What is the educational preparation that you would recommend for this field ?
I am a senior student at Brennan High School. I’m looking into the dermatology field because I struggled with acne and i would like to help people feel confident in their own skin. #college #student #career #dermatologist #medicine #doctor #healthcare #skin
It is good that you have decided on what you wish to become in the future.
A four-year medical degree, followed by a three-year residency program in dermatology is the primary educational requirements for a profession as a board-certified Dermatologist. However, the educational path begins by receiving a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university.
Educational Path of a Dermatologist
Earn a bachelor's degree.
A bachelor’s degree is the first higher-education step toward becoming an dermatologist. Although candidates complete a broad range of undergraduate majors, students should complete the courses the American Association of Medical Colleges found most medical schools require as prerequisites: biology, physics, and chemistry, along with written and oral communication course study.
During their undergraduate degree, students wanting to gain an edge in the competitive medical school application pool would benefit from taking career and advanced education oriented steps like joining pre-medical organizations, completing community service at mental health centers, shadowing physicians and studying for the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). Before graduating, a candidate should apply to medical school.
Complete a medical school program
During medical school, future Dermatologists spend their first year primarily in the classroom absorbing knowledge in areas like anatomy, histology, pathology, biochemistry, psychology, ethics and preparing for Objective Structured Clinical Exams. The second year, while still in the classroom, is more clinically focused. Third and fourth year students will transition into clinical rotations and gain exposure to a wide range of potential specializations, including internal medicine.
Complete a Residency
Following medical school, graduates pursuing dermatology should apply to complete a three-year dermatology residency. Once accepted and matched with a program, residents will spend 36 months seeing patients, learning to treat and diagnose skin, hair and nail conditions, and receiving surgical training, such as skin and nail biopsies, cryotherapy, injections and excisions.
The residency process includes several individual phases including:
- Secure a license. Licensing requirements vary by state, and doctors must sit for a state exam in each state they plan to practice medicine. It is considered strategic to complete one’s residency in the state of intended practice. Otherwise, dermatologists will need to learn a different set of regulations before taking the test.
- Become board certified. In order to become board certified in dermatology, medical doctors must meet all of the following requirements:
- Graduate from an accredited medical school in the U.S., Canada or an international school approved by World Health Organization (WHO).
- Hold an unrestricted license to practice in at least one state.
- Complete required training for dermatology specialty, as dictated by the American Board of Dermatology.
- Test for and pass ABOD exam for Dermatology
- Dermatologists should be aware some maintenance of certification (MOC) activity should be completed every three years and physicians must pass the MOC exam in their specialty or specialties every 10 years, per ABOD requirements.
Earn a Sub Specialty
Dermatologists interested in specializing even further can apply for and complete fellowships in one of the three American Board of Dermatology-approved sub-specialties. These include Dermatopathology, Pediatric Dermatology, and Procedural Dermatology. Following the successful completion of a fellowship, Dermatologists may apply to sit for their respective sub-specialty exam.
Saumya recommends the following next steps:
Pick a major that interests you so you don't mind devoting a majority of your hours to studying. You will need to get good grades in college in order to apply for medical school. At the medical school I attended, the average GPA is reported to be 3.85, so even one or two B's can hurt your chances of acceptance.
Aside from this, any major is acceptable as long as you complete the prerequisite courses.
Typical medical school prerequisites include:
Biology: Lecture – 4 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
General Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Organic Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Biochemistry: Lecture – 1 semester
General Physics: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester
Math: Statistics – 1 semester
English: Rhetoric (Composition) and Literature – 2 semesters
Try to find opportunities to pursue research.
Volunteer at your local hospital or low-income clinic. Ask physicians, PAs or other clinical providers if you can shadow them.
During college study for and complete the MCAT. Devote an entire summer to studying for the MCAT and consider paying for a prep course if you can afford it.
My son used MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review 2019-2020: Online + Book + 3 Practice Tests (Kaplan Test Prep) Kaplan Test Prep
It was about $140 and he achieved his goal score.
Apply to medical schools during your last year of college.
Medical school takes 4 years to complete.
After medical school dermatologists complete a 4 year residency for additional training.