Considering a career in dermatology? We’re glad to hear it. Medicine and healthcare are highly rewarding fields and within them, there are many different paths. If you have decided to work in dermatology, you may be wondering if a subspecialty is right for you. The kinds and number of subspecialties within dermatology vary across the globe and from state licensing board to state licensing board. According to the American Board of Dermatology, however, there are three main subspecialties applied across the United States:
Pediatric dermatology- This is possibly the most globally recognized dermatology procedure and some of the best dermatologists from Washington DC to San Francisco, CA specialize in this arena. Pediatric dermatologists complete a fellowship in which their skills in treating children and adolescents are honed. Some pediatric dermatologists treat hair, skin and nail conditions for children up to age 18 and sometimes even into the early 20’s, while others focus on adolescents or young children exclusively. Common conditions they may treat include allergic reactions, acne and head lice.
Procedural dermatology- Outside of dermatology, procedural dermatologists (like this Washington DC dermatologist) may go on to do a second residency in surgery, but this is not always the case. Procedural dermatologists are able to treat medical and cosmetic dermatological conditions using special methods and tools such as laser surgery, which may assist in treatments for skin cancer treatment in Washington, DC or in cosmetic injection procedures like Botox.
Dermopathology- Dermopathologists investigate skin conditions and diseases and their roots. Many procedural dermatologists are also dermopathologists, as understanding the pathology of a disease is vital to a successful procedure.
How to Pick a Subspecialty
Consider your influences- What drew you to dermatology in the first place? Were you tortured with acne as a teen? Perhaps you watched a loved one suffer through skin cancer and were grateful to the Rockville MD dermatologist who helped. Looking back on what has made dermatology meaningful can help guide you forward.
Consider your potential patient demographic- Depending on where you live and where you want to live, you may be interested in helping different kinds of people. For instance, the typical client of a dermatologist in Malibu, CA, where there is significant sunshine, may be different from the clients for a dermatologist in Washington, DC. Also, members of different ethnic groups may be prone to different hair, skin and nail conditions and may require different dermatology services. If you want to help a particular community, that may be worth considering when choosing a specialty.
Talk to a specialist- Whether you are looking for a dermatologist in Arlington, VA or Chicago Illinois, the internet is a great way to begin your search for a specialist and find one who is willing to talk.
Do your research- Getting involved in the field, meeting with experts and, of course, using our website as a resource, are always good guidelines for learning more about your field of interest.
Dermatology is a richly diverse and interesting field, whether you are saving lives or giving patients an extra boost of confidence about their appearance. We hope that with the right guidance, we can facilitate your transition into this field.