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Program Description 

The Moffitt/USF Dermatopathology fellowship is a one-year, ACGME-accredited fellowship, funded by the Moffitt Cancer Center (MCC) and administered by University of South Florida (USF) Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, with close collaborations with the Cutaneous Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center and the USF Department of 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 the clinical, educational, and/or research aspects of the field.

Established in 2004, the fellowship draws from the complementary strengths of the Dermatopathology services at its three participating institutions and comprises one year of clinical Dermatopathology, with the option of an additional one year of research. At MCC, the fellow is exposed to a highly specialized practice with experts in diagnosis and treatment of melanoma (approximately 1,500 patients/year), Merkel cell carcinoma, cutaneous sarcoma, and cutaneous lymphoma. At USF, the high volume Dermatopathology service is responsible for interpreting biopsies from approximately 15,000 patients/year, comprising a well-rounded patient mix of inflammatory disease and neoplasms. At the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital, 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 sign-out 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. The optional research year is intercalated with the clinical experience.

Our mission is to produce graduates who provide expert, safe dermatopathologic care to all patients with neoplastic and inflammatory cutaneous disease and are committed to dissemination of, and addition to the body of knowledge in the field. Our program aims are as follows:

  1. Provide the fellow with broad exposure to all facets of clinical dermatopathology through evaluation and workup of cases, didactic teaching, and clinical exposure at three participating institutions with diverse patient populations. 
  2. Engage the fellow in a variety of educational activities and responsibilities with learners at various levels from a variety of specialties. 
  3. Support and mentor the fellow in performing at least one research project for presentation at a national meeting and subsequent peer-reviewed publication. 
  4. Foster a collegial atmosphere of inclusiveness, respect, and professionalism for patients, their families, and colleagues that enhances learning and prepares the fellow for independent practice.

Sites of Training

  • Primary site of training: Moffitt Cancer Center
  • Secondary sites of training: USF Dermatopathology Laboratory, USF Medical Clinic, James A. Haley VA Hospital

Training Experience

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 the VA, taking part in morning dermatopathology sign-out and afternoon surgical pathology sign-out. Surgical pathology training includes time spent in grossing, frozen section, surgical pathology and cytopathology sign-out.

Pathology-Trained Fellows: After the initial four months training in full-time dermatopathology, pathology-trained fellows are required to spend half of their time of the remaining eight months in dermatopathology and the other half in dermatology clinic, comprising 2.5 days per week in clinical care, and 2.5 days in dermatopathology. The fellow spends five months at MCC, five months at USF, and two months at the VA.


Research projects are customized to fellows' 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. 


This fellowship is open to physicians who have completed either a three-year Dermatology residency, three-year anatomic pathology residency, or four-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 2022 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

View the sample contract.

Salary and Benefits

Read more about salary and benefits.

Additional Resources

View the Dermatopathology Fellowship Handbook.

Program Director

Jane L. Messina, MD

Program Coordinator

Laura Cessna, MS.Ed.
Academic Services Administrator & Fellowship Coordinator
Phone: 813-974-3070