A dermatologist is a medical doctor with specialty training. After an undergraduate degree (4 years) and medical school (4 years) we spend 5 years in an accredited dermatology residency program, learning all about skin health and disease. Like all specialist physicians in Canada, we pass a rigorous examination process to earn the designation “FRCPC”, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada. This amounts to 13 or more years of post-secondary training.
Dermatology is an exciting field, in that we deal with the body’s largest and most visible organ. This means that a trained eye can make diagnoses by reading the skin, often without invasive testing. There is a tremendous amount of preventive health in what we do, from skin cancer screening and early detection, to helping people age well, so that what they see in the mirror reflects how vibrant they feel on the inside.
As a medical and cosmetic dermatologist, I divide my time between general medical dermatology and cosmetic dermatology, and I am constantly reminded of how connected these two facets of my practice are. Unlike some medical conditions which patients can keep private, dermatologic disease is often in the public eye, thus presenting not just a health concern but an aesthetic concern as well. For the cosmetic consultation, the health of the patient and their skin always comes first, and we build upon this with our ability to prevent, rejuvenate and enhance.
Do all dermatologists perform cosmetic treatments?
Most dermatologists do some form of cosmetic treatments, such as removal of unwanted moles and skin tags, but not all perform the full range of injectable (Botox, filler, belkyra etc) and laser procedures available or carry skincare. Similarly, not all cosmetic dermatologists have a full medical practice. This is the wonderful thing about our specialty- we treat such a wide range of conditions that we can each tailor our practice to our interests and skill set.
Stay tuned for more information about how to manage common skin problems and the latest in the world of aesthetic medicine.