dermRounds Dermatology Network

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The Importance of Choosing a Board-Certified Dermatologist

A board-certified dermatologist has gone through four years of training in the specialty, and has passed an exam that evaluates their experience and skill set required to provide accurate diagnoses and quality treatment programs.

But really, what classifies someone as a dermatologist? Let’s take a look at the American Board of Dermatology’s requisites:

“A dermatologist is a physician who is trained to evaluate and treat children and adults with benign and malignant disorders of the skin, hair, nails and adjacent mucous membranes. A dermatologist has had additional training and experience in the following:

  1. The diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers, melanomas, moles, and other tumors of the skin.
  2. The management of contact dermatitis and other inflammatory skin disorders.
  3. The recognition of the skin manifestations of systemic and infectious diseases.
  4. Interpretation of skin biopsies.
  5. Surgical techniques used in dermatology.”

Board-certified dermatologists don’t stop learning after they receive their certification. In fact, they must recertify after a predetermined number of years, a process that includes tests to assess their knowledge and expertise.

Although many non-certified physicians might have a broad understanding of dermatology, their skills are not substantiated until they’ve been vetted and certified by the American Board of Dermatology. Dermatologists need to stay up-to-date with the latest research and protocol, and being certified guarantees they’re current with the best practices.

When seeing a new dermatologist, it’s important to make sure they’re board-certified. Interest or basic experience in dermatology does not indicate they’re capable of evaluating skin conditions or prescribing the correct treatment plan for skin cancers.

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