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What is a Dermatologist?

Dermatologist in Murrumbeena, VIC

What is a Dermatologist?

A Specialist Dermatologist is a Specialist Medical Doctor, who has undertaken further training after a university degree, to diagnose and manage diseases of the skin, hair and nails. After medical school (on average six years), Dermatologists must work for at least two years in the public hospital service. During these years of Internship and Residency, they gain experience in a range of medical and surgical specialties such as a General Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Paediatric Medicine, General and Plastic Surgery. This is all prior to gaining entrance onto the Dermatology training program.

The Australasian College of Dermatologists Training Program is a four-year program, during which trainees rotate through major public hospitals and provide on call, outpatient and inpatient services. The program is busy and onerous. In some cases, Dermatology trainees are selected to undertake part of their training overseas e.g. England. It is only on successful completion of all professional and training requirements that a doctor can be referred to as a specialist Dermatologist or Skin Specialist. It takes on average 12 years of medical training to become a Dermatologist.

Dermatologists are the only specialists who are entitled to have the letters FACD after their name, indicating that they are Fellows of the Australasian College of Dermatologists. They are the most highly-qualified medical specialists to assess you and your skin, and provide expert treatment. Other practitioners are may refer to themselves as ‘skin doctors’, ‘skin specialists’ or ‘cosmetic physicians’ – which can be confusing and deceptive.

When choosing a specialist Dermatologist, you must always check the qualifications of the practitioner and check their credentials on the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA) website.

Dermatologists are highly trained in the diagnosis and management of all skin, hair and nail disorders in patients of all ages, gender, race and skin-type. This includes common presentations such as skin cancers such as melanoma, acne and rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, ageing skin and other cosmetic problems. Dermatologists are amongst the most highly qualified specialists who use medicine, surgery and laser to effectively treat all skin conditions.

Dr Ryan De Cruz Dermatologist and Skin Specialist

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