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What does a Dermatologist do?

Learn all about Dermatologist duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Dermatologist.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A dermatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the skin, hair, and nails.

Dermatologist job duties include:

  • Examine patients to assess their condition
  • Order and interpret diagnostic tests
  • Develop treatment plans
  • Prescribe medication
  • Perform surgery
  • Monitor patients' progress
  • Educate patients and their families about skin conditions and care
  • Keep up to date with the latest developments in dermatology
  • Write reports and journal articles

Dermatologist Job Requirements

A dermatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the skin, hair, and nails. In order to become a dermatologist, one must first complete a four-year undergraduate degree, followed by four years of medical school. After completing medical school, dermatologists must complete a three-year residency program in dermatology. Upon completion of their residency, dermatologists must pass a written and oral examination administered by the American Board of Dermatology in order to become board certified. Dermatologists typically work in private practice or as part of a larger healthcare team.

Dermatologist Skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Creativity
  • Customer service skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Diagnostic skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Medical knowledge
  • Organizational skills
  • Patience
  • People skills
  • Physical stamina

Related: Top Dermatologist Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Dermatologist

A dermatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the skin, hair, and nails. Becoming a dermatologist requires completing a four-year undergraduate degree, followed by four years of medical school and a three-year residency in dermatology.

The first step in becoming a dermatologist is to obtain a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. During your undergraduate studies, you will take courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and math. You will also need to complete a medical school admissions test (MCAT).

After completing your undergraduate degree, you will then attend medical school for four years. During medical school, you will take courses such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and pathology. You will also complete clinical rotations in various medical specialties, including dermatology.

Upon completing medical school, you will then enter into a three-year residency program in dermatology. During your residency, you will receive training in the diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders. You will also have the opportunity to participate in research projects and to gain experience treating patients with various skin conditions.

After completing your residency, you will be eligible to take the American Board of Dermatology certification examination. Once you have passed this exam, you will be a board-certified dermatologist and can begin practicing medicine.

Related: Dermatologist Resume Example

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