How can I become a dermatologist? Salary, Cost, and Programs


How can I become a dermatologist? Salary, Cost, and Programs

Steps to becoming a dermatologist: Full guide

If you re looking to become a dermatologist here is a full guide for you. This guide will help you know what actions to take at what time. Carefully read through this guide.

Acquire a bachelor’s degree

The first step to becoming a dermatologist is to acquire a bachelor’s degree. The students will get foundation in core sciences like biology, physics, and chemistry, along with written and oral communication course study. It is always advised that before a student graduates from the university, he should apply to medical school.

Attend a medical school

After you graduate from undergraduate school, you will need to enroll in medical school. At the medical school, budding dermatologists will spend the first year in the classroom where they will be exposed to core medical science courses like anatomy, histology, pathology, pharmacology, biochemistry, psychology, ethics and preparing for Objective Structured Clinical Exams.

During their second year, the students’ training will become more clinically based. During the third and fourth year, students will start getting clinical duties and shifts. This is where they will get mentorship from senior medical personnel and gain exposure to a wide array of medical specialties. Students interested in dermatology will need to settle for it.

Complete a Residency Program

After completing a medical school, a prospective dermatologist will need to apply to complete a three-year dermatology residency. If his application is accepted, the candidate also known as ‘resident’ will need to spend at least 36 months consulting and seeing patients. They will also be learning how to diagnose and treat various degrees of skin, hair and nail conditions. They will also get surgical training such as skin and nail biopsies.

There are two more things that happen during the residency process. The first is that the candidate will have to sit for the licensing exam particularly in the state where he or she wishes to practice. Another thing that happens during is that the candidate will be certified by the professional board of dermatologists.

According to, below is a list of the requirements that prospective dermatologists must meet before being certified.

Candidate must:

  • Be a graduate from an accredited medical school in the U.S, Canada or an international school approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Possess an unrestricted license to practice in at least one state.
  • Complete required training for dermatology specialty, as dictated by the ABDerm.
  • Sit and pass the ABOD exam for Dermatology
  • Dermatologists should be aware of some maintenance of certification (MOC) activity should be completed every three years and physicians must pass the MOC exam in their specialty or specialties every 10 years, per ABOD requirements.
  • Complete a Sub-Specialty Program

    Dermatologists who wish to major in a certain area of their practice can settle for a sub-specialty likeDermatopathology, Pediatric Dermatology, and Procedural Dermatology but first, they must sit and pass the subspecialty exam.

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