How to be a Dermatologist

We all have heard the phrase, "First impression is the last impression" and that's why in the 21st century many of us do get consious about skin and beauty. A small pimple tenses people so much and this brings the rise of dermatologist as a career for many individuals.

A Dermatologist is a doctor who is specialized in treating diseases related to skin, hair and nails. Some of these diseases include skin cancer, eczema and psoriasis.

To become dermatologist after class 12th in India, one has to first complete MBBS and after that a student can pursue different dermatologist courses such as MSc in Dermatology, Doctor of medicine in Dermatology & Venereology and Doctor of Philosophy in Dermatology & Venereology.  

What is dermatology ?

Mostly people refer dermatologist as skin doctor but that's not the case. In fact there are 4 different types of roles a dermatologist have. These are Dermopathology, Pediatric Dermatology, Mohs Surgery and Cosmetic Dermatology. Will discuss each one of these roles in detail further in the article.

Now for a matter of fact, "Skin is the largest organ in the human body" and that's why studying this huge organ is not an easy task. 

There are certain skills recommended to have in the person if he/she is thinking to pursue dermatology as a career. These skills are: 

Skills required for dermatology
Manual Dexterity (Ability to use hand in skilful and coordinated way to grasp and manipulate small tools and demonstrate precise movements
Clinical diagnostic skill
Providing high standard of care
Good communication

How to pursue dermatology ?

Dermatology is a great career option for students and if you are interested to learn about skin and become dermatologist, there are various courses and things you need to know about before starting your journey. 

So let's first start this journey by understanding various courses available to become dermatologist. After completing class 12th with PCB background and MBBS, student is eligible for further education in dermatology in any of these courses. 

Courses for dermatologist:

Here is the list of various courses available to students after completing MBBS: 

Type Dermatology courses after MBBS Duration
Diploma Diploma in Dermatology 2-Year
Bachelor's Bachelor of Science in Dermatology 3-Year
PG course Post Graduate Diploma in Dermatology, Venerology and Leprosy 2-Year
Master's Master of Science in Dermatology, Venerology and Leprology 2-Year
Doctoral Doctor of Medicine in Dermatology and Venereology 3-Year
Doctor of Philosophy in Dermatology and Venereology 3-Year


Post Graduate Diploma in Dermatology and Venerology:

Diploma in Dermatology is a 2-Years course and is one of the various courses available out there to pursue your dream as a Dermatologist. The minimum eligibility requirement for this courses is MBBS with completed internship. 

Eligibility for Diploma in Dermatology is:

Sr.no Eligibility for Diploma in Dermatology
1. MBBS with compulsory internship.
2. To qualify All India Common PG Medical Entrance Test
3. Minimum 50% marks in Class 10th Exam in subjects like: Science, Maths and English.
4. To clear the Entrance tests held by different institution for studying the course.

Admission in Diploma in Dermatology is generally done on the basis of merit scored by student in common medical PG entrance exam (NEET PG). 

There are some colleges which offer direct admission on the basis of performance in previous exam whereas some colleges conduct their own entrance exam for admission. 

Doctor of Medicine in Dermatology and Venereology:

Doctor of Medicine in Dermatology (Abbreviated as M.D in Dermatology) is a 3-year postgraduate course for medical students. To opt for M.D in Dermatology a student needs to complete MBBS with 1-year of compulsory internship. 

Some colleges in India offers this course in the combination as M.D in Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy. 

Eligibility for M.D in Dermatology:

Sr.no Eligibility for M.D in Dermatology
1. MBBS with institute recognized by Medical Council of India (MCI).
2. 1-year of Internship after passing the final exam of MBBS

Admission for M.D in Dermatology is done on the basis of national level entrance exam (NEET PG) which is the single exam through which admission is done for the various MD/MS/PG Diploma courses. 

Entrance exams to become dermatologist:

Now in order to get admission in any of the dermatology courses in India. The minimum eligibility for it is MBBS with 1 year of completed internship. 

The entrance exam for admission in all the dermatology courses is NEET PG which is compulsory if you are looking to get admission in any MD/MS/PG Diploma medical courses. 

Career path:


Top colleges:

Top Colleges for Dermatology
AIIMS Delhi
B.J Medical College, Ahmedabad
Christian Medical College, Vellore
Armed Force Medical College, Pune
D.Y Patil University, Navi Mumbai
North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences, Shillong
Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research

Career and Jobs in dermatology:

Skin industry is among the most profitable industry in the world. So huge that only skin care product market size value was around 134 billion $ in 2018 and this number is estimated to be 189 billion US dollars by 2025. 

This is just a small part of cosmetic industry and dermatologist plays a huge role in it. That's why in future this field has really good scope not only in India but worldwide as well. 

Employment sector:

As told earlier, this industry is huge and that's why a dermatologist have opportunity to work in various places. 

Employment sector for dermatologist are: 

  1. Government and Private Hospitals
  2. Nursing Homes
  3. Clinics and Dispensaries
  4. Community and Health centres
  5. Hospital Administrative jobs
  6. Medical Writings. 

Salary:

Earning opportunities in dermatology is endless. As I said earlier that only skin product industry is worth around 189 Billion $ per year and these numbers are for only skin care product. Dermatologist deal with many different things as well apart from skin.

So to get you the idea of how much you could earn as a dermatologist, this actually defer from country to country. Earning potential in first world countries like United States is 10 times more than third world countries. 

Here is the graphical representation of salary (Source: Payscale.com) of an average dermatologist per year based on country they live in.


Life as a dermatologist:

Life is big and no body should waste this precious life without enjoying it. So have you ever wondered about the life of a dermatologist ? What are the things they do and things which they have to deal with on daily basis ?

Because here is the deal, if you think that you won't enjoy a life of dermatologist then there are chances that you don't want to pursue your career as a dermatologist. 

Let's find out

Day in the life of dermatologist:

Well nobody can asnwer this question better than a person who is been teaching dermatology aspirant themself. In one of the quora answers, Dr. Manish soni writes that there is tough competition for dermatologist in India but apart from all the disadvantages, work life is good where there are no emergencies and no night shift which is really tiring for most of the doctors. This mean you can easily manage your professional and personal life and spend time with your family. 

But all these factor such as life and salary greatly depends on the country you live in. That's why here are the two vlog of a dermatologist. One is from India and the other one is from United states. 

  • Dermatologist life in U.S: 

  • Dermatologist life in India:

Types of dermatologist:

Dermatologist is a huge field and they have to deal with many different things. There are 4 different types of dermatologist: 1. Dermopathology 2. Pediatric Dermatology 3. Mohs Surgery 4. Cosmetic Surgery. 

Let's have a brief look at each one of them.

1. Dermopathology:

Dermopathology allows specialized dermatologists to study the various causes and effects of skin, hair and nails. Dermopathology also help to diagnose them in their earliest and latest stages. 

2. Pediatric Dermatology:

A Pediatric dermatology is specialized dermatologist in diagnosing and treating skin related diseases in children. This includes newborn and infants. 

3. Mohs Surgery:

A Mohs surgeon is a dermatologist who is specialized in performing type of surgery called Mohs Surgery. This surgery is used to treat skin cancer. 

4. Cosmetic Surgery:

Cosmetic surgery is not important for maintaining good health but more for good looks. Cosmetic dermatology includes procedures such as dermal filler and botox to smooth fine lines and wrinkles or increase facial volume and laser therapy to diminish the appearance of scars and wrinkles etc..

Pros and cons of dermatology:

Every field has its own merits and demerits. Before deciding the career its important to look at both pros and cons of the field you are going for. 

Here are the pros and cons of career in dermatology:

Pros and cons of dermatology
Advantages Disadvantages
Salary Years of study and learning
Work Variety High course fees
Other income sources Competitive nature of study.
No large investment required when starting own clinic. Tight working schedule


Frequently Asked Question (F.A.Q):

1. Is it hard to become a dermatologist?

Ans: Dermatology is one of the most difficult course to go for. In dermatology you will deal with variety of patient ranging from new born children to old age people. This is one of the reason why dermatology is one of the difficult course to go for. 

2. How many years does it take to become a dermatologist?

Ans: It takes around 12 to 14 years to become dermatologist which includes 5 year of MBBS and 1 year of internship. After completing it, you have to complete further education and enrol for courses like MS/MD in Dermatology to become a dermatologist. 

3. Is NEET required for dermatology?

Ans: Yes NEET is required for dermatology. You will have to give both NEET (UG) for admission in MBBS and NEET (PG) for MS/MD in Dermatology.

4. Are Dermatologist happy?

Ans: Yes Dermatologist are happy and infact proffession of dermatologist is ranked as the most satisfied physicians. 

5. Can I become a dermatologist without MBBS?

Ans: No you cannot become a dermatologist without MBBS because to pursue any of the course in dermatology, minimum eligibility requirement is MBBS with 1 year of completed internship. 

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