How many years of school to be a dermatologist? You need about twelve years of education and training after high school to become a dermatologist. The twelve years typically include 4 years in pursuit of an undergraduate degree, 4 years in pursuit of a medical degree, and 4 years in a residency.
If you are interested in becoming a skin doctor, one of the things you need to know right away is how long you will have to wait to become one. It takes twelve years as started in the paragraph above. Twelve years is a lot of time for some people. For others, it is not too much time. They can wait. If you do not mind twelve years of post-secondary training and education, you can become a dermatologist. In this post, we will share with you what it takes to become a dermatologist.
What is a dermatologist?
A dermatologist is a specialist physician trained to diagnose and treat skin conditions. If you’ve ever had a skin issue or skin condition, then you’ve probably been treated by a dermatologist before.
What do dermatologists do?
Dermatologists are skin doctors. They treat skin conditions/issues. They help people with various skin ailments to get back to normal skin. On a typical day, a dermatologist can help treat issues ranging from mild acne to skin cancer.
What many people do not know about dermatologists is that apart from diagnosing and treating skin conditions, they also diagnose and treat nail and hair issues and conditions.
Dermatologists can work in hospitals or in their own private clinics. When they receive patients, they normally start by listening to their medical histories and then examine them to see and try to diagnose the condition they see.
When they diagnose an issue, they recommend treatment. The treatment can be prescription medication or surgery for issues like moles. If they cannot diagnose a condition, they can take a biopsy for further research and a more accurate diagnosis.
After recommending treatment, dermatologists often ask their patients to go back for follow-up examinations. They do this to check if their treatment plans are working or if they need to do something different.
In some cases, dermatologists use specialized tools such as lasers to eliminate birthmarks.
How much do dermatologists earn?
Dermatologists earn a lot of money because they are specialist doctors. In the United States, the average salary for dermatologists is about $230,000 a year. Some specialists and experienced dermatologists earn as much as $600,000 a year. Dermatologists who run their private practices earn even more. In fact, quite a number of dermatologists who run private practices across the United States are multi-millionaires.
What are the education and training requirements for dermatologists?
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, it takes a long time to become a dermatologist – twelve years to be specific. This is because there is a lot of learning that one needs to do before formally becoming a dermatologist. You must get a bachelor’s degree and a Doctor of Medicine to become a dermatologist. However, you won’t be able to do some things relating to your profession until you undergo a 4-year residency and then pass the United States Medical Licensing Exam. It is when you pass this exam that you will formally become a dermatologist.
Most students who want to become dermatologists often pursue a bachelor’s degree in a science subject such as chemistry or biology to have a strong foundation for their Doctor of Medicine degree. Once accepted in medical school, most aspiring dermatologists often take advanced courses in biochemistry, pharmacology, and anatomy. They take courses that teach a lot about examining and correctly diagnosing patients. Most dermatologists also work closely with experienced dermatologists and other physicians in clinical settings to gain the first-hand experience before graduating.
Once aspiring dermatologists graduate with a Doctor of Medicine degree, they undergo a four-year residency. The residency is normally divided into two parts – the first year entails interning at a general surgery department, and the next three years involve training at a clinical dermatology department.
After education and residency, most states simply require you to take the medical licensing exam for your license. If you pass the exam, you get the license and you can start working as a dermatologist where you are licensed.
What skills do you need to become a great dermatologist?
You need the following skills to become a dermatologist.
Attention to detail
You need to be very keen to quickly note the signs and symptoms of various skin, hair, and nail conditions. You also need to be very keen to note changes in your patient’s skin condition during a follow-up visit.
You need to be a good communicator to explain skin conditions to patients, to explain treatment plans, and to address patient concerns. You also need to be able to write clearly and carefully. Furthermore, you should be able to listen carefully whenever a patient is answering your questions or sharing their concerns. This will make you a better dermatologist.
Dermatologists frequently need to use lasers and sharp tools to treat various skin issues/conditions. Therefore, they need to have a steady hand to do what they need to do without causing harm to their patients.
Dermatologists, like other physicians, need to be good problem solvers. They need to be able to assess conditions and recommend the right treatment plans.