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A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin, hair, and nail conditions. They also perform cosmetic procedures such as chemical peels, laser treatments, dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, Botox injections for wrinkles or acne scars, and liposuction.
This field requires extensive training that includes earning a bachelor’s degree followed by four years of medical school, four years of residency training at an approved hospital, and three years of additional specialty training after residency.
It takes approximately 11-14 years from college graduation until one is fully licensed to practice medicine independently. Hence, students interested in this career path need to start planning early on to become dermatologists.
Medical School is a rigorous process, so you should start by choosing the right college and earning an undergraduate degree to be prepared.
Before you get into med school, you’ll have to nail the MCAT. The 7-hour test includes sections on biology, chemistry psychology with critical analysis skills. This is necessary for securing admission to the school.
Next, choose a medical school and earn an M.D. The first two years of med school will mostly include classroom study and lab sessions that will help you learn the basics for practicing. During your third and fourth year, you can expect clinical rotations where experienced doctors teach new ones how they do things.
Pass the USMLE
Once you’ve earned your M.D and completed your dermatology residency, you need to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination to earn your license. A license is mandatory to start practicing dermatology. Once you have passed the Licensing examination, apply for a practicing license in the state you want to practice. After obtaining your license, get board certificated and start practicing.
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