What Does A Dermatologist Do?
While you may be more familiar with their work in cosmetics and beauty regimens, dermatologists are first and foremost; skin doctors. That means they treat skin, hair, nails, and other exposed parts of your skin. There are a little over 500 registered dermatologists (nurses, cosmetic surgeons, and so on) in Australia right now – a small number compared to other medical professions!
Dermatologists don’t get a lot of credit for what exactly their responsibilities are. Many dermatologists also have to juggle being faux-counsellors for those suffering from skin conditions. Some refer to GPs when encountering more severe diseases, and others even work in R&D for beauty products.
All of this makes sense when you realise that the skin is the largest organ in the body and is often a telltale sign of our health, it’s also an extremely important part of our self-esteem. That's the crux of the reason why dermatologists are so in demand.
How Do You Become A Dermatologist?
First, you can’t just “become” a dermatologist. Like most university (or college) degrees involving medicine, you must finish your medical degree before properly starting on your dermatology certification. It’ll look a little like this:
- Study and train for your medical degree: four years
- Rotate through specialities in the hospital system: two years
- Train as a dermatologist with an accredited organisation: four years
It takes TEN YEARS MINIMUM to become a certified dermatologist. That’s not counting if you failed the many exams, interviews, and other requirements needed to complete your training.
What Does A Dermatologist Study?
Aside from the aforementioned medical background, there are certain areas that a dermatologist should study, even if it doesn’t seem immediately linked to their profession:
- Immunology: The skin connects to our immune system, making it a good indicator of our overall health.
- General surgery: Some skin conditions like warts, moles, or lesions are removed surgically, so they need training in how to operate on the body.
- Intensive care: For more severe conditions like burns and skin recovery, dermatologists need in-depth knowledge of how the skin recovers from traumatic injuries.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg of what they need to learn. As we said, it takes a heck of a long time.
Where Can You Study Dermatology In Australia?
If you want to become a certified, state-accredited dermatologist, there’s only one place in the country that can give you your certification: The Australasian College of Dermatologists. They’re the only institute that’s recognised by the Australian Medical Council, and the only college in the country that offers a comprehensive dermatology course.
Even if you get your dermatology certification abroad, you still need to go through the College to operate in the country. Their standards are no joke – according to the graduates, a passing mark in the entrance exams alone was an 85 out of 100!
How Much Do Dermatologists Earn?
All that work and study pay off though – according to PayScale, dermatologists are one of the highest-paid jobs in Australia, at an impressive AUD 102,426 a year. They’re consistently in demand and can cover a LOT of ground as medical specialists: medical, cosmetic, or even consulting with private firms and entities.
Some dermatologists can earn even more by working in niche markets, though cosmetic operations pay the most.
Glowing And Growing
Even despite the hard work required to become a dermatologist, more and more people are getting into this career path. If you believe that beauty is not just skin deep and want to help others find their best-looking selves, then give this field a try! You’ll help people not only look good but feel good about their health as well – and that’s something all of us can get behind.