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Our aim is to not only help you become a good clinician with specialist interests, skills, and knowledge, but also a doctor who is keen to lead the NHS in clinical progress, teaching and management.

Doctor of dermatology looking at a patient's hand and wrist

Health Education England, Wessex has ten posts with opportunities to develop both clinical and non-clinical skills. Your four years of training at ST3 to ST6 level are specially designed to enable you to achieve a CCT in dermatology.

As part of the teaching we provide, you'll get experience of inpatient care of adults and children, daily outpatient general and specialist clinics for urgent and routine referrals, dermatological surgery, day treatment/therapy and patch testing.

There are regular regional teaching sessions for SpRs and support for study leave. In addition, Wessex is known for its courses in leadership and management.

Wessex offers excellent sub-specialty exposure including one year of paediatrics (Portsmouth, Southampton, Christchurch); vulval (Portsmouth, Poole); skin lymphoma (Poole, Southampton); patch testing and complex skin surgery (Portsmouth). 

During those placements you'll benefit from a methodological approach to training for SpRs rather than pure service provision. There is also the chance to attend local and regional specialty meetings, which are very helpful in preparation for SCEs.

Wessex has an exam pass rate of 100% for SCE in dermatology and our trainees go on to take up consultant posts or have been successful in obtaining post CCT fellowships – particularly in dermatological surgery.

What our trainees say
"I only realised how much I already had learned from my day-to-day practice when I started my preparation for SCE."


Where we provide training

Your training is at Wessex hospitals that will provide you with plenty of clinical exposure, covering all aspects of the required curriculum.

The Dermatology department is located off site at Royal South Hants Hospital. Subspecialty clinics include: Tertiary referral Paediatric Clinic, Patch-Testing, Skin Lymphoma Clinic, Vulval Clinic, Photodermatology Clinics, Psoriasis and Biologic Clinic, Eczema-Allergy Clinic, Skin Cancer Clinic, Joint Rheumatology-Dermatology Clinic and joint Surgical-Dermatology-Oncology Clinic and Skin Cancer MDT meetings.

The Dermatology department is located off site at St Mary’s Hospital. Subspecialty clinics include: Paediatric Clinic, Patch-Testing, Moh’s Surgery and complex skin surgery, Vulval Clinic, Psoriasis and Biologics Clinic, Skin Cancer Clinic, joint Dermatology-Rheumatology Clinic, joint Vulva-Gynaecology Oncology Clinic, joint Paediatric Dermatology Clinic and joint Surgical- Dermatology-Oncology Clinic and Skin Cancer MDT meetings.

The Dermatology department is located at Christchurch Hospital. Subspecialty clinics include: Paediatric Clinic, Leg-Ulcer Clinic, Moh’s Surgery and Complex Skin Surgery, Skin Cancer Clinic and Patch-Testing and Skin Cancer MDT meetings.

The Dermatology department is located on site at Poole General Hospital. Subspecialty clinics include: Paediatric Clinic, Skin Lymphoma Clinic, Vulval Clinic, Skin Cancer Clinic, Psoriasis and Biological Clinic, Complex Skin Surgery and Skin Cancer MDT meetings.

Pink Bracket
Trainees will be expected to spend at least one year in either Southampton or Portsmouth Hospital, as well as one year in either Bournemouth or Poole Hospital. The other two years will be allocated following discussion with the programme director, based on your curriculum needs. The aim of the rotation is to ensure that trainees fulfil their dermatology curriculum and are exposed to a wide breadth of clinical cases during their training, in both teaching and district hospitals. These varied rotations are an invaluable part of training in Wessex, the local office believing it is essential for all trainees to gain experience of managing patients and working within teams, in different settings.



  • Monthly regional meetings with exposure to complex dermatology cases and rare conditions.
  • Biannual Supra Regional “South West of England and Wales Dermatology” (SWEDS) meetings in different centres across the South Coast of England and Peninsular.
  • Monthly Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) teaching sessions.
  • Histology teaching sessions with discussion of clinical cases.
  • Bi-monthly (Portsmouth) and monthly (Southampton) clinical meetings to review and discuss complex cases internally.
  • Monthly Registrar-led regional teaching afternoon with guest speakers within Dermatology and from different specialties.

The Wessex deanery also offers a large range of master classes in leadership, education, and management skills, all geared towards creating a well-rounded trainee. These courses receive excellent feedback and are highly subsidised for Wessex trainees. We also have an excellent dermoscopy course run by dermatology consultants with a special interest in dermoscopy, which is also highly subsidised for our trainees.

 “Integrated Skin Lesion Recognition and Dermoscopy course”

See a list of our courses under our Workforce Learning and Development section of our website.


All Wessex trainees are encouraged to partake in research, and are provided with a weekly session to pursue projects.

There are excellent research projects in University Hospital Southampton (UHS) in a variety of subjects including skin cancer immunology and transcriptomics, drug allergy testing and contact hypersensitivity, all of which have a translational focus. Portsmouth, one of the largest recruiters of psoriasis patients on biologics, is also participating in several NIHR clinical trials and trainees are actively encouraged to participate under the excellent guidance of the research lead.

Out of programme training to pursue a MD or PhD is also encouraged. Wessex ACF trainees have been awarded Wellcome Trust funding for their research, published in high impact journals, and have gone on to secure Clinical Lectureship posts.

Our dermatology trainees have also pioneered a regional network to encourage region wide research and audit projects, with aims to produce high quality data.


What our trainees say about research in Wessex
“I was attracted to research due to the variety of research opportunities available in the academic department in Southampton and I chose to conduct a lab-based research project that developed my interests in skin cancer and cutaneous immunology. The Wessex training programme and Dermatology department have always provided great support for me to conduct my research during protected time. The supervision and mentorship in the lab has also been excellent, which has been instrumental for enabling me to secure funding from the Wellcome Trust for my PhD.”


Further opportunities in Wessex

Wessex offers academic training in the form of ACFs and we support trainees applying for post-CCT fellowships. Recent trainees have acquired competitive fellowships from St John's Institute of Dermatology, Newcastle, and Oxford.

There is also a popular and competitive post-CCT surgical Moh’s fellowship in Portsmouth. One of our trainees has been supported in pursuing a subspecialty interest in photodermatology and attended St John’s Institute of Dermatology (SJID) clinics, which has lead to an honorary contract with SJID and a photodermatology service in UHS.

For those trainees who are keen on medical education, Wessex has an excellent fellowship programme for medical education, and opportunities to be involved in both undergraduate and postgraduate education.

Wessex also offers a quality improvement fellowship with opportunities to be involved in improving healthcare both locally and abroad.


What our trainees say about opportunities in Wessex
“Training in Wessex has provided me with an excellent foundation in dermatology surgery and was instrumental in securing an American College accredited Moh’s Surgery fellowship in New Zealand.”


Dermatology On Call

As part of the dermatology curriculum, trainees are expected to partake in an on-call service, which promotes exposure to emergency dermatology. Southampton and Portsmouth are the two main hospitals with an on call Dermatology service, both during the week and at the weekend. The Bournemouth trainee also contributes to the Southampton weekday and weekend on call service. Wessex dermatology trainees do not contribute to the Medical on-call rota.

What makes Wessex different?

You'll be encouraged to manage your own training as much as is appropriate, which means that you can ensure that the programme is tailored to you. However, you'll be supported every step of the way with our mentor programme, as well as with supervision from experienced consultants. New trainees are all supported by a senior trainee mentor, and consultants in Wessex are enthusiastic about teaching. Wessex also has a visiting Australian trainee, which provides exposure to our trainees to international dermatology.

Trainees will have the opportunity to lead on projects, gain experience and access to sub-specialty areas. Wessex is renowned for teaching, leadership development, research and management skills. Trainees in Wessex are also offered the opportunity to develop subspecialist interests, with the possibility of facilitating visits to relevant departments in super-specialist centres outside of the deanery.

Our Australian trainee's experience in Wessex
“Portsmouth was a career-defining moment during my training as a dermatologist which gave me the much needed confidence and exposure to a great variety of clinics and educational experiences. The department offers great support for juniors and the range of clinics is well-rounded and run by very friendly and generous consultants. The nursing team is outstanding and much fun to work with. I highly encourage those looking for a training position in Dermatology to apply to this unique educational centre.”


Is this right for you?

We'll expect you to have a passion for clinical medicine – and particularly dermatology! 
If you're not afraid of hard work and are determined to succeed, then training with Health Education Wessex is for you.

Wessex trainee representatives are happy to be emailed if you have any questions:

What to do next

Follow the links on the right-hand side of this page for more information.


Please see these pages for a list of contacts:

School of Medicine Contacts

Specialty Specific Contacts

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