Dermatopathology Fellowship Training Program

Program Description 

The Moffitt/USF dermatopathology fellowship is a two-year, ACGME-accredited fellowship, funded by the Moffitt Cancer Center (MCC) and administered jointly by the Cutaneous Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center and USF Departments of Dermatology, Pathology and Cell Biology. It is open to any applicants who have completed either a pathology or dermatology residency and have a demonstrated interest in participating in research, either through publications, abstract presentations, or other research projects. The fellowship draws from the complementary strengths of the dermatopathology services at its three participating institutions and comprises one year of clinical dermatopathology and one year of research. At MCC, the fellow is exposed to a highly specialized practice with experts in diagnosis and treatment of melanoma (approximately 2,000 patients/year), Merkel cell carcinoma, cutaneous sarcoma, and cutaneous lymphoma. At USF, the high volume dermatopathology service is responsible for interpreting biopsies from approximately 160,000 patients/year, comprising a well-rounded patient mix of inflammatory disease and neoplasms. At the VA hospital, dermatopathology comprises a large portion of the anatomic pathology volume (approximately 8,000 cases/year). The fellow acquires skills by a combination of active participation in signout with pre-reading of cases, teaching of pathology and dermatology residents as well as surgical oncology fellows, coverage of MCC Cutaneous Oncology Multidisciplinary Conference and didactic teaching by faculty. By integrating clinical and bench research experience based at MCC into the curriculum beginning in 2008, we hope to establish a nationally prominent program with an emphasis on graduating fellows fully prepared for academic practice. 

ACGME standards for this accredited fellowship mandate different training requirements depending on the fellow's background. All fellows are required to spend four months in dermatopathology. Dermatologists are required to spend the remaining eight months in dermatopathology/surgical and cytopathology (split time 50%); pathologists must spend the remaining eight months in dermatopathology/clinical dermatology (split time 50%).

Dermatology-Trained Fellows: After the initial four months training in full-time dermatopathology, dermatology-trained fellows are required to spend half of each day of the remaining eight months in dermatopathology, and the other half of the day in surgical pathology. The fellow spends six of these months at MCC and two at VA, taking part in morning dermatopathology signout and afternoon surgical pathology signout. Surgical pathology training includes time spent in grossing, frozen section, surgical pathology and cytopathology signout.

Pathology-Trained Fellows: After the initial four months training in full-time dermatopathology, pathology-trained fellows are required to spend half of each day of the remaining eight months in dermatopathology and the other half of the day in dermatology clinic. The fellow spends each morning in dermatopathology signout, rotating among the various institutions as follows: six months USF, four months MCC, two months VA. Each afternoon of the remaining eight months will be spent in a Dermatology Clinic, held at Moffitt Cancer Center or the USF Medical Clinic. 


Research projects are customized to fellow’s career goals and prior experience, and may comprise experiences ranging from case series, book chapter/review manuscripts, to bench research with faculty of the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center of Excellence at Moffitt. 


Link to MCC Webpage-Chantal can we have links to MCC page for Drs Messina, Tsai, and McCardle, to USF Derm for Drs. Rodriguez-Waitkus and Hery, and to the VA for Dr. Leslie Turner and Sudeep Gaudi?


This two-year fellowship is open to physicians who have completed either a 3 year Dermatology resident, 3 year anatomic pathology residency, or 4 year anatomic and clinical pathology residency. Applicants must be board eligible. 

Number of Positions

One fellow is accepted per cycle. The next fellowship offered will be in 2019 for a one-year position.

How to Apply

Interested applicants should submit a completed application form (PDF), CV, and three letters of reference, including one from their residency program director, 24 months in advance of anticipated start date to the program director. 

Sample Contract 

Salary and Benefits

Program Director

Jane L. Messina, MD
Program Director, Dermatopathology Fellowship
USF Dermatopathology Laboratory
12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. , MDC 79
Tampa , FL 33612
P: 813-974-3744
F: 813-974-0337

Program Coordinator

Kandi Smith
Education Coordinator
Dept of Dermatology & Cutaneous Surgery
P:  813.974.3070
F:  813.974.4272