The Trainee Retreat will be held in conjunction with the SID Meeting (May 8- 11) so that the benefits of the program can extend throughout the scientific meeting. The Retreat will include Residents and PhD’s in both combined and separate sessions.
The unique format of the retreat grants access to prominent faculty representing the entire spectrum of dermatology with extensive experience in producing highly cited publications, securing NIH grants, mentoring and faculty recruitment. The venue provides attendees significant exposure to those satisfied with their choice of academia and research, allowing attendees to visualize themselves on that same path.
By including both MD and PhD trainees at the retreat, we plan to instill appreciation for the breadth of scientific activity that occurs to support the field. We believe that this meeting will function as an incubator to build a larger cadre of individuals in industry, academic and clinical life that participate, understand and build the specialty.
During the presentations, an emphasis is placed on seeking out a mentor that will serve as a guide for those entering academics. Advice on juggling multiple priorities is given and reinforced throughout the presentations. In past retreats we have found that the audience is especially receptive to junior faculty presenters who are no more than five years post-residency. The retreat also provides attendees with access to important sponsors of Dermatology research. First is the Dermatology Foundation, a significant source of funding for those in need of seed money to conduct their first independent research. Speakers outlining access to NIH research funds, and to other funding agencies will present.
In addition, the program will provide a means by which to match those seeking research opportunities with the program directors that have available positions. This venue for communication with established faculty is critical in identification of a mentor.
Finally, the placement of the Retreat at the time of the SID annual meeting allows attendees to establish connections with each other, and to other meeting attendees. These social networks foster collegiality, collaborations, an appreciation for the creative, multidisciplinary nature of science and other productive interactions. For example, residents may meet PhD trainees who are working to improve skin imaging, or high throughput molecular detection and can share their understanding of clinical problems on which this science would be suitably focused. Sustained exposure to the entire spectrum of dermatologic research will influence the trainees as they make their career decision, as well as build their enthusiasm for this area of science.