The Drive to Dermatology Most fields of medicine accommodate to a certain type of client. Pathologists accommodate to patients who have a form of cancer. Pediatric Doctors only suit those under the age of eighteen. Gynecologists can only service women. Dermatologists however, can assist everyone. Dermatology, “is the branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases of the skin, hair, nails, oral cavity and genitals,” (“Dermatology Definition – Medical Dictionary”).
Since every human being has the “largest human organ”, skin, everyone is likely to visit a dermatologist at some point in their existence (Stafford). I am interested in becoming a dermatologist because I would be of assistance to thousands of patients from all walks of life. The dermatology field is quite unique. Dermatologists can specialize in a number of things from pediatric dermatology or cosmetic dermatology to dermapathology. If I were to pursue dermatology I would most likely specialize in pediatric dermatology or dermapathology because I would want to impact other’s lives, rather than just remove someone’s wrinkles.
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I am interested in dermatology itself because I feel that it is an interesting field where I could serve a plethora of people and make their lives more enjoyable. I also see growing opportunity in the field of dermatology. Skin cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the US and 1/5 of Americas have or will have it by the time they die (“Skin Cancer Is The Fastest Growing Cancer In The U. S. “). “The starting salary for a dermatologist is approximately $160, 000” (“Pre-Med and Med Student Online Resource Guide”).
Although that may seem like a lot, it is far less than undergraduate and medical school would cost to become a dermatologist. Other start up costs would be required if one wished to start their own private practice. Private practices “allow dermatologists to set their own schedules, and choose their own benefits and vacation time” (Gottlieb). In addition to private practices dermatologists may also “work at hospitals or private clinics” (Gottlieb). To become a dermatologist one must first graduate high school. No classes re required to be taken to become a dermatologist, but it would be wise to take advanced science and math courses. Next, one must attend a “four year undergraduate college” (“Dermatologist Career Overview”). It would be sensible to major in something having to do with the body, such as biology or pre-med. From there, one would apply to a medical school and earn a bachelor’s degree. After completing a one year internship and a three year residency program, one is finally ready to take the certification exam from the American Board of Dermatology.
After passing the ABD exam one is officially a dermatologist, for the next ten years at least. Dermatologists must be recertified every ten years. Dermatology deals with many fields of sciences including biology, anatomy and physiology, and chemistry. In medical school a dermatology major will be required to take the dreaded organic chemistry, so a strong high school chemistry background is crucial if one wishes to become a dermatologist. Chemistry will continue to be important throughout a dermatologist’s career because most, if not all, skin disorders are corrected by medicines, which contain chemicals.
Although the drive to becoming a dermatologist sounds difficult, If I choose to, I am willing to dedicate myself to twelve plus years of schooling and interning it would take to become a dermatologist. By doing so I would be doing what I love; helping many people of different backgrounds and making their lives more enjoyable and possibly even longer. What is better than getting paid for something you love? Works Cited “Dermatologist Career Overview. ” Your guide to a high school diploma or GED, college degrees & diplomas, and career research for after graduation. 3 Feb. 2009 . Dermatology Definition – Medical Dictionary. 27 May 2004. 23 Feb. 2009 . Gottlieb, Annette J. “Salary Stories: Dermatologist Salary. ” PayScale Blogs. 2 Feb. 2007. 23 Feb. 2009 . “Pre-Med and Med Student Online Resource Guide. ” 23 Feb. 2009 . “Skin Cancer Is The Fastest Growing Cancer In The U. S. ” Cancer Community & Resource Center for People Living With Cancer. 12 Aug. 2008. 23 Feb. 2009 . Stafford, Patti A. “Your Skin: The Largest Organ of the Human Body. ” Associated Content. 24 Apr. 2006. 23 Feb. 2009 .