How To Become A Dermatologist (2023)

Do you know that skin is the largest organ in our body? Well, that explains why we need to take care of our skin and give it proper nourishment. So when we experience any kind of issue with our skin, we naturally want the best care for it, this is where the dermatologists come in pictures.
If you have been fascinated with skincare, skin function, and the overall working of skin then you must pursue dermatology as your career. It is surely a high-profile job with a good pay scale as well.
If you want to become a dermatologist, you need to move ahead and take a look at the following article as well.

What does a Dermatologist do?

Simply said, dermatologists are the doctors of skin. They have been specialized to address skin issues and also look after hair and nail issues. They would address any injuries to your skin, marks, scars, and overall appearance of your skin. They would also look after the hair and nail problems as well.
There are many responsibilities of a dermatologist, some of them are given below:
  • Looking after the patients who have issues with their skin, hair, and nails. They would diagnose, test, and identify abnormalities or various kinds of diseases associated with skin, hair, and nails.
  • Dermatologists also look after skincare or cosmetic issues. This is where the popular models and beauty influences come in pictures to make their skin appear perfect.
  • Performing surgeries and various skin treatments.

What are the basic requirements to become a dermatologist?

It takes 12 years to become a dermatologist. In this long period, you would gain the necessary education, training, skills, licenses, and certifications that would be needed to practice dermatology.
Some of the skills and requirements required to become a dermatologist are:
  • Education
  • Training
  • License and certification
  • Skills such as being attentive, soft-spoken, better at problem-solving, and organized.

How To Become A Dermatologist

Now we are back to our question, how to become a dermatologist? Well, we have all the answers you need. So let’s go ahead and find how you can become a dermatologist with the following easy steps.

1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

One of the first steps that you need to take is to get a Bachelor’s degree. This is where your education would begin. You need to graduate from high school with subjects like biology, physics, and chemistry.
There are a few schools that offer you a pre-med program to make you ready for medical school.
Once you have completed your school, you would need to take admission to a medical college where you would get your medical education and training. To get admission to the medical college you would have to pass the entrance exam. Based on your marks, you will get a medical college. The medical college would prefer students with leadership qualities, decision-making, and some medical experience as well.

2. Complete four years of training and education courses from a medical college

You must get a doctor of medicine degree before you can apply for postgraduate training in dermatology. These programs would take four years to complete.
The first two years of your program would teach you advanced anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, microbiology, and pathology. Whereas, the last two years of the programs would be devoted to clinical rounds where you would get experience working directly with the patients.

3. Complete Residency

Now you will have to enroll in a four-year residency program at a hospital or clinic. The residency program would teach you about dermatology and give you the training and education you need. In this period you would come across many patients with skin abnormalities and you would learn how to diagnose and treat the patients.
You will need to get high scores in your medical college program so that you can get this specialty as your major.
You may as well choose the hospital or clinic that you wish to work in the future after becoming a dermatologist.

4. Choose a specialty

During your time in residency, you would be choosing your specialty as well. There are many fields in dermatology that you can practice including pediatric dermatology, procedural dermatology, and dermatopathology among others.

5. Get a License to Practice Dermatology

You won’t become a dermatologist if you don’t have the license to practice dermatology.
To get the license you will have to present yourself in front of the board members who grant the license for dermatology. For this, you would have to have a good knowledge of treatment, diagnosis, and tests for various skin abnormalities. You should also be familiar with the steps and methods that you would apply in real-life situations.

6. Get Certification

One of the other things that you need to do to become a dermatologist is to get a certification. The certification can help you get a decent job or a decent hospital to work in.
If you don’t have the certification, you may not be able to get good jobs.
Becoming a board-certified dermatologist would require:
  • Holding an M.D from an accredited medical college
  • Having a valid dermatology license
  • Passing the standardized ABOD exam
  • Completing a fellowship in the certified specialty area
This certification would be only good for 10 years after that you would have to renew it again after appearing in front of the board.

7. Apply for the jobs

Now that you have got everything you need and become a dermatologist, only one thing left to do, get the job. Apply at various hospitals including the ones you love the most. You would have to go through an interview as well, so make sure you are fully prepared for that.


That would be all you would need to become a dermatologist. Here you should know that there might be a few and minor changes in the process considering which state or country you live in. So make extensive research for becoming a dermatologist in your hometown or the one you like to work in. It might including getting a license from the board from your state as well.