Health Education England, working across the East of England: Dermatology

A popular, vibrant specialty which is rapidly developing. It is principally 'medicine' based, although overlaps with many other disciplines within hospital specialties.  All aspects of skin disorders are encountered and dealt with. The increased incidence of skin disease and tumours has  led to greater demand for dermatology services by patients and general practitioners alike.

This demand is likely to remain high for the foreseeable future, especially as the United Kingdom has relatively few Consultant Dermatologists per head of the population compared with the rest of the developed world. Therefore, dermatology has a relatively secure demand-led future within the Health Service.

The United Kingdom is one of the leading countries in world Dermatology both in terms of professional standards and research into skin disease.  The specialty is readily compatible with full-time or part-time employment giving considerable job satisfaction, professional reward and quality of life.

Attractions of the Specialty

It is an acute hospital-based medical specialty which is principally out-patient located, but also has in-patient involvement. The specialty covers the entire age range of patients and a high percentage of general practice consultations are dermatological. Within the hospital-based provision, there are a variety of interesting sub-specialties which are continuing to develop.

An in-depth knowledge of the skin is required in terms of physiology, anatomy, cell biology and pharmacology together with insight and experience in general internal medicine.  Additional experience or interest in immunology, pathology, genetics, rheumatology, infectious diseases and GU medicine is helpful.

Exciting sub-specialties have evolved including: dermatological surgery/oncology/laser therapy, paediatric dermatology, photo-dermatology, contact dermatology/allergy/ occupational dermatology, genital dermatology and dermatopathology. Although all general dermatologists would include aspects of these in their routine work, many hospitals are creating sub-specialty specific services.

Training Programme

There are fourteen SpR posts, each with their attached NTN number, in the region.

There are four dermatology rotations based in Cambridge, Norwich, Essex or Hertfordshire. 

The posts based at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge link with clinics in Bury St Edmunds, The Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. The Norwich posts link to clinics in James Paget Hospital or King 's Lynn. The rotation in Essex is based at Chelmsford and Basildon .  The Hertfordshire rotation includes Luton, Watford and Cambridge and rotates between these 3 sites.

Current duration of training is four years.




Opportunities for Research

These exist in all the posts and many StRs take time during or out of programme to develop and further their research. Encouragement is given to work towards an MD or PhD thesis.

Almost all aspects of sub-specialty training can be provided in the region.

Experience gained from overseas work in Dermatology is encouraged.

Foundation and CMT posts with a dermatology component do exist within UK. Posts at CMT level at  Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London are recommended as possible pre-StR experience.

Other experience that is advantageous pre-StR application can be gained in Clinical Fellow or Teaching Fellow posts.

Essential qualifications for Entry

Most successful Specialty Registrar applicants will have had some additional experience at CMT level in dermatology and/or other allied areas in medicine, such as surgery, GU medicine, paediatrics, radiotherapy/oncology, or may have gained experience from work as a LAT, LAS, Specialty Doctor or Clinical Fellow in the specialty of Dermatology.

Personal Qualities

  • Good communication skills and interpersonal skills
  • Good understanding of psychological needs of patients
  • Good self-motivation
  • Flexibility
  • Reliability
  • Punctuality
  • The ability to work within a team
Further Advice & Useful Links

Further Advice



Dr Jane Sterling

Training Programme Director,

Training Committee Chair

& Honorary Consultant Dermatologist

Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ

Dr Fraz Mir

Head of School of Medicine

& Associate Postgraduate Dean


Detailed guidance on the Dermatology curriculum and assessment blueprint is available from the JRCPTB website.

Useful links

                JRCPTB: General Internal Medicine

                JRCPTB: ST3+/SpR Dermatology

                MRCP(UK) Examination: Home

DERMATOLOGY FROM A TRAINEE PERSPECTIVE by Dr Louise Fuller (Trainee Representative)

DERMATOLOGY FROM A TRAINEE PERSPECTIVE by Dr Louise Fuller (Trainee Representative)


Introduction to the speciality from a trainee perspective

Training in Dermatology in the East of England offers a unique opportunity to combine excellent clinical experience in an environment where research is encouraged. 

There are fourteen StR posts with their attached NTNs in the region.

There are four dermatology rotations based in either Cambridge, Norwich, Hertfordshire or Essex. Rotations based at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge link with Bury St Edmunds and King's Lynn, while the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, Norwich rotation links to IpswichJames Paget Hospital or King 's Lynn. The Hertfordshire rotation includes Watford, Luton and Cambridge with links to the Royal Free Hospital and rotations in Essex are based  Chelmsford and Basildon.


Useful Contacts

Training Programme Director, East of England: Dr Jane Sterling (

Programme Director, Basildon & Chelmsford: Dr Stephanie Law Pak Chong (

Programme Director, Cambridge:  Dr Pamela Todd (

Programme Director, Hertfordshire: Dr Kapila Batta (

Programme Director, Norwich: Dr Anne-Marie Skellett (

Trainee representative: Dr Louise Fuller (

E portfolio contact:



The dermatology curriculum consists of section A which includes both general and dermatology specific progressive elements.   This includes areas to record audit, research and teaching.  Section B of the curriculum lists modular elements or subspecialty interests for dermatology, including paediatric dermatology, cosmetics and laser.

This is the link to the curriculum:


E portfolio

As with all trainee specialities, and through our core medical trainee years, the E portfolio helps to record each area of the curriculum in preparation for our yearly ARCP.  It follows a familiar structure, with sections to link reflections and assessments to the curriculum as you progress through it year after year.  There is a new section detailing core medical dermatology presentations for trainees to link patient cases seen in clinic or discussed in meetings. 

The E portfolio app is very useful to access the E portfolio on the go and can be set up by following this link:

To install the app it needs to be accessed via the internet and 'added to the home screen' of your smartphone. This process is described in the following link: 



Each trainee will undergo an ARCP yearly, which is normally held just outside Cambridge in either June or November depending upon when the training programme was started.


This is the link to the ARCP decision aid for each year as a dermatology trainee:


Reading List

  1. British Association of Dermatologists website:

  2. A useful reference:
  3. Dermatology. Jean L. Bolognia, Joseph Jorizzo and Ronald Rapini. 2 volume set. 2nd Edition 2007. 2432 pages. Mosby.
  4. Clinical Dermatology. Rona M MacKie. 5th edition 2003. 336 pages. Oxford Medical Publications.
  5. Clinical Dermatology. John Hunter, John Savin and Mark Dahl. 3rd edition 2003. 365 pages. Blackwell Science.
  6. Color Atlas & Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology. Thomas B Fitzpatrick, Richard Allen Johnson, Klauss Wolff, Dick Suurmond. 4th Edition 2001. 1041 pages. McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
  7. Dermatology: An Illustrated Colour Text. David J. Gawkrodger. 3rd edition 2002. 138 pages. Churchill Livingstone.
  8. Textbook of Dermatology. Rook/Wilkinson/Ebling. 6th edition 1998. 3678 pages. Blackwell Science.
  9. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. Irwin M., Md. Freedberg, Arthur Z. Eisen, Klaus Wolff, K. Frank Austen, Lowell A. Goldsmith, Stephen I. Katz, Thomas B. Fitzpatrick. 6th edition, 2003. 2872 pages. McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.



1) Monthly training mornings, in Cambridge or Norwich

2) Research and Education Update Day for all Dermatology East of England trainees, Belfry Hotel, Cambourne, Cambridge: 7th June 2017

3) ARCP:  17th May 2017

4) SCE Dermatology Exam: 12th October 2017