The Insiders Scoop – Dermatology



Omar Bari, M.D.




Harvard University (BA)

UC San Diego School of Medicine (MD)

Indiana University (Transitional Year)

Current Position:

PGY3, UCLA Dermatology 


1 | What drew you to dermatology?

I sought a meaningful career where I could incorporate medical decision making and hands-on procedures. As I explored dermatology more in medical school, I was drawn to the visual nature of this field, the ability to treat patients of all ages, and the breadth of pathology. 

2 | What do you like the most about dermatology? The least?

I enjoy the longitudinal follow-up the most. In terms of downsides, there are none. However, I will say that I did not fully grasp how much studying at home was required to truly master skin disease (e.g., clinical features, dermatopathology, advanced treatment algorithms). 


3 | What advice would you give to students interested in dermatology?

Explore the field early in medical school. Also, approach faculty and residents to express interest and find opportunities to contribute to scholarly projects. 


4 | What is a typical day like for you?

My clinic starts at 8, and I will see 11 patients. I then have an hour to wrap up notes, grab lunch, and drive to my next clinic where I do the same until 5 pm. We have didactics scheduled from 8-12 pm on Tuesday and Fridays, so I do spend time on most nights preparing for those sessions through textbook review.


5 | How much sleep do you get every night? How many hours do you work per week? How many vacation days do you take per year?

I sleep 7-8 hours a night and spend 40-45 hours a week in clinic/didactics by working Monday to Friday. Keep in mind, I spend many hours studying when I’m not at work. As a resident, I am offered 4 weeks of vacation each year. 


6 | How do you maintain your work-life balance?

I will say that dermatology inherently has fewer hours than other hospital-based fields since it is outpatient based. But like any residency, it is rigorous and wellness must be prioritized. I am lucky to train in Los Angeles and take breaks from dermatology by visiting the beach, outdoor workout classes, local farmers’ markets, and local restaurants. 


7 | Who were the most impactful mentors in your life?

My parents were exemplary role models and always encouraged me to pursue what I found most interesting. In medical school at UC San Diego, one of my internal medicine preceptors gave me the confidence that I could succeed in any field of medicine. Many UCSD dermatology faculty went out of their way to support me, and I am grateful to all who have helped me pave a path to my chosen career.  



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