How Long Does It Take To Be a Dermatologist

Last Updated on December 14, 2022 by Omoyeni Adeniyi

A dermatologist is a physician who treats diseases related to the skin, hair and nails. These specialists may also treat diseases of internal organs, blood vessels, muscles and bones. The what is a dermatologist and how long does it take to be a dermatologist uk article below gives you all the information you require and more. You will find out that becoming a dermatologist is one of the most challenging careers in the medical field with years of training needed for this specialty. It takes many years of training before you can practice independently.

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what is a dermatologist?

A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in conditions involving the skin, hair, and nails. A dermatologist can identify and treat more than 3,000 conditions. These conditions include eczema, psoriasis, and skin cancer, among many others.

Dermatologist talking with patient

The skin is an incredible organ. It is your first line of defense against disease, protects your other organs, warms you up and cools you down, and sends messages about how healthy you are inside. Dermatologists are expert medical doctors and skin surgeons with the unique skills and experience to offer the best care for the organ that cares for you.

Dermatologists have extensive training, going to school for 12 years or more to learn to diagnose and treat more than 3,000 diseases of the skin, hair, and nails as well as cosmetic concerns. Patients see dermatologists for issues that are much more than skin deep. Problems with their skin can harm patients’ sense of self-worth, create discomfort that can make everyday activities difficult, and, in some instances, threaten lives.

What training does a dermatologist have?

No one has completed more training than dermatologists to address concerns with your skin, hair, and nails. Before they can begin practicing, dermatologists receive more than a decade of training, including:

  • Four years of college to earn a bachelor’s degree
  • Four years of medical school to become a medical doctor
  • A year-long internship
  • Three years of residency, working alongside experienced doctors and completing 12,000 to 16,000 hours of treating patients.

Some dermatologists will then pursue additional advanced training in particular areas, known as fellowship training.

How Long Does It Take To Be A Dermatologist?

12 to 14 years

It takes 12 to 14 years to become a dermatologist. It’s a good idea to decide early if dermatology is the right specialty for you. Volunteer to work in a dermatology office while still in college. Take a paid position as a medical assistant in a dermatology practice.

Dermatologists are doctors who specialize in the treatment of disorders of the skin, hair, nails, and mucous membranes. The treatment they provide ranges from helping patients improve the appearance of their skin to treating serious diseases like skin cancer.

Dermatologists may provide general care or specialize in a specific type of practice such as cosmetic dermatology, pediatric dermatology, or dermatopathology. Some dermatologists train to become proficient in a technique called Mohs surgery, which is used to treat skin cancer.

how long does it take to be a dermatologist uk?

Whether you plan to enter the UK training pathway or not, it’s important to understand the pathway so you have an idea of what it takes to become a recognised UK Consultant Dermatologist.

Dermatology training in the UK is currently 4 years long, however, to start Dermatology training, you must have a minimum of 4 years postgraduate clinical experience plus a relevant postgraduate qualification.

For UK doctors, this consists of the following:

  • 2 years UK Foundation Programme
  • Plus Core training (ONE of the following programmes):
    • 2-3 years Internal Medicine + MRCP* OR
    • 3 years Acute Medicine + MRCP OR
    • 3 years Paediatrics + 1 year in adult Internal Medicine + MRCPCH**

how to become a dermatologist

Steps to Become a Dermatologist

Enroll in a four-year college or university to earn your bachelor’s degree.

Dermatology is one of the most highly competitive medical fields, and requires many years of education and training. The first step is an undergraduate degree from a four-year college, including pre-medical courses in biology, organic chemistry, physics, and general chemistry. Some candidates must also complete math and biochemistry coursework, depending on the medical school they plan to attend.

Take the MCAT.

Students must also take and perform well on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) during junior year of college in order to be accepted to medical school.

Attend medical school.

Following the undergraduate program, aspiring dermatologists must attend a four-year accredited medical school. Admission to medical school is extremely competitive, so a high undergraduate GPA is mandatory. Following acceptance, it remains essential to maintain academic momentum and high performance throughout medical school.

Pass the USMLE parts one and two during medical school.

Students take the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) – part one following their second year of study, and part two just before their final year – and must earn a high score in order to obtain a dermatology residency.

Apply for and obtain residency.

Having determined that dermatology is your chosen specialty, in medical school you must apply for residency. The competition for securing a dermatology residency is among the most intense of all medical fields, with an estimated one-third of applicants failing to be accepted.

Once matched to a program, you will begin your residency after graduating from medical school. A residency in dermatology involves one year as an intern in either general surgery or internal medicine, followed by three years of clinical residency in dermatology.

Pass part three of the USMLE.

At the end of residency, you must pass the final part of this exam in order to be a practicing physician in the United States.

Get licensed.

Medical doctors must obtain and keep a current license from their state in order to practice.

Consider fellowship and board certification.

After the successful completion of residency, many dermatologists elect to become “board-certified” and also to pursue further training through a one- or two-year fellowship in subspecialized fields such as cosmetic surgery, laser medicine, dermatopathology, phototherapy, immunodermatology, or Mohs micrographic surgery.

Consider career opportunities with experience.

Dermatologists can obtain greater influence and responsibility within their field by pursuing positions in research or academics. Beyond their clinical responsibilities, these positions also require efforts to secure research funding, publish in scientific journals, present at professional conferences, and teach medical students and residents.

Finally, it should be noted that dermatologists can further advance their career, responsibilities, and income by engaging in subspecialty training and additional training in surgical techniques, thereby making themselves even more uniquely qualified to perform subspecialty procedures.

dermatologist salary

The average Dermatologist salary in the United States is $356,900 as of October 29, 2021, but the range typically falls between $306,500 and $416,400. 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. 

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