia within a maximum period of two years.
    • Applicant is partially comparable: the applicant is not substantially comparable to an Australian-trained dermatologist but may be able to obtain substantial comparability with further specific supervised clinical training in Australia within a maximum period of two years.
    • Applicant is substantially comparable: the applicant is substantially comparable to an Australian-trained dermatologist and is recommended for acceptance to practise as a dermatologist in Australia.
    An interview may be required to confirm the assessment. The committee undertakes structured interviews four times per year that include resume-specific questions, clinical scenario questions and competency-based questions. The interview allows the committee to make a final assessment recommendation including the specific nature of any additional training and or assessment required. Full details of assessment criteria and processes are available on the college website.

    Accreditation

    The college does not accredit training facilities; instead individual training positions are accredited. All positions are regularly inspected to ensure that they continue to meet the college’s accreditation requirements. These requirements are available on the college website.

    Further Information

    www.dermcoll.asn.au