How to be a Dermatologist

A dermatologist is a medical doctor who treats skin-related problems and diseases.  A dermatologist diagnoses skin problems and treats them with medication or any procedure if required. In dermatology, the surgical procedures are generally minor. That is done mostly on the skin, for example, for treatment of moles, warts, or skin biopsy. All these treatments fall under medical treatment. Therefore, it requires proper education and training to be a dermatologist.

 One can study dermatology at the BS level or do an MS in dermatology after MBBS. With MBBS, a dermatologist is ranked higher because many skin problems are just indicators of some underlying medical issue. A dermatologist can give a better diagnosis in such cases. With a BS in dermatology, a dermatologist cannot earn the status of a medical doctor. In this article, we will guide you on how to be a dermatologist with proper information and a course of action.

List of steps to becoming a dermatologist

  • Higher Secondary School Certificate (FSc/O levels/IGCSE) in pre-medical  with minimum 60% marks
  • MDCAT: entry exam for doing MBBS; entry exam for BS-Dermatology
  • MBBS/ BS-Dermatology
  • MS/MD-Derma after MBBS

Quick Facts

Career TitleDermatologist
Degree RequirementsMS/MD-Dermatology After  MBBS/BS-Dermatology after FSc-pre-medical
Job Growth (2019-2029)7%
Avg. Monthly Salary60k–250k PKR
Experience Required2 years Minimum
Years to become a Chartered Accountant4-7 years
Useful SkillsSkin problem diagnosis and treatment

What does a Dermatologist do?

A dermatologist is a professional who deals with skin problems, their diagnosis, and treatment. Briefly, a dermatologist can

  • Diagnose a skin problem
  • Prescribe a treatment
  • Guide about the problem
  • Diagnose if there is any other underlying medical issue
  • Refer to other related doctors in case of some underlying medical issue
  • Guide the patient about general skincare
  • Guide to skincare preventive measures

Steps to Becoming a Dermatologist

  • Complete HSSC (FScPre-medical) or equivalent education

The first prerequisite for becoming a dermatologist is to complete FSc/O-levels or IGCSE, and the subjects should be pre-medical. If you are studying O-levels or IGCSE, keep in mind to opt for the subjects that are prerequisites for MBBS or BS-Derma. Especially, if you are residing outside Pakistan, always check well before the subject to avoid time loss.

  • MDCAT: Entry Exam for medical College or University entry exam for BS- Derma

You have to go through the MDCAT and clear it if you are planning to go for an MBBS as a dermatologist After the MDCAT, merit lists are declared for which the following formula has been used:

F.Sc. pre-medical/equivalent — 50% marks

PMC MDACT entrance exam— 50% marks

However, in the case of doing BS-Dermatology, you still need to clear the entrance exam of the university you have applied for. All universities, offering BS-Dermatology, may have some differences in the merit compilation formula. You must check it beforehand from the site/office of the university.

  • MBBS/BS- Dermatology

After getting admission to a medical college, it will take a minimum of 4 years to complete MBBS. Then after one year of training in a house job, you can join further studies in dermatology.

In another option of BS Dermatology, you will complete your 4 years of education to earn the degree of dermatology. However, you can further study dermatology to gain more knowledge and experience.

  • MS/MD (Dermatology)

After MBBS, you will join an MS or MD in dermatology to carry on your career as a dermatologist. It will include higher-level studies with practical knowledge and training in hospitals. Further, it can be carried forward to FCPS/FRCS for specialization.

After a BS in dermatology, you can go for an MS and Ph.D. for higher studies and make a prominent place in the career of dermatology.

Scope of Dermatologists in Pakistan

There is good scope for a dermatologist in Pakistan due to increasing awareness in the general public. Nowadays, people are more conscious about their self-grooming and skincare. This has made people go to the professionals who are fully trained and educated in the field of dermatology. Dermatologists have a good scope in government and private hospitals with good packages and practices. Even a dermatologist can practice in a private clinic and earn a hefty amount due to skincare awareness in the general public.

Besides, the cosmetic industry and the pharmaceutical industry have good scope for the dermatologist. The cosmetic industry always prefers dermatologists to support its research department with appropriate knowledge and experience. There is good scope for a dermatologist in the faculty of professional colleges and universities. In these educational and professional institutes, you may get good salary packages and respectful status.

A Dermatologist’s Salary 

The salary of a dermatologist has a different range with the difference of experience and associated degrees. A dermatologist at the junior level earns in the range of 65k-120k PKR on a monthly basis. However, a dermatologist at the senior level may earn more due to experience and specialized degrees. Generally, it has been calculated that a dermatologist at the senior level can earn in the range of 150k-300k PKR on a monthly basis. 

Job Growth for a Dermatologist

Now people are more aware of personal grooming and this has led them to consult a professional dermatologist more often. This trend has been creating more vacancies for dermatologists every year. Hence, it is quite obvious that dermatology has a good job growth ratio in this decade.  According to international research, dermatologists’ demand has been growing by 7% per year. Therefore, the market is ready to absorb more dermatologists every year.

Career Concentration

A dermatologist seems to work only as a skin expert however there are still some other departments that can absorb dermatologists easily.

  • Professional Faculty

The professional colleges and universities, where the dermatology department exists, offer good places for dermatologists. They need professionals to work as faculty members to teach and train future dermatologists. Professional colleges and universities offer good packages to their professional faculty members.

  • Research & Development Institute

Research and development departments of the cosmetic industry always welcome dermatologists to get professional assistance while researching their cosmetics. Cosmetic dermatology is itself a prominent department though.

  • Fashion Industry

The fashion industry is a fusion of beauty and glamor; therefore they always need the professional assistance of a dermatologist.  Generally, it is thought to be a beautician’s place, but they always require dermatologists to have professional and medical help in time. 

Standout Skills Required for a Dermatologist

Dermatologists are considered to simply give professional advice however it is a tough job. Dermatologists have to meet different people with different backgrounds daily. Therefore they must possess some skills to handle such a flux of people and those are listed below:

  •  Good communication skills

It can be tough work to guide people about their skin problems. Therefore strong communication skills are required for a dermatologist to communicate with different types of people.

  • Public dealing 

    Public dealing is a skill that is highly needed for a           dermatologist because he/she has to deal with a lot of people daily. This skill will enable a dermatologist to tackle different situations within his/her professional limits.

  • Awareness of new research

There is a lot of research going on internationally in dermatology and a dermatologist must have an interest in knowing all the current research. It is necessary to enhance his/her professional skills.

  • Empathy 

A dermatologist must have empathy to feel for people with serious skin issues. Otherwise, the patients may feel detached from him/her and never like to get treated by him/her.