Duties and responsibilities
A dermatologist is a specialist physician who diagnoses, investigates, treats and manages the conditions of children and adults with skin diseases. Such disease may include skin cancer, eczema, psoriasis or acne. Dermatologists may also treat patients with hair and nail complaints. Their typical responsibilities and duties include:
- Performing skin consultations on patients to assess and diagnose their condition
- Discussing the results with patients
- Explaining procedures to patients
- Utilizing patient medical history as part of skin assessments.
- Prescribing medication for the treatment of skin conditions
- Performing non-invasive surgical procedures on skin
- Refering patients to advanced specialists if necessary
- Talking to patients about the status of their skin health and advising them on how to look after their skin
Like all physicians, dermatologists must complete a bachelor’s degree program before attending medical school. Medical schools are extremely selective, and prospective students must have excellent collegiate grades, get good scores on the Medical College Admission Test, and possess letters of recommendation from professors or other professionals. Once medical school is completed, dermatologists must complete a 3 years residency period in dermatology. After residency, all physicians must pass the national licensing exam. Dermatologists must pass the American Board of Specialties examination to acquire board certification in Dermatology.
Skills and relevant work experience
As well as completing all the relevant medical training, dermatologists will need skills such as:
- Written and verbal communication skills, as dermatologists will need to communicate with patients, coworkers and with specialists throughout the whole treatment process
- Compassion, as dermatologists will be approached by patients in pain or who are embarrassed about their skin and must be understanding and compassionate
- Problem solving skills, as dermatologists will need to find the solutions to a wide range of skin problems
- Dexterity, as dermatologists will have to carefully operate on the skin and therefore must have excellent hand-eye coordination
- Attention to detail, as dermatologists need to spot issues with the patients skin
- Organizational skills, as dermatologists will have to work with multiple patients and instruct multiple team members. Therefore, they will need to coordinate numerous treatment plans and instructions
Most dermatologists will work full time, but part time positions may be available. It is unlikely that dermatologists will be on call. But, they may still have to work long and irregular hours.
According to salary.com, the average annual salary for dermatologists in the United States was $349,600 as of 2020. The lowest 10% earned less than $255,224 per year and the highest 10% earned over $460,979 per year.
There will always be a demand for gynaecologists as women will always have problems that need to be seen to by a specialist. Dermatologists may progress further to gather knowledge of dermatology subdivision (e.g., advanced skin surgery, paediatric dermatology or cutaneous allergy and immunology). They may also set up their own practice.