An overview of dermatology training


Why choose Dermatology?

Dermatology is an excellent career option as one of the most varied medical specialties encompassing all age groups of patients with inflammatory, inherited, environmental, occupational or malignant skin disorders. As such it is both challenging and rewarding. Currently skin disease is one of the most common reasons for patients to consult a doctor and given the observed increases in skin cancer and inflammatory conditions like eczema, Dermatology will continue to expand in the future. There will be an on-going need to have secondary care based dermatology clinics and services nationally although some component of patient care may also be carried out in other settings e.g. community hospitals. Specialist Dermatology involves predominantly out-patient work for diagnosis, investigation and treatment supported by appropriately staffed in-patient facilities for severe inflammatory disorders. Research is clearly a vital aspect of medicine and dermatology is an excellent specialty to participate in this with ample opportunities available in both clinical and laboratory based research.


As a trainee what can I expect from my training programme?

There are 2 rotations, the Northern and the Southern Rotation. The Northern Rotation involves rotation between the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne and the University Hospital of North Durham. During this time a period of 6 months of reduced clinical commitments is offered to enable research opportunites. For around 6-12 months of the 4-year programme, 3 days per week are spent at the University Hospital of North Durham. The Southern Rotation includes clinical placements divided equally at The James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough and University Hospital of North Durham. After the first 18 months of clinical training, the rotation offers the unique opportunity to rotate to the Academic Department of Dermatology at Newcastle University for 1 year to pursue research, or, within that year to develop an area of clinical expertise within HEE NE depending on the requirements of the trainee. Training will be completed by a further 18 months of clinical training in the other clinical centres. The programme offers excellent and comprehensive clinical experience and training in Dermatology and all its sub-specialties with strong links with Newcastle University Department of Dermatology, which has an active research programme. Both of these rotations score consistently highly in feedback from the annual GMC trainee survey.

We have excellent job prospects with all trainees on both rotations in recent years entering consultant or academic posts at the end of training. Many of these have been within the region and there are also opportunities for post CCT training in Dermatological Surgery and Medical Dermatology.

There are excellent opportunities to engage in research: ( Newcastle is a world renowned research centre as exemplified by the inclusion of dermatology as one of the key themes in the Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre ( Within Newcastle University, research focused on skin biology and disease occurs within 2 research institutes: the Institute of Cellular Medicine ( and the Institute of Genetic Medicine ( Moreover, our programme of mentorship is highly regarded and we have a strong reputation for training future leaders within this field. A significant propprtion of our trainees undertake higher degrees (MD’s and PhD’s) via OOPR during their training years. A number have gone on to clinical academic posts and continue high quality skin related research.


What our current and previous trainees say:


Professor Sara Brown, Dundee

"Newcastle provided me with an excellent clinical training in dermatology and a strong foundation for my career. The emphasis on understanding clinical signs and symptoms as well as a rigorous consideration of differential diagnoses and treatment options is a skill-set I value highly. The support for research within Newcastle Dermatology allowed me to develop my ability in asking and addressing difficult questions; this has been key to my success in high-level research. I must also say that Newcastle is a great place to live - the people are warm and welcoming and they know how to have a good time!"


Dr Keith Wu ST6/ACL, Newcastle

“I moved to Newcastle Upon Tyne for my Dermatology training because it's one of the few places in the UK where I could combine my interest in Dermatology and my passion for research.  I've been very well supported by the Department and they were paramount in helping me secure funding from the Wellcome Trust to undertake my PhD.  I've also had unsurpassed Clinical training in sub-specialties as diverse as Paediatric Dermatology to Advanced Dermatological Surgery via complex inflammatory skin conditions!  In terms of the social aspects of the North East, I can't think of many other places where you could have a night on the "Toon", explore the Northumberland countryside or have a stroll along the beach; all within 30 minutes reach of where you live!” 


Dr Neil Rajan, Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Dermatologist, Newcastle

"The Southern rotation provides a firm foundation in clinical training in dermatology. One to one case based teaching is facilitated in the first year, with clinic templates designed such that the trainees are supernumerary. Trainees are encouraged to challenge diagnoses, and seek out primary scientific papers and casereports to inform the understanding of challenging cases in clinic. A dynamic research environment is currently led by Rob Ellis, who has mentored several trainees to use dedicated periods of research to pursue collaborations with Professor Lovat in Newcastle. During my training on the southern rotation, I was encouraged to pursue my research interest in rare genetic skin disease. This allowed me to collaborate with Prof Sir John Burn at the Institute of Genetic Medicine in Newcastle, and Prof Alan Ashworth at the Univeristy of California, San Francisco. With this partnership, I have managed to secure funding from the MRC and the Wellcome Trust, that has led to me leading a dermatogenetics group in Newcastle ( I wholeheartedly recommend the Southern rotation as a excellent start to a career in dermatology.


Current ST in Dermatology

“Dermatology training in the north east has many attractions; the region is great for family life as well as social/leisure attractions and the dermatology departments here are really friendly, busy and supportive places to work and learn”.


 Current vacancy information

To find out more about our region and Trusts please visit the Find Your Place website




Information for Current Trainees

Access essential information on regulations, study leave, certification, assessment and the curriculum.

Information for trainers and educators

Development and guidance on becoming a trainer, standards for trainers, essential documentation for clinical and educational supervision including guidance for GP trainers,  Trust and out-of-hours supervisors, plus news about the latest courses and conferences.


Potential Applicant

Visit our Recruitment website to find out what it's like to be a GP trainee in the north east and north Cumbria.