A great deal of time and effort has been spent here and in other areas as to what constitutes someone specializing in cosmetic procedures, which I do; however, I am a board-certified dermatologist as well.
How is a Dermatologist Trained?
A number of people do not understand what a dermatologist is and how he is trained. Although there are some variables as to the path taken all dermatologists have a similar course to mine. I graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree and then went to medical school where I obtained my MD (medical school is another 4 years).
After that I interned at a hospital for 1 year in internal medicine, although some intern in surgery or pediatrics etc. After internship I spent 3 years in a dermatology residency learning the ways the skin functions, the problems that it undergoes and how to treat them. After being in practice one year, I then became eligible to take the dermatology board exam, which is an intensive full day written exam and if passed a 2 day oral exam. I then became board-certified.
This is a common pathway to becoming a board-certified dermatologist and most take this or a similar pathway. The questions you should ask are:
1. Are you a board certified dermatologist?
2. Where did you obtain your residency in dermatology?
3. Do you have a special expertise in one area such as pediatrics, geriatrics or cosmetic?
Always be certain the doctor you are choosing to be your dermatologist is a dermatologist and not someone who just likes to treat skin disease.