Dermatologist - How to Become a Dermatologist

Dermatologist

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Dermatologist Job Description

 

A dermatologist is a doctor who can treat diseases, injuries, and deformities by invasive, minimally-invasive, or non-invasive surgical methods, such as using instruments, appliances, or by manual manipulation.They are the doctor you want to see if you have any skin problems since they specialize in treating the skin, hair, nails, and mucous membranes. Dermatologists diagnose and treat over 3,000 different diseases. The diseases include skin cancer, acne, psoriasis, nail infections, eczema, and many more. 

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Responsibilities

 

Dermatologists diagnose and treat different diseases. They also help to improve the appearance of their patients' skin, hair, and nails. Dermatologists help diminish signs of aging, decrease the appearance of scars, help treat acne, and diagnose and remove skin cancer.  

Some of their responsibilities include:

  • Meeting with patients and evaluating their skin problems to provide a proper diagnosis and treatment.  

  • Must provide follow-up exams until the patients are cured. They must also determine how the treatment affected the patient and look for alternative options if they aren't responding to the treatment. 

  • Perform surgeries to help people obtain their desired appearance.

  • Some dermatologists also specialize in the removal of skin cancer and offer these skin cancer surgeries to help patients rid themselves of cancer. 

  • Many dermatologists also train other dermatologists and help them train other dermatologists. They play a part in continuing education for dermatologists to bring up others under the proper guidelines. 

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Skills

 

Communication

Must be able to clearly convey thoughts and ideas to patients to ensure proper care. 

Active Listening 

Must give full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. You must listen to your patient to determine what their issues are and try to solve them. 

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making

Need to be able to act autonomously and make difficult decisions that would benefit the patient or make corrections. Must consider all benefits and repercussions of potential actions and choose the appropriate one. 

Complex Problem Solving

Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions. 

 Biology

Must have knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Trustworthiness

Must be trustworthy because you have people's wellbeing in your hands and what you do could help or hurt them. They are entrusted with a great responsibility and must live up to it. 

 Analyze 

Must be able to look over a patient and determine possible diseases and aliments. 

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Working Conditions

 

Dermatologists can either work in private practice and/or attend clinics at major teaching hospitals and institutions. There are a small number of dermatologists who work in major hospitals. They usually have pretty comfortable working conditions and spend less time on their feet as other medical professionals.

Another perk is that many dermatologists own their own practice, or work in a group practice. It is rare that they work crazy hours or that they are on-call. The majority work a set schedule and have normal work hours; they usually work between 30-40 hours a week. 

 


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How to Become a Dermatologist:

 

1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree (4 Years)

 

To become a dermatologist you must first earn a bachelor's degree. You need to take a premed program course in college because you must go to medical school.

A course load for premed might look like the following: 

 

Grade Level

Example Courses

Freshman Year

 

  • General Chemistry I & Lab

  • General Chemistry II & Lab

  • Biology & Lab

  • Calculus I

  • English 101

  • English 102

  • Humanities Requirement

  • Physics I & Lab

  • Physics II & Lab

Sophomore Year

  • Organic Chemistry I & Lab

  • Organic Chemistry II & Lab

  • Fundamentals of Microbiology & Lab

  • Genetics

  • Physiology 

  • Humanities Requirement

  • Electives

Junior Year

 

  • Cell Structure & Function

  • General Virology & Lab

  • Microbial Genetics & Lab

  • Biochemistry I

  • Biochemistry II

  • Physics

  • Electives

Senior Year

  • Upper Level Biology

  • Upper Level Chemistry

  • Upper Level Physics

  • Upper Level Psychology

  • Upper Level Kinesiology 

  • Electives

 

Be sure to keep your grades high, as medical school admissions are very competitive you will need at least a 3.0. You need to start prepping for the MCAT as well, because you need to take it to advance.

 

2. Take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)

 

To be admitted into medical school, candidates must first take the MCAT, or Medical College Admission Test, a 7.5 hour, standardized, multiple choice exam used to assess the applicant's knowledge of science, reasoning, communication, and writing skills. 

 

The MCAT is divided into four sections:

 

Section/Category

 Section Breakdown

Biological & Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

  • 59 multiple-choice questions

  • 95 minutes

  • Tests biology, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and biochemistry

Chemical & Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

  • 59 multiple-choice questions

  • 95 minutes

  • Tests biochemistry, biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics

Psychological, Social, & Biological Foundations of Behavior

  • 59 multiple-choice questions

  • 95 minutes

  • Tests introductory psychology, sociology, and biology

Critical Analysis & Reasoning Skills

  • 53 multiple-choice questions

  • 90 minutes

  • Tests reading comprehension, humanities, and social sciences

 

You can find study materials, MCAT registration, and your test scores on the AAMC website here.

 

3. Earn a Medical Degree (4 Years)

 

You have two program choices in medical school to become a dermatologist: a Doctor of Medicine (MD) program or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) program. Each degree focuses on the same methods of treatment, but a DO degree also focuses on osteopathic manipulative medicine. Whichever path you choose, you are facing 4-5 years in medical school.

Your first couple of years will focus on the following:

  • Basic pathology
  • Anatomy
  • Biology
  • Other life sciences

In the second half of the program, you will work with doctors and other healthcare professionals to advance your skills and focus in on dermatology. You will also be taught to record medical histories, examine patients and diagnose illnesses and other necessary things for becoming a dermatologist.

 

4. Complete a Residency (4 Years)

 

After medical school, you have to complete an accredited dermatology residency. The program is focused on giving students hands-on experience in a clinical setting. It usually involves one year as an intern in general surgery or internal medicine, followed by three years of clinical residency in dermatology.

During this time, you will be supervised by other healthcare professionals and get hands on training to build upon your skills and confidence, to allow you independent practice. During your residency, you can really hone in on your skills and build upon your knowledge. 

After the successful completion of residency, many dermatologists elect to pursue further training through a one- or two-year fellowship in subspecialized fields such as cosmetic surgery, laser medicine, dermatopathology, phototherapy, immunodermatology, or Moh's micrographic surgery.

 

5. Earn the Required License & Certification

 

After you complete your residency you have to apply for your Medical License, Board Certification and take the American Board of Dermatology exam.  After you pass, you are board-certified.

Further certification is available for dermatologists who have completed a fellowship and passed the general board examination, and they may take the appropriate Subspecialty Board Examination through the ABD.

To maintain board certification, a dermatologist must complete continuing medical education (CME) requirements throughout his career, and must re-take and pass the board examination every ten years.

If you graduate from a MD program, you can take the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). If you graduate from a DO program, you can take the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA)

Once you get your medical license, you can take the the Examination for Board Certification through the American Board of Dermatology.

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
12.05.2016
The University of Iowa Department of Dermatology is seeking applications for faculty at the Associate (non-track) or Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor levels (clinical, non-tenure; or tenure track) in pediatric dermatology....
12.05.2016
The University of Iowa Department of Dermatology is seeking applications for faculty at the Associate (non-track) or Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor levels (clinical, non-tenure; or tenure track) in medical dermatology...
12.05.2016
Req ID: 24756 Work alongside 3 MDs, 4 NP/PA's to provide excellent medical dermatology care Utilize Epic electronic medical record to document encounters which are integrated in our multispecialty system Utilize 2 CMA/LPNs for direct patient...
12.05.2016
Req ID: 24677 Work alongside 3 MDs, 4 NP/PA's to provide excellent medical dermatology care. Utilize Epic electronic medical record to document encounters which are integrated in our multispecialty system. Utilize 2 CMA/LPNs for direct...
12.05.2016
Req ID: 26544 Work alongside 3 MDs, 4 NP/PA's to provide excellent medical dermatology care Utilize Epic electronic medical record to document encounters which are integrated in our multispecialty system Utilize 2 CMA/LPNs for direct patient...
12.05.2016
Req ID: 24755 Work alongside 3 MDs, 4 NP/PA's to provide excellent medical dermatology care Utilize Epic electronic medical record to document encounters which are integrated in our multispecialty system Utilize 2 CMA/LPNs for direct patient...
12.05.2016
Req ID: 25706 Work with members of our Dermatology team to provide excellent medical dermatology services to patients Functions appropriately as part of care delivery team to ensure efficient use of resources and skills, both their own and...
12.05.2016
DERMATOLOGY Duluth, MN PRACTICE SPECIFICS Join our current team of three Dermatologists and two Nurse Practitioners. We are specifically seeking a General Dermatologists and/or a Pediatric Dermatologist. Weve been tasked to build the...
12.05.2016
BC/BE Dermatologist Seeking a General & Cosmetic dermatologist to join this first rate group with an impeccable reputation, an enviable assortment of patients, and an excellent payor mix serving an affluent population with cosmetic and...
12.05.2016
Responsible for carrying out technical and functional activities in Anatomic Pathology. This position reports to the Chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and the Sr. Director of Clinical Support Services. II. PRINCIPAL DUTIES AND...
  1. PEDIATRIC DERMATOLOGIST Iowa City, IA University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
    The University of Iowa Department of Dermatology is seeking applications for faculty at the Associate (non-track) or Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor levels (clinical, non-tenure; or tenure track) in pediatric dermatology....
  2. FACULTY DERMATOLOGIST Iowa City, IA University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
    The University of Iowa Department of Dermatology is seeking applications for faculty at the Associate (non-track) or Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor levels (clinical, non-tenure; or tenure track) in medical dermatology...
  3. Dermatologist - Multiple Locations Throughout Metro Minneapolis, MN Allina Health
    Req ID: 24756 Work alongside 3 MDs, 4 NP/PA's to provide excellent medical dermatology care Utilize Epic electronic medical record to document encounters which are integrated in our multispecialty system Utilize 2 CMA/LPNs for direct patient...
  4. Dermatologist - Multiple Locations Throughout Metro Minneapolis, MN Allina Health
    Req ID: 24677 Work alongside 3 MDs, 4 NP/PA's to provide excellent medical dermatology care. Utilize Epic electronic medical record to document encounters which are integrated in our multispecialty system. Utilize 2 CMA/LPNs for direct...
  5. Dermatologist - Multiple Locations Throughout Metro Minneapolis, MN Allina Health
    Req ID: 26544 Work alongside 3 MDs, 4 NP/PA's to provide excellent medical dermatology care Utilize Epic electronic medical record to document encounters which are integrated in our multispecialty system Utilize 2 CMA/LPNs for direct patient...
  6. Dermatologist - Multiple Locations Throughout Metro Minneapolis, MN Allina Health
    Req ID: 24755 Work alongside 3 MDs, 4 NP/PA's to provide excellent medical dermatology care Utilize Epic electronic medical record to document encounters which are integrated in our multispecialty system Utilize 2 CMA/LPNs for direct patient...
  7. Dermatologist - Multiple locations throughout Metro Minneapolis, MN Allina Health
    Req ID: 25706 Work with members of our Dermatology team to provide excellent medical dermatology services to patients Functions appropriately as part of care delivery team to ensure efficient use of resources and skills, both their own and...
  8. PHYSICIAN - Dermatology - Duluth, MN Duluth, MN Essentia Health
    DERMATOLOGY Duluth, MN PRACTICE SPECIFICS Join our current team of three Dermatologists and two Nurse Practitioners. We are specifically seeking a General Dermatologists and/or a Pediatric Dermatologist. Weve been tasked to build the...
  9. PHYSICIAN Mason City, IA Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa
    BC/BE Dermatologist Seeking a General & Cosmetic dermatologist to join this first rate group with an impeccable reputation, an enviable assortment of patients, and an excellent payor mix serving an affluent population with cosmetic and...
  10. PATHOLOGIST ASSISTANT Worcester, MA UMass Memorial Medical Center
    Responsible for carrying out technical and functional activities in Anatomic Pathology. This position reports to the Chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and the Sr. Director of Clinical Support Services. II. PRINCIPAL DUTIES AND...