Information for Applicants | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Micrographic Surgery and Dermatologic Oncology Fellowship Program

The Texas Tech Micrographic Surgery and Dermatologic Oncology (MSDO) Fellowship Program accepts one new fellow each year for a one-year fellowship. The program is fully accredited by the ACGME and is administered by the Department of Dermatology. Fellow will attend conferences, act as a consultant for residents and faculty and participate in the teaching of procedural dermatology to dermatology residents.

Fellows acquire special competence in this sub-specialty in order to pursue a career in academia or private practice. Supervision is conducted by the faculty in charge of each of the rotations the fellow undertakes. Formal rotational evaluations of the progress of the fellow is performed every three months during the fellowship and the MSDO Clinical Competency Committee also reviews the fellow’s progress in December and in June.

The main focus of the fellowship is skin cancer diagnosis and management, with emphasis on Mohs micrographic surgery and wound reconstruction. The fellow rotates with two TTUHSC Mohs clinical faculty.  The fellow rotates Mondays and Tuesdays with Dr. Russell Akin (Mohs fellowship director) at his private practice in Midland, Texas.  The fellowship program provides an overnight call room at Midland Memorial Hospital for Monday night.  On Wednesday and Thursday mornings, the fellow rotates with Dr. Ashley Sturgeon (full time fellowship trained Mohs surgeon faculty at TTUHSC Lubbock) at her academic practice in Lubbock. The fellow must participate as primary surgeon in a minimum of 500 Mohs cases throughout the year and 500 reconstructions. The fellow also rotates on the TTUHSC Cosmetic Dermatology Service with Dr. Michelle Tarbox (lasers, fillers, neurotoxins) one half day a week, episodically with Dr. Cordero TTUHSC Otolaryngology (ENT), Dr. Torres UMC Radiation Therapy, and the TTUHSC Wound Care Center with Dr. Griswold (General Surgery), throughout the year. The fellow also does a day of seeing general dermatology patients on Friday. The fellow also trains students and residents in procedural dermatology, presents interesting cases at conferences, participates in weekly Head/Neck Tumor Board (when cutaneous oncology case is being discussed) and gives the faculty input into the selection of the next fellow.

Applicants must have completed or be in the process of completing a 3 year ACGME residency in dermatology. The fellowship officially starts on August 1st of each year. All USMLE Step scores are required as well as a letter of recommendation from their dermatology program director and director of Mohs surgery. TTUHSC participates in the San Francisco Match. Complete applications must be received by the San Francisco Match by August 31.  We will be interviewing selected applicants virtually this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the fellowship year, the fellow is required to complete at least one clinical research project that is approved by Dr. Akin. In addition, the fellow is required to complete one quality improvement project, approved by Dr. Sturgeon and Dr. Stetson related to Mohs surgery. More detailed information can be found in our fellowship handbook.

For more information about our fellowship program you may contact Irma Garza, fellowship coordinator at (806) 743-5630 or you may email her at