What makes a good dermatologist?
Dermatologists treat not only the skin, but also the nails and hair. They diagnose diseases, perform surgery and prescribe and administer treatments. Some dermatologists also perform cosmetic work, including botox injections, skin peels or dermabrasion. Dermatologists need special abilities to work closely with other people, master rigorous studies and pursue a demanding career.
Dermatologists need the ability to work well in close contact with others and to communicate well when advising and counseling patients. They need emotional stability and the desire to help others. Superior stamina and good health are necessary to withstand the rigors of medical training and to work many hours in a medical practice. They need good eyesight and manual dexterity to perform many hands-on procedures, including biopsies, skin surgery and the application of topical agents.
Prospective dermatologists need strong academic ability in math and English. They must have the ability to master difficult science classes, including chemistry, physics, biology, pathology, anatomy and microbiology. They also need good study habits and strong problem-solving skills.
Education and Training
Dermatologists must complete a four-year bachelor degree followed by four years of medical school. They need a year of residency in a specialty such as family practice or general surgery, plus a three-year accredited residency in dermatology. Similar to all physicians, they also must pass the medical licensing exams required by their state. Following their residency, they can pursue board certification from the American Board of Dermatology by passing an exam and fulfilling work requirements. The dermatology board also requires follow-up examinations every 10 years to stay certified.
What do dermatologists do?
All the dermatologists have specialization in-:
They are the experts as well as trusted persons who have the ability to manage all the worst problems of any type of patient such as hair, skin, and nail-related.
They also have specialization-:
- To prevent you from early signs of skin cancer
- to improve your skin’s appearance and give you too soft skin by treating discolorations, aging effects, and certain other skin problems.
Specialties and Experience
No doctor can understand the problem or situation if he does not have enough knowledge and experience in the field. And the treatment of the problem completely depends on the understanding of doctor about the problem. If a doctor cannot understand the problem, the treatment for that problem will be difficult for him. So a dermatologist should have the required specialties and experience to treat his patients.
A dermatologist should always have the impressive credentials and relevant education system to be a competent doctor. He must have a degree in medicine and then he should have specialized courses of the dermatology for better understanding. The more knowledge he has about his field the more effectively he would be able to treat his patients. Doctors who have impressive grades throughout their education system has better placement for residency and then ultimately becomes the more competent doctor at the end.
Qualities Patients Are Looking for In a Dermatologist
Acquiring a formal education in dermatology is an essential first step in your career, but it doesn’t automatically guarantee that you’ll be a successful practitioner. Sure—you know how to diagnose and treat a wide variety of skin conditions and diseases, but that skill loses its value without patients. Without patients seeking your advice as a medical professional, you can’t build a lively practice, grow your experience in a subspecialty of dermatology, or inspire people to take an interest in their health.
Creating happy, healthy patients that respect your opinion as a skin expert and eagerly refer their friends and family to you requires an ability to cultivate interpersonal skills. Many factors influence one’s ability to provide the best care possible. However, in general, a successful dermatologist strives to display these five qualities as often as possible:
Strong Communication Skills
First, you need to cultivate strong communication skills. Understanding your patients and addressing their needs is vital to building a lifelong career as a dermatologist.
A dermatologist with strong communication skills will:
- Practice active listening.
- Treat the patient as a partner in creating and implementing a treatment plan.
- Avoid overly technical terms or phrases that may confuse patients.
- Maintain an approachable and easy-to-talk-to relationship with patients.
- Use a warm, conversational tone when addressing patients.
Maintaining a non-judgemental, open relationship with patients encourages them to feel safe and willing to share honest information with you that could impact their treatment plan.
A caring personality makes an enormous impact on patients. Patients often feel anxious or insecure about seeking medical treatment, so finding a dermatologist who sees patients as a whole person (and not just another name on their schedule) is a big deal to most people.
Working in the medical field is rewarding but also highly stressful. Having a healthy self-care routine reduces your stress level and allows you to approach patients with compassion and genuine concern for their health—which is why you entered this field in the first place, right?
A patient that feels valued and genuinely supported by their doctor is more likely to stick to a treatment plan, make follow-up visits, and have a positive experience that they will then share with others.
Doctors are busy. However, doctors who make themselves readily-accessible have much happier patients than those who don’t. The location of your practice and the nature of the work you do will impact how accessible you are to your clients. For example, if you practice cosmetic dermatology in the heart of New York City, it’s going to be extremely difficult to get an appointment with you on relatively short notice.
If this kind of environment works for you, that’s great! If not, you need to determine the values and goals that are most important in your dermatology career and make a move to a more supportive environment that allows you to be more accessible to your patients.
Provides Thorough Visits
Some people talk in length, explaining symptoms and concerns. However, for the most part, patients want to share their concerns without merely feeling like a to-do list item their doctor can’t wait to check off his/her list for the day.
Doing your best not to rush patients through their visit goes a long way. A patient doesn’t know what is essential and what isn’t when describing their symptoms—which is why they came to see you. Pay attention to details, even if they don’t impact the diagnosis or treatment plan.
As a dermatologist, you will examine moles, acne spots, wounds, and much more. You need a vast medical knowledge to answer questions, make accurate diagnoses, and formulate treatment plans. However, your time and attentiveness are just as valuable to your patients as your expertise.
Genuine Medical Care
Don’t worry—your schooling wasn’t a waste of time! Patients do care that you have a degree and were thoroughly trained to be a dermatologist. They want to know you are an expert on skincare and disease.
Your patients feel most supported if their doctor:
Advocates for their needs.
Takes their concerns seriously.
Informs them of a variety of treatment options and work with them to choose the right one.
As a dermatologist, your medical knowledge is vital. However, providing genuine care and concern for your patients alongside that knowledge makes your work more meaningful.