The majority of dermatologists practice in a private setting — either in a single speciality or multi-specialty group. However, a small percentage work in an academic setting alongside or within a university or academic institution.
Here are the reasons why academic dermatologists love what they do:
They love teaching the next generation of dermatologist and doctors. Academic dermatologists may work with medical students, dermatology residents, and residents of other fields. Academic dermatologist have the opportunity to share their professional knowledge with aspiring doctors.
They love research. Academic dermatologists may work on specialized research projects within a supportive clinical environment. They will contribute to furthering the field of dermatology through their research.
They love to communicate their knowledge. Doing research, contributing to the field and study of dermatology also requires academics to write up their findings and seek publication and presentations at medical conferences. Academic dermatologists may become national or worldwide experts in a certain field of study — allowing them to travel and reach a broader audience with their knowledge.
They love to specialize. Working within an institution allows dermatologists to more readily pursue a certain clinical niches — for example, an academic dermatologist may become a hair expert and run a hair clinic.
They love the support that comes with working at an academic institution. Academic settings come with a plethora of resources — medical libraries, engaged colleagues, and even funding opportunities and support for grant writing. Academic dermatologists can take advantage of these core resources to support their area of study.
Of course, dermatologists who work in private practices can accomplish some of these same goals, but there will most likely be less support, resources and structure for it. Research and specialization may have to be done on the side or after hours. If you love to share your knowledge, do research, and work in collaborative setting, academic dermatology may be right for you.