What is a Dermatologist?
A dermatologist is a qualified medical practitioner who specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of skin diseases and cancers.
Dermatologists treat patients of all ages, from babies and children to adolescents and adults. Dermatologists are trained to diagnose and treat over 3000 conditions affecting the skin including common skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis, various types of skin cancers to rare and complex skin conditions.
Dermatologists are also experts in the diagnosis and management of disorders affecting the hair, nails, mouth and genitalia.
Because of their expert knowledge of the skin and specialist medical training, dermatologists are uniquely placed to deliver effective and safe cosmetic services (e.g. laser therapy, muscle relaxants, fillers).
To become a Dermatologist, doctors must first complete their medical degree, undertaking six or more years of university study. This is followed by several years of full-time training as a hospital resident or registrar in an accredited teaching hospital. Following this an application can be made to enter the four-year dermatology training program.
Regular assessments of trainees are conducted by the Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD) to ensure that high standards of specialists are produced. At the end of their specialty training the candidates have to pass rigorous clinical and written examinations. Only then will they be admitted as a Fellow of the Australasian College of Dermatologists.
In total it will take a minimum of 11 to 12 years of medical training to become a Specialist Dermatologist.