Becoming a dermatologist may seem like an obvious choice to many people who have had skin issues, but it’s important to consider all the factors before deciding to go into the field of dermatology. Before you commit to this decision, make sure the life of a dermatologist appeals to you. This article will discuss five things you should consider before becoming a dermatologist.
What does a Dermatologist do?
Learning what a dermatologist does is the first step in figuring out whether or not this career path is right for you. A dermatologist is a physician who specializes in treating diseases, disorders, and conditions that affect your skin. They also practice medicine on mucous membranes, such as those found in your mouth or nose, as well as tissues that make up other parts of your body. While some doctors are better suited for family medicine or general care, many others would find their calling in one of many specialties.
Do you want to be behind a desk all day?
If you want to be on your feet all day, dermatology might not be for you. Make sure that you’re comfortable being at a desk or standing during an entire shift before deciding to take on dermatology as your specialty. If necessary, get a job in your field for six months just to make sure that it’s what you want. You can also consider going into general medicine and becoming a primary care doctor, then moving into dermatology if it’s something that interests you later in life.
What will you specialize in?
Depending on your background, interests, and personality, there are different types of dermatology you can specialize in. Your job will vary depending on what area of skincare you choose to focus on. Do some research online and find out more about each specialty before deciding which one is right for you. Some areas include cosmetic dermatology, pediatric dermatology, general surgery, or pathology. Each specialty requires at least three years (and often many more) of additional training after medical school (in addition to internship/residency requirements), so make sure that you’re fully prepared.
What types of patients will you be seeing?
The types of patients you’ll see as a dermatologist will vary depending on where you’re located. For example, if you live somewhere like Florida or Arizona where skin cancer is less common due to lower sun exposure rates, then your patients will likely have more common issues such as acne and psoriasis. Regardless of location, you must make sure that you like treating all types of patients before settling on dermatology because one day someone with an especially challenging skin condition might walk through your door for treatment.
Do you have the Patience for Medical School?
After your undergraduate degree, it’s time to jump headfirst into medical school. The process isn’t as long as you think – most students are out in about four years. However, getting through that much schooling takes an immense amount of drive and determination. If becoming a dermatologist is truly your dream job, will you have what it takes to spend those few extra years in school? If the answer is yes, keep going towards your dermatology dream.
The dermatology industry is exploding with opportunities, especially in areas where dermatologists are needed the most. Before taking steps to become a dermatologist, you should weigh your options carefully and keep this information in mind to help you make your decision.