Hi! I was just curious as to what I would need to major in to become
a dermatologist. I would really appreciate this information! Thanks
and have a great day!
The Career Doctor responds:
According to the America Board of Dermatology a dermatologist is a
physician who is trained to evaluate and manage pediatric and adult
patients with benign and malignant disorders of the skin hair nails and adjacent mucous membranes. Dermatologists also manage cosmetic
disorders of the skin including hair loss scars and the skin changes
associated with aging.
Because a dermatologist is a physician becoming a dermatologist requires
many years of education. You should major in science in college — biology chemistry biochemistry etc. — ideally your school has a pre-med major.
To make yourself more attractive to medical schools consider adding an
additional major or taking additional courses in other areas.
Medical school will generally take about four more years. Graduation from
an approved medical school will result in the title Medical Doctor (MD). After
medical school you’ll need to complete another five years in the
dermatology division of a university including three years of residency.
Completion of the qualifying licensing examinations is required to practice
medicine. Licensure by a regional licensing authority is required.
I don’t exactly know where you are now — in high school or college. If
you are still in high school you should consider soaking up as much
math and science as possible. If you’re in college meet with the
director of the pre-med program.
Finally to further your knowledge and understanding of the profession
I would suggest conducting a few informational interviews as well as
shadowing one or more dermatologists. Start with your family’s
dermatologist — and then ask him or her for the names of a few
other colleagues. You might also consider volunteering at local
hospital or assisted living facility.
Resources that can help you in your quest: