A dermatologist is one who treats issues or problems concerning skin, hair, nails or scalp of a patient. In fact, a dermatologist treats various skin disorders like psoriasis, eczema, acne, itching, skin cancer, warts, allergic rashes, and sunburns to name a few. It is then determined if any skin, blood, or tissue samples should be taken. Any sample taken is analysed and the dermatologist diagnoses the patient. Once diagnosis is done, the dermatologist determines the best course of treatment to be used to treat the patient. The patient’s condition may be treated by medication, therapy, or surgery.
Dermatologists work in hospitals or private practice settings. They must be able to listen to the concerns of a patient and visually evaluate the areas of concern in order to make a diagnosis. Additionally, dermatologists interact with other members of the medical field such as primary care doctors, nurses, lab workers, and others to provide the best treatment plan and adequate care. If a dermatologist specializes in any one of the specialty fields available, then he/ she can perform additional tasks related to the specialty.
A dermatologist needs an excellent understanding of the following:
- The skin and subcutaneous tissue anatomy
- Cutaneous microanatomy and biology
- Clinical pharmacology
- Basic immunology
- Basic radiation physics and radiobiology, and basic laser physics
They also need:
- An understanding of the common association between skin disease and other disorders typically within the realm of General Medicine.
- To be able to perform procedures including biopsies, cryotherapy and the removal of skin lesions.
- Good interpersonal and communicative skills with people of all ages.
- Empathy to counsel patients who suffer psychological stress from their visible disease.
- Must obtain a medical degree before moving on to specialization in the dermatology field which involves completing a residency in dermatology at a hospital.
- After completion of dermatology residency, the candidate must pass the American Board of Dermatology exam.
The pay scale of a dermatologist ranges between AUD$97,211 – AUD$117,404 and the median being AUD$104,800.