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Career profile: Dermatologist

Career profile: DermatologistGet the lowdown on what the job involves, what qualifications you need and how long it takes to train.

A what?

Dermatology is a medical specialty in illness related to the skin, hair and nails. The demand for dermatologists is increasing with 15% of all GP consultations being related to skin disease.

On the job

Dermatologists work with patients and other healthcare professionals to treat skin diseases. It is a stimulating and demanding job as there is estimated to be around 3000 different dermatological diagnoses, and most of these conditions can manifest themselves in a variety of ways.

The majority of dermatologists go on to focus on particular area of the specialty – so they may become experts in conditions such as exzema, psoriasis or skin cancer for example. Most of the cases they come across can be cured, or at least the symptoms can be alleviated through treatment.

As well as the academic training and experience, it is important for dermatologists to have good communication skills, because of the social stigma and embarrassment associated with some skin conditions.

Course entry requirements

You need to get a degree in medicine before going on to train as a dermatologist. To get in to medical school, you will need three good A-levels, usually in science subjects.

Always check entry requirements with the institution of your choice as entry levels may vary.

What does the training involve?

Once you have your degree in medicine, you will have to spend three years working as a doctor before undergoing four years specialist dermatology training.
Trainee dermatologists normally work through a variety of subspecialties available in their area.

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