Starting a career as a Dermatologist makes you a health professional who treats skin diseases or conditions. You will know to specialise in treating conditions related to body areas such as the skin, hair and nails. As a Dermatologist, you can diagnose and treat adults and children. This medical field is a rewarding one and comes with numerous career benefits. Starting a career as a dermatologist will allow you to help patients look and feel best by treating their skin issues. Therefore, if you are interested in helping people achieve and maintain healthy skin, you might want to consider pursuing a career as a dermatologist.

As a Dermatologist, you can work in places such as hospitals, medical schools, labs or clinics. Additionally, you can decide to engage in private practice by opening your clinic. Starting a career as a dermatologist can be quite interesting. However, to succeed in this field, you must be well-grounded in the general aspects of dermatology and any area you wish to specialise in.

In this piece, I will walk you through the steps to pursue a career as a dermatologist as well as the various specialisations in this field.

Steps to Pursue a Career as a Dermatologist

  1. Obtain a Secondary School Certificate

    The first step to pursuing this career is to obtain a high school certificate. Additionally, you should have a strong foundation in science subjects. These subjects will give you the foundational knowledge for attending medical school. You should have good grades in subjects such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and English.

  2. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

    There are several requirements for applying to a medical school. These requirements can vary based on the country you wish to study in. Some countries require you to have a bachelor’s degree in science while in some countries, you can apply to a medical school with your secondary school certificate. If you are required to have a bachelor’s degree, you should have a bachelor’s degree in disciplines such as biology, chemistry or any health-related field.

  3. Attend Medical School

    Medical school is compulsory while pursuing a career as a dermatologist. This degree can take between four to six years. Firstly, you may be required to write an entrance exam before you are admitted. You should make sure that you pass the entrance examination.

  4. Participate in Internship

    After medical school, you will be required to participate in a compulsory one-year internship. You can do this in places such as a hospital or in a clinical setting. This internship will give you a practical experience of caring for patients as well as prepare you for residency.

  5. Undergo Residency Training

    You need to complete a residency program after medical school. This program is important because it will give you the experience to have real-world experience as a dermatologist. Additionally, you will work under the supervision of experienced doctors. You can work in places such as hospitals or clinics.

  6. Pursue Fellowship Training

    You should register and complete a fellowship program after completing your residency. The fellowship program is specifically in the field of dermatology. Additionally, you can complete a fellowship program in the field you would like to specialise in. They can be programs such as the pediatric dermatology fellowship, cosmetic dermatology fellowship, etc.

  7. Obtain a License

    You need a license to be able to start practising as a dermatologist. However, you must fulfil some requirements before you can obtain this license. You must have completed your residency as well as passing your license examination.

  8. GeGetting Board Certification

    Board certification is not required to practice dermatology, but it is highly recommended for dermatologists who want to demonstrate their commitment to the field and maintain the highest level of competency. Board certification is also important for patients who want to ensure that their dermatologists have met certain standards of education, training, and experience.

Skills for a dermatologist

  1. Attention to detail
  2. Communication
  3. Dexterity
  4. Organization
  5. Problem-solving

Types of Dermatologists

  1. General Dermatologists

    These dermatologists diagnose and treat a wide range of skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, and skin cancer.

  2. Mohs Surgeons

    Mohs surgeons specialize in treating skin cancer surgically. Generally, they use a precise technique called Mohs surgery to remove cancerous tissue while sparing healthy tissue.

  3. Cosmetic Dermatologists

    These professionals specialize in non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as Botox injections, dermal fillers, chemical peels, and laser treatments.

  4. Immunodermatologists

    Immunodermatologists specialize in the treatment of autoimmune skin disorders, such as lupus and dermatomyositis.

  5. Pediatric Dermatologists

    Generally, these dermatologists specialize in treating skin conditions in infants, children, and adolescents.

  6. Dermatopathologists

    These dermatologists specialize in the microscopic examination of skin tissue to diagnose skin diseases. Additionally, they work with general dermatologists to provide accurate diagnoses and treatment plans.

Universities in Africa to Study Dermatology

  1. University of Cape Town, South Africa
  2. University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  3. Cairo University, Egypt
  4. Ain Shams University, Egypt
  5. University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
  6. Alexandria University, Egypt
  7. Al-Azhar University, Egypt
  8. Tanta University, Egypt
  9. University of the Free State, South Africa
  10. North-West University, South Africa
  11. University of Monastir, Tunisia
  12. University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  13. Mohammed V University, Morocco
  14. University of Lagos, Lagos
  15. Aswan University, Egypt
  16. Beni-Suef University, Egypt
  17. Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  18. University of Nairobi, Kenya
  19. University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
  20. Makerere University, Uganda
  21. University of Tlemcen, Algeria
  22. University of Tunis El Manar, Tunisia
  23. Tunis University, Tunisia
  24. Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
  25. Sohag University, Egypt
  26. Bayero University Kano, Nigeria
  27. University of Ghana, Ghana
  28. Fayoum University, Egypt
  29. University of Sfax, Tunisia
  30. University of Khartoum, Sudan
  31. Helwan University, Egypt
  32. University of Limpopo, South Africa
  33. Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa
  34. University of Benin, Nigeria
  35. Cheikh Anta Diop University, Senegal
  36. Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique
  37. University of Ilorin, Nigeria
  38. Jimma University, Ethiopia
  39. University of Nigeria, Nigeria
  40. University of Calabar, Nigeria

In Conclusion, pursuing a career as a dermatologist requires many years of education, experience and training to have a successful career. These professionals are in high demand in all parts of the world in maintaining good healthcare and assisting people to live happy lives. In any area of dermatology, you wish to specialise in, you can make a thriving career out of it.

Good luck!

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