What is a Dermatologist

A dermatologist is a qualified medical specialist who has obtained postgraduate qualifications to specialise in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of skin disease and skin cancers.

Dermatologists treat patients of all ages, from babies and children to adolescents and adults. Although diseases of the skin are many and varied, Australian dermatologists spend much of their time treating diseases caused by exposure to the sun. These include skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma.

Other potential skin problems typically managed by dermatologist include acne, eczema, skin infections, psoriasis, occupational dermatitis, hair and nail disorders, surveillance of moles and cosmetic problems of the skin.

How do you become a dermatologist?

Dermatologists are initially trained as doctors, undertaking six or more years of university study to gain their medical degrees. This is followed by several years of full-time practice and training in a teaching hospital as a junior hospital doctor. Application can then be made to enter a five-year training program in dermatology.

Prior to entering College’s training program, prospective trainees undertake additional study and scientific research in dermatology.

Early in the training program, trainees sit for the Clinical Sciences examination. Towards the end of the training program, trainees sit both written and oral components of the Fellowship examination. After passing the Fellowship examination and having completed the training program satisfactorily, a trainee is recommended for Fellowship of the Australasian College of Dermatologists (FACD).

Dermatologists maintain their professional standards and develop new skills through participation in the College’s continuing professional development program.

Further information about Dermatologists can be obtained from the Australasian College of Dermatologists http://www.dermcoll.asn.au

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