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What does it take to be a dermatologist, and what can I do to prepare?

I want to be a dermatologist when I grow up, or something with skin/skincare/skin health. #health #public-health #dermatology

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John’s Answer

DERMATOLOGIST EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS
Medical students must complete extensive education and training to become board-certified dermatologists. Their journey begins by completing a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Students interested in becoming medical professionals tend to major in a science, health or math-related field. It is strongly advised that college students seeking a path in the medical field take courses in the sciences and mathematics in preparation for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and medical school. Medical school requires four intense years of schooling, and students develop knowledge in clinical medicine and hands-on patient care. The first two years focus on basic science concepts and medical education. The last two years of medical school are generally spent working directly with patients.

Formal training in dermatology doesn't begin until after graduation, though the American Academy of Dermatology provides a series of self-learning modules for medical students who wish to grasp the basics of the discipline. Medical school graduates must spend one year's internship in general medical practice, before completing a three-year residency in dermatology. Residency provides the newly-minted doctor with opportunities to learn dermatological diagnosis and treatment under the supervision and mentorship of experienced practitioners. Successful completion of a residency entitles the new physician to write the board examinations and be certified as a dermatologist. Some will also spend an additional fellowship year learning dermatopathology or pediatric dermatology.

SKILLS REQUIRED
Dermatologists must be emotionally stable, motivated to serve others, able to work long hours, and willing to engage in lifelong learning. Compassion for patients and good communication, organization, and problem-solving skills are key. Dermatologists should also be detail oriented, manually dexterous, and patient when dealing with individuals or young children who are anxious about treatments. During patient visits, dermatologists take medical histories and use a dermoscope, or magnifying or illuminated device, to detect abnormalities or malignancies. They might use diagnostic techniques, such as biopsies, to identify diseases and determine appropriate therapies. Areas of specialization include cosmetic dermatology, pediatric dermatology, and dermatopathology (also known as the study of skin diseases).

CAREER AND SALARY OUTLOOK
The 12-year process of becoming a dermatologist requires a significant commitment of the student's physical, mental, emotional and financial resources. It's only natural to wonder how large a reward waits at the end of this long road. Career opportunities for physicians and surgeons in general were predicted to grow by 7% nationwide from 2018 to 2028, which was faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The average Dermatologist salary in the United States is $299,000 as of August 27, 2020, but the range typically falls between $254,500 and $348,500. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

Hope this was Helpful Elle

John recommends the following next steps:

Take Relevant Courses in High School – Dermatologists are medical professionals and require a strong foundation of biology, chemistry, and physics. You can start preparing for a career in dermatology by taking the highest level of each of these subjects in high school.
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Valerie’s Answer

Hi Elle,
There are lots of ways you are able to work with skin and health care. You can become a dermatology ( a doctor that treats skin, hair and nail conditions), you can be a physician assistant or nurse practioner and work for a dermatologist. You can also be a medical assistant or nurse for a dermatologist or if you just wanted to do cosmetics, you can look into become an esthetician.
To become a dermatologist you need to graduate from college and then go to medical school for 4 years. Then after medical school you will enter a residency program for 3 years.
A Nurse practioner and PA go to school for 2-3 years after college and then they are able to work for a dermatologist.
There are many great options to look into. I recommend shadowing all of these careers and see which you like best.
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Isreal’s Answer

If you want to offer specialized skincare services, becoming an esthetician is an option. Patients who start by seeing a dermatologist for assessment and treatment of acne or other skin conditions may then visit an esthetician for maintenance, such as facials. Estheticians who recognize skin abnormalities such as lesions refer their clients to a dermatologist for evaluation and treatment.

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/going-to-esthetics-school-3090264
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