Jefferson Dermatology Self-Assessment Course: Pathspective Review

by | Aug 3, 2017 | Education, Residents | 2 comments

On Saturday, June 24th, I attended the first annual Jefferson Dermatology Self-Assessment Dermatopathology Course in Philadelphia, PA. The course was organized by Dr. Jason Lee from Jefferson Dermatology. The course was recommended to me by Dr. Laura Houk from the Dermatology Department at the University of Massachusetts. She trained with Dr. Lee and highly recommended him as a teacher. Below is my assessment of the review course and who I think would benefit the most from attending next years course.


The course ran the entire Saturday with a break for lunch. The registration fee was $75, which is very reasonable considering other courses can be as high as $375. Breakfast and lunch was included in the registration fee.
Everyone was asked to bring a computer or tablet because all the cases were scanned whole slide images. When each case was reviewed they also had still images showing classic features well.
Several faculty from around the area would take turns presenting 5 or so cases. You have about a minute to review the case on your computer and then answer a multiple choice question on a separate page. After answering about 5 questions the presenter would go back through and explain the correct answer for each case.

Pros and Cons


  • Nearly 300 hundred need-to-know cases for the pathology portion of dermatology boards.
  • Quick, concise speakers who distilled all the information about each diagnosis into high yield bullet points.
    One of the best digital slide experiences I’ve had so far. Access to the slides is available before, during, and after the course.
  • Breakfast and lunch included with registration
  • Very good time management. No one ran over time because they kept a big timer on the projector. Everyone stayed within their time limit.
  • Location was really nice for anyone on the East Coast who doesn’t want to fly to Chicago or Houston.


  • Digital slides still have one challenge to overcome. Going on high power isn’t high enough quality. This is more of a critique of whole slide imaging and not necessarily this review course. Diagnoses that needs high power to be definitive, particularly with infectious diseases, are still harder to make than on a traditional microscope.
  • The course was broken up into two parts, with the second part available online after June 24th. It would have been nice to have access to Part 1 and Part 2 after the review course but I only could see Part 2. I e-mailed the main course e-mail address but didn’t get a reply.

Who Should Attend?

  • Dermatology residents who want a solid review course before taking their boards should definitely attend.
  • Dermatology residents on the East Coast who want to brush up on their dermatopathology without having to fly to Chicago. I would definitely recommend this course to all of the dermatology residents at the University of Massachusetts where did my fellowship.
  • Dermatopathology fellows who don’t have plans to attend the ASDP Review Course, should try to find time to attend this course.

Who should avoid going?

  • Dermatopathology fellows who plan on attending the ASDP Board Review Course. The Jefferson review course is probably a little less extensive than the ASDP course. I had review materials from previous ASDP courses and I didn’t have enough days off to make the trip to Houston. The Jefferson review course was a very good alternative.
  • Practicing dermatopathologists or dermatologist who read their own cases. I didn’t see any CME offered so this wouldn’t be a good place to be, especially when there are good alternatives with CME attached. This may change in the future. I may not have seen this option because I was still in training, so it might have been there.

Interesting Incident

During the review course, someone who may have had some mental health challenges came to the front of the lecture hall and asked to speak to the audience. Dr. Lee handled it like a pro and kindly explained that the person was probably in the wrong location. Dr. Lee then helped the man find his way back to the front of the building.

Overall Pathspective Score: 4 / 5

Overall, I found the Jefferson Self-Assessment Course to be very good and I would highly recommend to any dermatology residents who are preparing for their boards. Dermatopathology fellows who are short on money and the time should pick between the ASDP review course and the Jefferson Self-Assessment. I would lean towards the ASDP course, particularly if you don’t have access to ASDP review material from past years.


Did you find this review helpful? Share this with any dermatology residents who are stressing about their boards. Are there any other review courses that are helpful? Comment below!