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What is a dermatologist?

The field of medicine is very wide and vast and that is why it is not possible for a single doctor to do everything that pertains to the field. As a result, the field is subdivided into several subfields with different doctors working in them. The field of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of medical conditions, disorders, and diseases that affect hair, nails, and the skin is called dermatology and the doctors are called dermatologists. Therefore, if you have a problem with your hair, nails, or skin, you should contact a dermatologist near you as soon as possible.

Dermatologists can currently identify and treat more than 3000 medical conditions. Some of these conditions are skin cancer, psoriasis, eczema, acne, moles, rushes, and skin dryness among many others.

What training does a dermatologist have?

Dermatologists undergo comprehensive training to be able to offer the kind of medical assistance they do. They have to study for more than ten years. Their academic qualifications include 4 years of college education where they earn a bachelor’s degree. These are followed by another four years in medical school to become a medical doctor. After that, dermatologists have to go an entire year of medical internship. Once they are done with their internship, they have to go three years of residency. During residency, they work along experienced doctors, learning from them and taking directions from them. They have to amass at least 12, 000 to 16, 000 hours of treating patients.

Board certification for a dermatologist

When dermatologists are done with their residency programs, they have to proceed with obtaining board certification. This involves taking a challenging exam that tests the skills they have acquired over the years while training.

Specialties within dermatology

Within the field of dermatology, there are still some subfields that dermatologists have to specialize in. Specialization in any of these subfields usually happens after one has receive their board certification. Specialization involves receiving advanced training. Some of the subfields in which one may specialize are Mohs surgery, Pediatric dermatology, and Dermatopathology.

What do dermatologists do?

Dermatologists can be placed into three broad categories however. These three groups are medical, surgery, and cosmetic dermatologists. Medical dermatologists engage in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect your skin. Surgery dermatologists carry out minor surgeries such as removing moles and warts or performing skin biopsies. Lastly, cosmetic surgeries are involved in treating skin conditions that affect one’s appearance.

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