What is the Job Description of a Dermatologist?

The job description of a dermatologist is aimed at taking care of and treating the largest organ in the human body, which is the skin.

They play a vital part in medical care. Some of their duties and responsibilities include examining patients with skin problems or conditions and developing a treatment plan.

When employed, employers look out for dermatologists who possess great communication skills and are compassionate.

The fact that you are reading this guide on the job description of a dermatologist, means you are either an applicant or a med student seeking an area of specialization.

Whichever way, this article is optimized to enable you to reach your goal of becoming and getting a good dermatologist job.


What Does a Dermatologist Do?

A dermatologist is a medical specialist who treats skin conditions such as acne, sunburn, rashes, and cancer as well. They carry out skin screening and evaluation, and also study patients’ medical records or history. They also monitor a patient’s recovery process.

Dermatologists treat over 3000 diseases. But only about 24 skin conditions make up for 80% of skin condition cases in the world.

Some other subspecialties in dermatology include:

  • Dermatopathology
  • Immunodermatology
  • Pediatric dermatology
  • Teledermatology

What are the Duties and Responsibilities of a Dermatologist?

Here are some of the duties and responsibilities usually featured in most dermatologist job description postings:

#1. Diagnosing patients

It is the duty of a dermatologist to meet with patients that have skin, hair, and nails conditions.

During the meeting, the patient’s medical records or history are studied and also discussed.

The doctor then examines the patients and observes for abnormalities.

Further tests may be carried out in order to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

After all of these, the patient is diagnosed and the diagnosis is discussed.

#2. Developing a treatment plan

After diagnosing a patient, the dermatologist goes on to develop a workable treatment plan.

This treatment may include medication, change in diet, and lifestyle as well.

During the course of treatment, whenever the dermatologist sees a need to make an adjustment to the development, he or she implements the changes.

#3. Carry out non-invasive surgical procedures.

In the case of a benign tumor, and the dermatologist sees the need to carry out a noninvasive surgical procedure, he does it, probably with the assistance of other health care providers like nurses.

Before such procedures are carried out, the patient must give his or her consent.

#4. Keep patient’s records

A dermatologist may perform some clerical functions such as keeping and maintaining records.

They maintain these records for possible future reference.

#5. Refer patients to other specialists when necessary

When there is a need, a dermatologist may also refer patients to other specialists.

In some cases, both doctors may work together to treat the patient.

In order cases, only the medical reports of the patient will be sent to the new specialist and the dermatologist may not be needed.

#6. Handle cosmetic issues like ageing and birthmarks

Dermatologists make use of laser and botox to treat birthmarks and address wrinkles respectively.

Also, they perform skin grafting to help patients with scares.

Some other duties and responsibilities of a dermatologist you will find in their job description include;

  • Following up and tracking a patient’s treatment process.
  • Interpret diagnosis to patients and inform them about available treatments.
  • Inform and educate patients about preventive skincare.
  • Stay updated with recent trends and medical techniques.
  • Make necessary updates to patients’ medical records or history.

What Academic Qualification Do I Need to Become a Dermatologist?

There are three mandatory academic qualifications to obtain before you can become a dermatologist.

These qualifications include:

  1. Formal education
  2. Training
  3. Licencing and certification

I believe it is not enough to only list these qualifications.

Therefore I will go ahead to briefly explain each.

1. Formal Education

Before you can ever be allowed to practice dermatology, you have to obtain a bachelor’s degree and a doctor of medicine as well.

In order to gain a solid foundation in the medical field, dermatologists major in science-oriented subjects like chemistry, biology, and physics.

While in medical school, they learn advanced courses like microbiology, biochemistry, anatomy, and pharmacology.

In the course of medical school, prospective dermatologists may perform clinical rotation but, under the supervision of a certified and experienced dermatologist.

2. Training

After medical school, in order to train to become a dermatologist, they undergo residency.

Usually, the residency lasts for a period of four years.

Prospective dermatologist intern in general surgery department for a year. After which, train in clinical dermatology for the remaining 3 years.

3. Licencing and certification

Every country and state requires every dermatologist to be licensed before they can practice.

But, the requirements for certification may vary slightly in different states and countries

Most countries require that a dermatologist already have a degree from an accredited medical school, undergo residency in their area of specialization, and pass the medical licensing examination as well.

What Skills Does a Good Dermatologist Need?

In order to carry out the duties and responsibilities of a dermatologist, employers usually seek certain skills before employing them.

These skills also appear in the job description of a dermatologist.

Some of the skills a good dermatologist should possess include:

#1. Dexterity

Dermatologists use certain tools, some of which are sharp, in the treatment of certain skin conditions.

Therefore, they need to possess manual dexterity to avoid mistakes and ensure accuracy.

#2. Attention to details

Every single detail during diagnosis and treatment such as minor changes must never be ignored or overlooked.

Therefore, it is essential for a dermatologist to always give attention to details no matter how minor they may seem.

#3. Communication skills

In order to perform almost all the duties and responsibilities of a dermatologist, you have to possess strong communication skills.

A good dermatologist should be able to write, speak and listen effectively.

#4. Interpersonal skills

In order to properly provide treatment to each patient, a good dermatologist must be capable of developing a good relationship with his or her patients.

That, you can understand what is unique to each of them.

#5. Organisational skills

One dermatologist may work with over a hundred patients in a month.

As a result, a good dermatologist must be very organized.

That well, you can keep track of every patient and provide optimum treatment to everyone.

#6. Problem-solving skills

It is the duty of a dermatologist to observe patients, ascertain their skin conditions and develop an effective treatment plan.

Therefore, a good dermatologist must possess good problem-solving skills.

How Much Does a Dermatologist Make?

On average, a dermatologist in the United States makes up to $229,467 per year.

According to indeed, the salary of a dermatologist range from $39,000 to $584,000 yearly.

These figures may differ depending on your location, experience, and employer.

Where Do Dermatologists Work?

Dermatologists are professional medical practitioners who work in hospitals and health care groups.

They meet with patients in offices or examination rooms and perform treatments procedures in a treatment room.

A dermatologist may work in a hospital or a health care group. They may also open their own clinic for private practice.

What Hours Do Dermatologists Work?

Dermatologists typically work full time, during regular working hours.

Which may be from 8 am to 4 pm or 9 am to 5 pm daily.

Sometimes, they offer evening or weekend shifts to accommodate a patient’s schedule.

Is the Work of a Dermatologist a Stressful Job?

Yes, dermatology is one of the most difficult and competitive medical specialties to match into.

But, the satisfaction that comes with seeing your patients recover is worth the stress.

Moreover, every job or area of specialization can be stressful, but some may come with more demand or stress.

According to osteopathic.org here are some tips on how to match into dermatology and overcome the stress.

  • Be the kind of dermatologist you will like to work with
  • Learn and understand as much dermatology as possible.
  • Get involved with research: getting involved with research and having some publications can greatly improve your CV.
  • Connect with other health care providers and develop a good relationship with them.
  • Never get tired of trying

It takes a lot of hardworking and determination to become a good dermatologist.

But, stress is always worth it. Therefore, give it your best, you will be glad you did.

Dermatologist Tools of the Trade

This guide on the job description of a dermatologist will not be complete without including some of the tools of the trade of a dermatologist.

  • Digital platforms: used for building a dermatologist personal brand.
  • Cryogun: it is used for freezing a mole or wart
  • Scalpel: After freezing a mole or wart, a scalpel is used to remove it.
  • Dermal punch: whenever a biopsy is necessary, a dermal punch is used.
  • Lancet extractor: the use of a lancet extractor is for removing whiteheads.
  • Comedone extractor: Blackheads are removed with a comedone extractor.

What Should I Include in My Dermatologist Resume?

When creating a resume, you want to include any information capable of convincing an employer that you are suitable for the job.

You may want to include information such as:

  • Academic qualification
  • License and certification
  • Experience
  • Research or publications
  • Hard skills
  • Soft skills

Even during your interview, don’t overlook the importance of making reference to all of this information.

Conclusion: Dermatologist Job Description Guide

It takes up to 12 years, after high school to become a dermatologist.

Indeed, it is a very long time, but from all you have read from this guide on the job description of a dermatologist, it is worth it.

According to the bureau of labour statistics, Job opportunities for medical practitioners are set to increase by 26% in 2026.

Therefore, there will be more jobs for a dermatologist.

Although this guide on the job description of a dermatologist was written with applicants in mind, it can also be used by employers to create a dermatologist job description posting

Other job descriptions:

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