In 2019-2020, RUSM achieved a 95.2% First Time Residency pass rate and 96.7% USMLE Step 1 Pass Rate. With a network of 15,000+ alumni, Ross University School of Medicine is one of the largest provides of doctors to the entire U.S. healthcare system. Located on the island of Barbados, RUSM graduates practice in 954 counties, in all fifty states, and Puerto Rico.
What Is a Dermatologist?
If you are interested in helping people with skin disorders—a prevalent problem worldwide—then you may consider a career as a dermatologist—a doctor specially trained in finding, preventing, and treating diseases of the skin, hair, nails, and adjacent mucous membranes. Many people wonder: what is a skin doctor called? The technical name for a skin doctor is a dermatologist. As a dermatologist, you will be able to identify and treat more than 3,000 conditions, and you can help improve the quality of life for people suffering from minor and irritating conditions to severe and life-threatening maladies.
If you are considering a career as a dermatologist, ask yourself these questions:
- Are you fascinated by the integumentary system?
- Do you want to study a dynamic and constantly evolving science?
- Do you want a field that offers professional challenges and specialized options?
- Are you passionate about helping people with diseases of the skin—the largest organ in the human body?
- Do you want a career in one of the most in-demand fields of medicine?
- Do you want to help babies with rashes, adults with cancer, and senior citizens with eczema?
- Do you want to help improve a patient’s self-esteem—or possibly save their lives?
If your answer to these questions is “yes,” then dermatology may be the specialty for you.
What Does a Dermatologist Do?
Many people want to know exactly what is a dermatologist? A dermatologist diagnoses and treats patients with disorders of the skin, mouth, external genitalia, hair, and nails, as well as various sexually transmitted diseases. You may be wondering what is a dermatologist's tasks aside from this. Dermatologists also diagnose and treat skin cancers, melanomas, moles, and other skin tumors, and help people manage contact dermatitis and other allergic and nonallergic skin disorders. A dermatologist will recognize skin manifestations of systemic and infectious diseases. Dermatologists are also trained in dermatopathology—the diagnosis of skin diseases—and in surgical techniques used in dermatology.
A dermatologist cares for and treats the skin, the human body’s first line of protection. Dermatologists—internists who then specialize in dermatology—care for people of all ages, from newborns to senior citizens. Dermatologists work with patients suffering from any of thousands of skin conditions, including:
- Athlete’s foot
- Herpes labialis (cold sores)
Dermatologists are medical doctors and skin surgeons. The care of a dermatology patient may include topical and systemic medical therapeutics, as well as a variety of surgical and cosmetic procedures. Such therapeutics and procedures include:
- Anti-aging treatments
- Chemical peeling
- Correction of acne scarring
- Cryosurgery or Cryotherapy
- Hair transplants
- Injectable and implantable soft tissue fillers
- Laser surgery
- Reconstructive flaps and grafts
- Skin cancer treatment
- Tissue augmentation therapies
- Vein therapy
Many dermatologists are also active in academic circles and participate in conferences and publications dedicated to advancing dermatological knowledge and therapeutic options.
How To Become A Dermatologist?
You may be curious to know exactly how to become a dermatologist and how long does it take to become a dermatologist? A dermatologist must first become a medical doctor by graduating from a four-year medical school—such as the Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM). After a year-long internship, the doctor must then complete a three-year residency in dermatology.
After the successful completion of dermatological training, a doctor is eligible for certification by the American Board of Dermatology, the American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology, or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. A board-certified dermatologist will earn the abbreviation FAAD, meaning the doctor is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. Doctors who then want to subspecialize in a specific field of dermatology must take additional training. Subspecialties include:
- Cosmetic or aesthetic dermatology
- Dermatological immunology
- Hair and nails
- Mohs micrographic surgery and dermatologic oncology
- Oral and genital dermatoses
- Pediatric dermatology
- Photodermatoses and photobiology
A Career in Dermatology
Dermatologists may work in a clinic, hospital, or medical office, and some have their own private practice. You may be wondering what is a dermatologist’s normal routine like. Most time is spent caring for outpatients, but many hours are spent doing laboratory work, visiting wards, or performing procedures. Meetings and administration tasks absorb a lot of time, and hours are also spent consulting with other specialists, doing research, studying, and teaching. Most dermatologists work a typical 40-hour week, and some are also on-call—available for consultation at night or on days off.
Because skin cancer is the most prevalent of all cancers, and because skin, hair, and nail problems affect a significant portion of the world’s population, dermatologists can have a great impact on the individual lives of patients as well as overall community health. Dermatologists help not only with medical issues, but also with a patient’s self-esteem, emotional well-being, and social interaction.
Demand for Dermatologists
Dermatologists are in high demand and they will continue to be in the future as well. With the rate of skin cancer rising, both men and women are taking an active role in taking care of the health of their skin. This adds to the demand for dermatologists, in particular cosmetic dermatology.
Dermatologists—like doctors in all medical fields—are an aging population, and as those doctors retire, the United States will see an increasing shortage of dermatological specialists. In July 2020, an Association of American Medical Colleges report showed that one third of United States physicians are aged 60 or older, and well over half—57 percent—are over 50.
The Ross University School of Medicine has a strong history of placing graduating students in internships or internal medicine residencies. In 2020, RUSM’s 2019-2020 first-time residency attainment rate was 95 percent. Take the next step on your path to a specialization in dermatology: apply for admission to RUSM.