Section : Education

What is a Dermatologist (Board Certified)?

What is a Dermatologist (Board Certified)?

What is a Dermatologist (Board Certified)?

  • A dermatologist is a doctor specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases / skin conditions.
  • Dermatologists undergo training (after becoming medical doctors) to treat medical or esthetic (aesthetic) problems concerning the skin.
  • Treatments can be medical (creams, oral tablets, chemical peels, filler injections, botulinum toxin injections…) or surgical (excisions, cryotherapy, lasers…)
  • In practice, dermatologists have different inclinations with some focusing more on medical, surgical or esthetic (aesthetic) dermatology. However all dermatologists should be able to diagnose a skin condition / skin disease and refer you to another dermatologist / plastic surgeon for further management.

How to become a dermatologist ?

  • The meaning of the term dermatologist varies from country to country.
  • In many countries such as those in North America (Canada, United States of America), Western Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, United Kingdom…) and Singapore (to name a few) have specific training programmes following medical school. Board Specialized dermatologists are therefore medical doctors. In the above-mentioned countries, the title is protected and regulated by law; general practioners (GPs) without specialized (specialised) training in Dermatology cannot legally call themselves dermatologists.
  • In other countries such as those in the Middle East (Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE)…) very competitive programs lead to board certified dermatologists. However in our experience, we have seen many general practitioners call themselves dermatologists or run dermatology clinics. We can therefore assume that the title is not protected by law.
  • In other countries (we will not name them), non physicians call themselves dermatologists and no government entity seems to care about the lack of regulation.

I am confused on how to choose a dermatologist for my skin problems ?

  • When choosing a doctor for skin problems you need to verify his / her experience.
  • A board certified dermatologist is a medical doctor (or physician) who has undergone the training and examinations to demonstrate competance in the treatment of the skin. In addition to getting board certifications, continuing medical education (CME) is compulsory.

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