Nature of the work
Dermatology is the study and treatment of skin
disease and is a fascinating career choice. Skin disease is
incredibly common, accounting for approximately 15 per cent of GP
consultations, and the number of possible dermatological diagnoses
has been estimated at 3000, each of which can present in numerous
Working in dermatology
Every clinic is different, and the many
different types of skin disease ensures a diverse working life.
Within the hospital setting, dermatologists are often consulted
with regards to patients under the care of other specialists. They
also jointly manage patients.
Given the current observed increases in skin
cancer and inflammatory conditions like eczema, there is no doubt
that dermatology will expand in the future. There will be an
ongoing need to have secondary-care-based dermatology clinics and
Surgery is an important part of practice, with
most dermatologists having at least one theatre list per week. A
surgical list can be just as varied as a clinic and will typically
- Excision of cutaneous malignancies.
- Shave excision or curettage of benign tumours.
- Cautery of vascular lesions.
- Diagnostic biopsies of rashes.
Associated sub specialties
There are an increasing number of sub
specialties, with opportunities to develop a particular interest in
areas such as skin surgery, paediatric dermatology and occupational
dermatology. There are options in sub-specialty training to have a
post which is:
- Surgically orientated.
- Involved with investigation and treatment of allergic
- Paediatrics based.
- Involved with phototherapy/photobiology.
Specialist dermatology training allows
exposure to all these potential sub specialties in addition to
dermatopathology, infectious conditions and the use of lasers.
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