How To Become A Dermatologist Assistant

Learn what is required to become a Dermatology Assistant. You will find in-depth articles, a full timeline of the training you need and we cover how much those training programs cost and what it takes to get accepted. We also look at the ultimate career goals for Dermatology Assistants and why dermatology is becoming one of the most lucrative healthcare specialties. Outlined below also includes topics on How to become an assistant, How much do dermatologists make annually and much more.

The field of dermatology is a growing, successful career path. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that as many as 1,400 new jobs will be added as a result of this growth by 2022 alone. Dermatologists assistants perform the duties of a practical nurses and an office manager. Their main focus is to aid dermatologists in patient care and management so they can take care of other important duties, such as billing and other necessities for a medical practice.

What is a dermatologist assistant?

A dermatologist assistant is a physician assistant who works with dermatology patients to diagnose and treat skin conditions, such as with cancer screenings and biopsies of the skin. They also assist in cosmetic procedures like chemical peels, dermabrasion and tattoo removal. A professional in this role is supervised by a licensed dermatologist in a medical office or clinical setting, examining patients’ skin issues that may include acne, eczema, rosacea and other skin conditions.

Other tasks a dermatologist assistant may perform include:

  • Office administration duties, including clerical work
  • Assisting dermatologists with procedures like patch testing and phototherapy
  • Consulting and updating patients’ medical charts
  • Administering medications
  • Providing advice and recommendations to patients regarding care plans

How To Become A Dermatologist Assistant

Steps to Becoming a Dermatologist Assistant

Step 1: Complete the Necessary Educational Requirements

As a specialized physician’s assistant (PA), a dermatologist’s assistant typically requires a master’s degree in physician assistant studies. Students entering these programs already hold bachelor’s degrees and may have some experience in health care areas. Studying to become a PA allows prospective dermatologists’ assistants to learn rudimentary duties, such as examining and treating patients, ordering and interpreting laboratory tests, taking patient medical histories and making proper diagnoses.

Since dermatologists diagnose and treat conditions of the skin, it is important that those interested in becoming dermatologists’ assistants receive training specific to the field. Some schools offer master’s degree programs in PA studies with specialized electives in dermatology. Master-level curricula usually include clinical rotations or internship opportunities that allow PAs to train under the supervision of dermatologists in medical schools, universities or teaching hospitals. In additional to dermatology, students participate in clinical rotations in pediatrics, emergency medicine, surgery and many others areas of medicine. Students also complete classroom training in ethics, medical law and clinical decision making.

Success Tip:
  • Develop interpersonal skills. Dermatologists’ assistants work with patients on a daily basis and must have strong communication and interpersonal skills in order to provide the best treatment. Assistants are typically drawn to the professional by their desire to help people and care for patients; they can use their time in clinical rotations to become more comfortable with patients so that they may better serve them.

Step 2: Obtain Licensure

All states require physician assistant practitioners to obtain licensure by passing the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). Graduation from an accredited PA program is required in all states, though additional state regulations vary. The test covers areas in medical procedures, diagnostics testing, medications and patient care. Assistants can use the designations ‘Physician Assistant-Certified’ after successfully completing the examination.

Step 3: Maintain Licensure

Keeping one’s license current is mandatory to stay employed in the field. Dermatologists’ assistants must complete and track 100 continuing medical education hours every 2 years in order to maintain licensure. The NCCPA also requires retesting every 6 years to maintain the credential.

dermatology assistant salary

How to Become a Dermatologist Assistant (3 STEPS)? - Grants for Medical

As of Jan 14, 2022, the average annual pay for a Medical Assistant Dermatology in the United States is $34,171 a year.

Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $16.43 an hour. This is the equivalent of $657/week or $2,848/month.

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $45,500 and as low as $23,500, the majority of Medical Assistant Dermatology salaries currently range between $31,500 (25th percentile) to $36,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $40,500 annually across the United States. The average pay range for a Medical Assistant Dermatology varies little (about $5,000), which suggests that regardless of location, there are not many opportunities for increased pay or advancement, even with several years of experience.

What are Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Medical Assistant Dermatology Jobs

We’ve identified 10 cities where the typical salary for a Medical Assistant Dermatology job is above the national average. Topping the list is San Mateo, CA, with Berkeley, CA and Daly City, CA close behind in the second and third positions. Daly City, CA beats the national average by $7,122 (20.8%), and San Mateo, CA furthers that trend with another $8,640 (25.3%) above the $34,171 average.

Importantly, San Mateo, CA has a moderately active Medical Assistant Dermatology job market with only a few companies currently hiring for this type of role.

With these 10 cities having average salaries higher than the national average, the opportunities for economic advancement by changing locations as a Medical Assistant Dermatology appears to be exceedingly fruitful.

Finally, another factor to consider is the average salary for these top ten cities varies very little at 11% between San Mateo, CA and New Haven, CT, reinforcing the limited potential for much wage advancement. The possibility of a lower cost of living may be the best factor to use when considering location and salary for a Medical Assistant Dermatology role.

CityAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
San Mateo, CA$42,812$3,568$823$20.58
Berkeley, CA$41,409$3,451$796$19.91
Daly City, CA$41,293$3,441$794$19.85
Richmond, CA$40,111$3,343$771$19.28
Stamford, CT$39,057$3,255$751$18.78
Bellevue, WA$38,956$3,246$749$18.73
Brooklyn, NY$38,396$3,200$738$18.46
San Francisco, CA$38,342$3,195$737$18.43
Knik-Fairview, AK$38,281$3,190$736$18.40
New Haven, CT$38,056$3,171$732$18.30

how many years to become a dermatologist assistant?

Dermatologist assistants are required to hold a master’s degree in physician assistant studies. This education includes classroom-based learning of subjects related to medical law and ethics, clinical decision-making and other relevant subjects. It also includes internships or clinical training rotations in emergency medicine, pediatrics and other areas of patient care. The process typically takes approximately six years, beginning with earning a bachelor’s degree and moving on to earning a master’s degree and completing clinical rotations.

Career Requirements

Degree LevelMaster’s degree is required
Degree FieldPhysician’s assistant education programs
LicensureLicensure is necessary in all states
ExperienceNo prior experience is necessary to enter the field, though many individuals have some health care experience
Key SkillsMust be compassionate, emotionally stable and detail oriented, familiarity with medical recordkeeping, teleconferencing, word processing and spreadsheet software programs
Salary (2014)$95,820 yearly (median for all physician assistants)

Skills required to be a dermatologist assistant

Being a dermatologist assistant requires a range of skills, including:

  • Interpersonal skills: Working with patients and other medical staff regularly requires strong communication and interaction skills to provide the best patient care.
  • Technical skills: This occupation requires a basic comprehension of medical recordkeeping, electronic communication methods, databases and spreadsheet programs.
  • Attention to detail: Dermatologist assistants must be fully aware of any possibility for drug interactions, allergic reactions or other adverse effects caused by overlooking even the smallest detail in a patient’s chart or diagnosis.
  • Professionalism: In a medical profession, it is highly important to possess an innate sense of professionalism when speaking with patients regarding their medical care. Providing the facts paired with a professional level of empathy helps patients understand their diagnoses and take proper action to get better.
  • Critical thinking: The ability to remain objective and make informed decisions is crucial to this profession. Using logic and reasoning with the resources available enables these medical professionals to make decisions that best serve patients’ needs.
  • Communication: Dermatology calls for excellence in written and verbal communication, as clarity and understanding is necessary when interacting with nurses, doctors and patients.

Certifications & Proficiency

Gaining the certification to become a PA – essential to being a dermatology assistant – requires at least six years of formal education.

Successful candidates will flourish in the structured, disciplined programs required to advance in the field. Basic certifications are:

  • Bachelor of Science (BS)
  • Master of Science (MA), ARC-PA accredited program
  • Physician Assistant certification, Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination
  • Maintenance: 100 hours of continuing medical education (CME) every two years
  • Recertification exam every 10 years
  • State certification and licenses: will vary by state

how to become a dermatologist assistant uk

Dermatology continues to be a popular career choice for many medical graduates. With an ageing population and an increasing incidence of skin cancer, the need for Dermatologists in the UK is higher than ever.

Whether you have already trained in Dermatology overseas, or you are interested in entering Dermatology training in the UK, this comprehensive guide will discuss your options for a clinical career in this specialty in the UK.

Be aware that entering UK Dermatology training is highly competitive, however, with hard work and a clear strategy, it is certainly possible for an IMG to get a place in the UK Dermatology residency programme.

The steps to work in the UK

These are the general steps for an IMG to work in the UK as a Dermatologist:

  1. Understand the UK Dermatology training pathway
  2. Determine your long-term goal
  3. Get registered with the GMC
  4. Find a suitable job
  5. Obtain a work visa
  6. Start work

It is possible to do steps 2 & 3 simultaneously depending on the type of job. It is also possible to interchange steps 2 and 3 by finding a job first, and obtaining GMC registration after you’ve received a job offer as long as the employer agrees to this in advance.

The UK Dermatology training pathway

Whether you plan to enter the UK training pathway or not, it’s important to understand the pathway so you have an idea of what it takes to become a recognised UK Consultant Dermatologist.

Dermatology training in the UK is currently 4 years long, however, to start Dermatology training, you must have a minimum of 4 years postgraduate clinical experience plus a relevant postgraduate qualification.

For UK doctors, this consists of the following:

  • 2 years UK Foundation Programme
  • Plus Core training (ONE of the following programmes): 
    • 2-3 years Internal Medicine + MRCP* OR
    • 3 years Acute Medicine + MRCP OR
    • 3 years Paediatrics + 1 year in adult Internal Medicine + MRCPCH**

For IMGs, it can look a little different. We’ll go into the possible alternatives a bit later.

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