A dermatologist is a qualified specialist doctor that specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of skin diseases and skin cancers.
In a nutshell, a Dermatologist is responsible for:
- the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of skin cancers and skin diseases - the management of skin problems such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, skin infections, hair and nail disorders, and occupational dermatitis. - consultation and advice concerning skin health, and treat cosmetic problems of the skin - treating patients of all ages, from babies and children to adolescents and adultsOnce a skin disease or skin cancer has been diagnosed, the dermatologist will determine the best form of treatment for the patient and that includes topical therapy (creams and lotions), ultraviolet light therapy, photodynamic therapy, laser therapy and/or drug treatment. For more severe cases of skin complications where skin cancers including melanomas have been diagnosed, surgery and/or radiotherapy maybe recommended as the best possible form of treatment. Medical graduates wishing to obtain a specialist qualification in dermatology must have several years of full-time practice and training in a teaching hospital as a junior hospital doctor before s/he is eligible to apply to enter a five-year training program in dermatology. Typically speaking, trainees sit for the Clinical Sciences examinations early in the training program. Approaching the end of the training program, trainees sit both written and oral components of the Fellowship examination. Upon the successful completion and passing of the Fellowship examination, a trainee is recommended for Fellowship of the Australasian College of Dermatologists (FACD). Having gained the FACD, doctors are permitted to commence practicing as a dermatologist but many travel to dermatological centres overseas to gain post-Fellowship training or be involved in clinical and experimental research. Furthermore, dermatologists maintain their professional standards and develop new skills through participation in the College’s continuing professional development program.