We want to discuss the various professions in full-time dermatology jobs in Texas, their area of concern, the degree required, and naming some of the best institutes for pursuing the career.
The skin is the first organ that protects you against any disease, shields the organs, and regulates the body temperature. When one is affected by problems with their skin, it often impairs people’s functioning. Irritation and sensitivity in the skin render people unable to perform basic tasks like eating and cleaning. Furthermore, skin problems also affect people's sense of self-worth. Botched skin or rashes make people highly self-conscious and attract unwelcome stares, comments and questions that can immensely diminish their self-confidence. Skin disease can even be life-threatening sometimes.
A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in the treatment of skin, hair, and nails. There are around 3000 diseases of the skin and hair, including eczema, skin cancer, acne, hives, psoriasis, etc. Dermatologists are specially trained to help address these conditions. They perform specialized tests to identify the disease’s root cause and perform treatments to address the issue. Skincare is not a one-time event but must be cultivated as a habit. A dermatologist curates the best maintenance and care plan for your skin based on your skin history and needs.
The responsibilities of a dermatologist are as follows:
· Perform diagnostic skin tests and analyze their results
· Informing the patients about the diagnosis and different treatment options and solutions
· Provide treatments such as laser and grafting based on tests
· Perform minor surgical procedures like skin biopsies and mole removal
· Perform major surgeries like cyst removal
· Provide advice on skincare and suggest best practices
· Recommend appropriate products for skincare
· Track patients; records including history and allergies
· Address cosmetic issues
· Perform treatments to enhance the appearance of skin, nails, and hair such as fillers, Botox, and chemical peels
Beyond the medical qualifications, dermatologists need to have some other skills to set up a successful practice:
Non-judgemental and warm communication: As a dermatologist, one has to have strong communication skills. They must avoid using complicated terms and communicate effectively with the patient to help them understand the problem. It is essential to maintain a warm and non-judgemental tone with the patients and collaborate while creating a treatment plan.
Have Thorough Consultations: Often, doctors rush appointments due to a shortage of time. To be a successful dermatologist, one must also actively listen to all the queries of the patient. Patients are usually anxious and scared. A healthcare provider must provide treatment and explain the procedure, expected results, and risks.
The process of becoming a qualified dermatologist has three steps:
Undergraduate/Bachelor's degree for four years
For your undergraduate studies, you can choose to major in any subject as long as you fulfill the prerequisites stipulated by a medical school. Studying in a medical school would often require completing courses in mathematics, sciences, and English. You can check the qualifications necessary for your school from the American Association of Medical Colleges' website.
Medical School for four years
Admission into medical school is based on your Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) results, strong recommendations, and prior volunteering experience in healthcare. The process is highly competitive, and there are two pathways that you can choose to become a dermatologist:
In medical school, the first two years of the curriculum are lecture and lab-intensive. In the third and fourth year, you will practice diagnosing and treating patients under supervision in clinical rotations. These will be across domains, including emergency medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics, and psychiatry.
Dermatology Residency for 4 years
While you can practice dermatology directly after medical school and pass the license exams, it is beneficial to complete a residency. A residency increases your chance of finding suitable employment, building confidence, and gaining experience and staff privileges at a hospital. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) is the organisation that recognises or credits the residency. You will be practicing one year of general medicine and three years of your specialty.
There are several profiles that dermatologists can choose to specialize and practice in:
· Dermapathologists: Dermapathologists study the skin and identify and analyze skin and hair disorders. They are qualified in both dermatology and pathology and often collaborate with general physicians to diagnose patients.
· Paediatric Dermatologists: Paediatric dermatologists specialize in treating skin diseases in children. They usually treat cases of eczema, vitiligo, psoriasis, etc.
· Immune Dermatologists: An immune dermatologist's role is to diagnose and treat skin disorders that occur due to a defective response of the body's immune system.
· Cosmetic Surgeon: A cosmetic surgeon is a specialized medical professional who corrects or improves the physical appearance of the face or any other part of the body. Cosmetic surgeons perform surgeries like rhinoplasty and liposuction. They also work on skin-grafting, laser, and reconstruction of damaged areas in the body.
An entry-level dermatologist's expected salary with less than a year's experience is around $240,000 per annum. An early career dermatologist with 1-4 years of experience would earn approximately $250,000. A mid-career medical professional specializing in dermatology with 5-9 years of experience often earns about $275,000. With dermatologists experienced with around 10-19 years of practice, the annual salary package is around $280,000-$290,000. Dermatologists with 20+ years of experience earn up to $305,000 per year.
However, it is to be noted that location plays a significant role in the pay scale.
The following are the top dermatology hospitals in the USA:
· Mayo Clinic
· Cleveland Clinic Department of Dermatology
· Mount Sinai Dermatology
· McLean Dermatology and Skin Care Centre
· UCLA Medical Centre
Apart from working with private hospitals, dermatologists can find employment in the following set-ups:
· Government Hospitals
· Armed Forces Medical Services
· Skin and Hair Care Clinics
· Set up a private practice
The cost of education and time spent on gaining specialization is significantly high. Hence, if one chooses to take up dermatology, it must be done after a thorough decision. Strong academic performance is a prerequisite to entering medical school and choosing a dermatology program. However, the salaries earned by dermatologists are high and among the highest among medical specialties. There is scope for job growth as the dermatologist community is relatively small, and there is a strong demand for more skin and hair care professionals.
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