How To Become a Dermatologist
Becoming a physician is a goal for many people, but it can be a difficult road to get to the point where you’re practicing on your own. The amount of school and training required is more intense than other careers, but being a doctor is also a rewarding profession that provides reliable job security. You’ll also have the opportunity to help people when they’re in need and potentially even save lives, which offers a sense of meaning that a lot of us want in our lives. If you’re interested in skin health specifically, read on to find out how to become a dermatologist.
How do you become a dermatologist?
A good place to start is by learning more about the day-to-day experience of being a dermatologist. Learn more about some practicing dermatology offices, like this dermatologist in Ames, and see what types of services you can expect to provide on a regular basis. You may even find some offices are willing to connect you with a physician or another employee who can offer advice on what your next steps should be. If you’re experiencing any issues with your skin, treating them can also be an educational experience.
A strong educational background is necessary if you want to become any kind of physician. Given how competitive admissions are for both undergraduate programs and medical school, it’s a good idea to work with a college application consultant who can give you an edge in the process. Their years of experience will give you the tools you need to craft an application that shows admissions officers what they want to see.
After you’ve completed your education, you’ll need to complete your residency. At the end of your residency, you can apply for licensure and take the required state exams. If you want to become board certified, you’ll need to meet several additional requirements, including passing the ABOD exam and completing maintenance of certification activities every three years. Many dermatologists continue their education further after residency, pursuing additional training in a sub-specialty through a fellowship.
What else should you know about working in medicine?
Working in the medical field can be extremely stressful and place significant demands on your schedule. Learning time management is essential if you want to perform well at work. Sleep deprivation can be a serious problem among medical professionals, and the resulting fatigue can cause worse outcomes for patients. You need to find a way to make time to get enough sleep at night, even when you have a lot on your plate at work. Your ultimate responsibility is to your patients, and you’re not providing quality care for them if you aren’t also taking care of yourself.
For the foreseeable future, the health care industry is going to be dealing with the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and managing the fallout after the pandemic ends. Since the long-term health implications are still unclear, it’s hard to say how each individual specialty will have to interact with COVID patients in the future or what adjustments to practicing will have to be made. What is important is that you protect yourself and your family when you’re in a hospital or office environment, and ensure that your workplace is taking proper precautions that are in line with the latest CDC guidance.
Dermatology is a fascinating field that will allow you to work in a hands-on environment with patients and address a wide range of health issues. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and taking care of it is often not as high of a priority as it should be. Dermatology does require a long period of education and training, but that’s primarily due to the complexity of the work you’ll be doing. As you can see, it isn’t easy to build a career in the health care industry, especially as a physician. However, the rewards are well worth the effort.