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Medical career for medical grads – what to know about dermatology and dermatologist

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Aspiring med students and soon to be grads are curious about what kind of physician will they become. Like other medical specialties, dermatologists are certified physicians holding a license to practice medicine in terms of skin care.

They are qualified with a degree of either Doctor of Medicine (M.D) or a Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O) degree. Other than that, they also have board certified and also obtain experience with time.

Dermatology has quite much to offer to medical grads. Top-notch dermatologists have patients who are satisfied and happy, and the job has consistent working hours with low stress. Let us now read more about it in brief detail.

Dermatologists and dermatology – a brief overview

Dermatologists are colloquially known as skin doctors, physicians specializing in diseases and conditions of the skin, nails an hair. They can specialize in certain and specific aspects of this field ranging from focusing on communicable diseases & condition to cosmetic surgical procedures, skin cancers and dermatological research.

How long is the education track towards becoming a dermatologist?

After completion of high school, it can take almost 9 to 11 years in becoming a full-fledged dermatologist (in fact the same amount takes in becoming other kinds of physicians too).

It is necessary for med students aspiring to become dermatologists attend 4 years of an undergraduate program first (either a pre-med or a degree related to biological/health/nursing sciences) and then 4 years of medical school. That is right, an undergraduate degree related to medicine, biology, nursing, healthcare or premed is a must.

Once they have graduated from Pre medical courses school, completing a year of residency is a must. However, residency can take 3 to 4 years and this depends on the specialty med grads have chosen. Combining studies and residency; becoming a physician takes a decade. Same amount of time is spent in becoming a dermatologist.

What kind of work do dermatologists do?

Dermatologists are skin experts, they treat patients facing a myriad of skin diseases and conditions. They routinely examine them in diagnosis and determination of the ailments/conditions they face. Thus accordingly they also formulate a treatment plan.

Dermatologists also treat patients battling severe skin conditions like skin cancer, skin burns and vice versa. On the other hand, they also help patients requiring cosmetic measures for their skin.

Dermatologists be thus be able to treat patients with utmost care, and also must understand their needs too. Apart from prescribing treatments, they also perform a wide variety of procedures and treatments. Some of them are cosmetic experts while some have expertise in testing diseases and determining their treatments.

Laboratory settings are also workplaces for dermatologists. They often carry out research on numerous skin allergies, skin cancers and look for the best medications and treatments to provide the best care to patients. The direction and scope of a dermatologist’s career starts with the specialty they chose in medical school.

What are the subspecialties in Dermatology?

As determined by the American Board of Dermatology, the following are subspecialties of dermatology which are taught across all medical schools (including a top-notch Caribbean medical university school of medicine):


Dermatopathology focuses on diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases, skin infections, skin cancers and immunological disorders. Dermatologists specializing in this field receive special training in collecting and examining tissue samples and well as skin scrapings to help diagnose issues and determine the best possible treatment.

Pediatric Dermatology

Pediatricians specializing in this field work specifically with children, society’s youngest members. They also specialize in diagnosing disorders and diseases affecting children more than adults. Acne and skin rash are just two out of many cases they treat.

Micrographic Dermatologic Surgery

Micrographic surgery is a specialist method. This is used in treating certain kinds of skin cancers. It often helps remove progressive layers of cancer tissue until all tissues and their layers are removed. It also helps keep these tissues and layers as samples for research purpose.

Dermatologists specializing in this field also receive specialty training in treating and diagnosing complex skin cancers. They also perform reconstructive surgery after removing cancerous tumors of skin cancer.

What kind of conditions do dermatologists treat?

Dermatologists treat the following conditions:

  • Acne.
  • Athlete’s foot. Skin Cancer.
  • Poison oak or sumac.
  • Eczema.
  • Hair loss and hair fall.
  • Shingles.
  • Poison Ivy.
  • Psoriasis.
  • Rosacea.
  • Cellulitis.

What procedures do dermatologists perform?

They are as under:

  • Chemical peels.
  • Skin grafts.
  • Allergy tests.
  • Biopsies.
  • Micrographic surgery.
  • Hair removal or restoration.
  • Excisions.
  • Cosmetic injections.
  • Scar and stretch mark treatments.

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