You must have wondered how those celebrities and models get their beautiful skin tone and flawless appearance. One big reason is their dermatologist. A profession that has been prospering over the years, the demand for a good dermatologist is ever-growing.
As more and more people come in with their skin problems, you’ll be busy all day as a qualified dermatologist. On top of it, there are people obsessed with skin enhancements to look more attractive. They are ready to approach professional help and pay the amount.
If you’re looking into becoming a dermatologist in Australia and how much a dermatologist earns in Australia, you should read on further.
1. Who is a Dermatologist?
In layman’s terms, a dermatologist is a skin doctor. They will diagnose, prevent, and treat conditions related to skin, nails, hair, oil and sweat glands, mucous membranes that may include cancer.
A dermatologist can detect and treat more than 3,000 skin and related conditions like skin cancer, psoriasis, eczema, etc. They can also guide and advise on cosmetic issues and help patients rejuvenate their skin, nails, and hair appearance.
The Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD) is the only college in Australia accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) that trains dermatologists. Dermatologists in Australia use FACD after their name to indicate they have a Fellowship of the Australasian College of Dermatologists.
2. What Does a Dermatologist Do?
A dermatologist will conduct cosmetic routines on their patients for beauty or skin treatment purposes. It includes treating skin, nails, hair, and most exposed skin parts.
A dermatologist primarily treats skin problems from sun exposure like squamous cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma, and basal cell carcinoma in Australia. Some dermatologists even offer to counsel those with skin conditions, while others work with beauty brands in their R&D department.
Since your skin plays a significant role in exterior appearance, contributing heavily to your self-esteem, it makes dermatologists a high-demanding job.
3. Major Tasks and Duties of a Dermatologist
The following are the general tasks and duties of a dermatologist in Australia.
Identify and treat skin infections, diseases, and cancer.
Perform cosmetic treatments like chemical peel, dermabrasion, microdermabrasion.
Assess the patient's skin condition.
Advice patients on available treatments for their condition.
Conduct laser treatments and skin grafts.
Monitor how effective the skin treatment is.
4. Steps to Become a Dermatologist in Australia
If you’re wondering how to become a dermatology assistant Australia, there are two ways to do so:
Through high school
Graduate entry program
Step 1: Through high school
You need to gain the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with good results. The subjects you’ll need to earn with the certificate are biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and English.
Once you complete your high school with the certificate, you can file your entrance into a medical school in Australia for a four-year degree. You must check with the university or universities to enquire about the entry requirements. These requirements may include:
UCAT: You may have to register and appear in the UCAT (Undergraduate Clinical Aptitude Test) and pass with a good score.
Interview: Some universities may conduct entrance interviews for students to admit them into medical schools.
Graduation from a medical school in Australia takes around four to six years to complete. But if you have a provisional entrance in medicine after high school, you can gain a two year accelerated undergraduate degree before you get into medical school. This way, you will have a two year accelerated biomedical science/health science degree followed by a four-year medical degree.
Step 2: Graduate entry program
If you’re applying through a graduate-entry program, you need to hold a bachelor’s degree first. You can enquire with the university on how to apply and understand the entry requirements for university graduates.
GAMSAT: You may have to register and appear in the GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test) and pass with a good score.
GPA: The University may consider your GPA (Grade Point Average) as a part of entry criteria. The GPA is the average grade you achieved in your undergraduate university degree (seven is the highest).
Interview: The University may also consider an interview round to grant students entry into the medical school.
Generally, you will complete your medical degree in four years if you enter as a university graduate.
A medical degree in Australia will last between four to six years, depending upon where you’re coming from, as a university graduate or undergraduate.
Once you complete your accelerated program that is two years long, you can enter a medical school and take another four years to complete.
Once you graduate from medical school, you need to complete an internship program. The internship period lasts for a year, where you complete a specific number of rotations in different departments within a hospital.
The residency program involves more rotations within the hospital, where some residents complete it in one year while others take more time. Depending on their plan, a student can choose to enter any vocational training program.
Fellowship of The Australasian College of Dermatologists: The vocational training will take you another four years to complete your FACD (Fellowship of The Australasian College of Dermatologists).
The Australasian College of Dermatologists is the only place in Australia to offer state-accredited dermatologist certification. It is the only institution to be recognized by the Australian Medical Council.
On the other hand, if you have attained medical qualifications from another country, you still have to face an assessment process from the Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD). Depending upon your assessment, you may have to accept further upskilling.
The Medical Board of Australia directs all international medical graduates to apply to the ACD directly for assessment to compare with an Australian trained dermatologist.
5. What are the Skills Required as a Dermatologist?
After completing your fellowship from the Australasian College of Dermatologists, you must possess specific skills to become a thorough dermatologist.
You will require these skills during your daily dealing with your patients:
Proper communication skills
To become a competent dermatologist, you need effective communication skills. Good communications skills will allow you to:
Be warm, caring, and conversational with your patients.
Use fewer medical terms so that you don’t confuse your patients during conversations.
Treat your patients like a partner during treatment planning and implementation.
Listen more to your patients.
When you keep an open, non-judgmental relationship with your patients, it makes them feel safer and share deeper information. This way, you will be able to offer a better and accurate treatment plan for them.
Proper medical care
While you must have thorough medical knowledge as a dermatologist, you still need to show genuine concern and care for your patients. The complete medical knowledge with your caring and friendly nature towards your patients will make you a successful dermatologist.
There is no hiding the fact that doctors in a hospital are always busy. But when you make time for your patients, and they can reach you readily, it forms a lasting patient-doctor relationship. Where you practice and your job’s nature will also determine how accessible you will be to your patients.
Often, patients feel reluctant and insecure when it comes to seeking medical treatment. If a dermatologist shows compassion and a caring attitude, it can help win a patient’s trust and, thus, be open towards medical treatment.
Your caring personality will aid a patient in approaching the medical treatment and stick to it. It means a happy patient will most likely recommend you to their friends and family members. They will also book appointments for follow-up visits and have an overall positive experience.
6. What Does a Dermatologist Generally Study?
Apart from the subjects covered in the medical school when studying, a dermatologist must also explore the following areas. These areas or subjects might not be linked to the profession at the moment, but they will prove beneficial further down the road.
7. How Much Does it Cost to Study Dermatology in Australia?
The cost of all medical programs in Australia varies from university to university and the program a student wants to pursue. You can calculate the tuition fees for Australian universities as per unit of credit (UOC). It means a medical student will pay tuition fees depending on whether they are a domestic or international student and their course type (postgraduate, undergraduate, or research).
The cost of gaining a dermatology degree in Australia is at par with the USA and the UK. But the living cost for students in Australia is much cheaper when compared to other countries, especially for international students.
Most medical undergraduate programs in Australia have tuition fees ranging from AU$57,760 to AU$71,488 per year. It is one of the reasons why Australian medical universities are a popular choice for international students.
8. Understanding the Difference Between a Dermatologist and a Plastic Surgeon
The two professions operate on the same human physical characteristics, i.e., the skin. A dermatologist and a plastic surgeon will conduct cosmetic procedures and liposuction to treat skin problems. But there is still a lot of difference between the two.
A dermatologist will diagnose and treat minor illnesses like autoimmune disorders, cancers, chronic acne, and sexually transmitted diseases. They mainly deal with conditions related to skin, nails, hairs, and mucous membranes. A dermatologist can perform minor skin surgeries but also prescribe non-surgical treatments through medications and drugs.
A plastic surgeon, on the other hand, performs cosmetic treatments like liposuction and breast augmentation. Other treatments also include reconstructive skin surgeries for congenital disability correction, burns, or injury repairs.
9. How Much Does a Dermatologist Earn in Australia?
Currently, dermatologists are among the highest paying jobs in Australia. The average salary of a dermatologist who has experience between one to four years is AU$103,762 per year. At the same time, a dermatologist who has spent five to nine years in practice makes an average salary of AU$106,970 per year.
Now that you understand everything about how to become a dermatologist in Australia, you are ready to embark on this journey and make a fulfilling career in dermatology.
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