A dermatologist is a medical doctor practitioner that identifies and treats skin disorders. Some of the disorders dermatologists diagnose and treat include cancer, warts, eczema, psoriasis, acne, and fungal infections. Dermatologists also prescribe medicine, specialize in laser and radiotherapy, counsel patients about ongoing skincare, perform biopsies for possible skin cancer, and provide treatment through surgeries when necessary.
How to Become a Dermatologist
A bachelor’s degree is your first step to become a dermatologist. From there, you must earn a medical degree, which takes an additional four years. Courses in biology, physical science, healthcare-related fields, anatomy, biochemistry, psychology, medical ethics, and laws for medicine will be part of your studies. You will also learn practical skills such as examinations, medical histories, diagnoses, and work under supervision with a patient as you gain experience diagnosing and treating illnesses in different areas, like surgeries and internal medicine.
All States require licensing and graduation from an accredited medical school, which means passing standardized national exams from the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE). After medical school, you must attend residency. Residency will include one year of internal medicine and three years of dermatology at a hospital or clinic. Board Certification is not required but is extremely helpful in getting a job. A Certification can take up to nine years in residency, depending on specialty, and passing a specialty certification from a medical certifying board.
Job Description of a Dermatologist
A dermatologist performs a variety of duties every day. The skin is the largest and most visible organ on your body and is a barrier that acts against injury and bacteria. There are over 3,000 conditions, including oral and genital membranes, skin aging issues, and hand dermatitis caused by chemicals and detergents. Most people have some Skin Disease, from infants to the elderly. In fact, fifteen percent of all visits to the General Practitioner have these problems. One in six children are diagnosed with atopic eczema, and one in five people develop cold sores (herpes simplex).
Dermatologists gather medical histories and actively listen to the patients’ concerns with sensitivity. They give skin examinations, diagnoses, biopsies for possible skin cancer and surgeries for a patient’s appearance, like deformities or injuries, and therapy, counseling, and early control of diseases. They improve skin appearance by removing growths, discolorations from aging, and sunlight. A Dermatologist has deductive and inductive reasoning making them able to connect seemingly unrelated events. The doctor is a critical thinker, applying logical and helpful suggestions to the client.
Because drugs, pesticides, industrial compounds, and cosmetics are constantly changing, the doctor must continuously adapt to the potential new problems, like side effects. As more people have increased their exposure to sun and other hazards because of increased outdoor activity, dermatologists see an increase in many of these mentioned skin conditions, especially skin cancer. A dermatologist is in constant contact with people and often on their feet for long hours. They educate and do training and document information. Skills in medical, electronic mail and other software are a necessary part of their job.