How to Become a Dermatologist Assistant
Everyone wants smooth, youthful skin. Cosmetic science has advanced by leaps and bounds in the past few decades.
Increasing numbers of men and women report blemished and spotted skin and look for dermatologists’ help to treat their skin conditions.
A report published by Statista on the most popular skin treatments provided in the US lists energy-based skin smoothening treatments at the top, with well over 4 million such procedures performed in the US.
This was followed closely by skin cancer treatment, with over 3.5 million patients being treated annually by dermatologists and their expert assistants.
If you, too, wish to become a dermatologist assistant and have a passion for helping boost someone’s self-confidence by improving their skin, then this article will be extremely helpful for you.
Here, you will learn everything you need to know about what exactly a dermatologist assistant is.
We have also covered the average pay of a certified dermatologist assistant in the US and the skills and steps required to become one.
What Does a Dermatologist Assistant Do
A dermatologist assistant is tasked with diagnosing and treating patients’ skin conditions under the supervision of an experienced and certified dermatologist.
They are also responsible for assisting dermatologists in cosmetic skin treatments, such as tattoo removal, Dermabrasion and chemical peel.
A licensed dermatologist supervises the assistant in medical settings to prepare them to examine patients’ skin samples and identify different skin conditions accordingly.
Additionally, you may also be required to:
- Perform administrative duties in the clinic, such as clerical work
- Assist dermatologists in performing treatment procedures, such as phototherapy or patch testing
- Consult and update patients’ medical charts
- Administer medication
- Provide advice and referrals to patients about the existing treatment plan
How Much Does a Dermatologist Assistant Earn on Average
Working as a dermatologist assistant is not only exciting but also very lucrative. The national average salary of a dermatologist assistant is around $125,015 but may vary greatly depending on the type, size, location and experience of working in a healthcare facility.
A certified assistant can earn as much as $113,000 annually. (Source: glassdoor.com)
What are the Skills Required to Become a Dermatologist Assistant
These are some of the most important skills that are sought in an aspiring dermatologist assistant by the medical school and certification board:
You should have strong communication skills as it helps work with patients and medical staff more efficiently and ensures optimal patient care.
You should know the basics of medical record-keeping, database and spreadsheet management, and electronic communication methods.
Eye for detail
Aspiring dermatologist assistants should be the type that pays attention to detail. This way, you can quickly identify potential drug reactions, allergic reactions and other adverse effects that may arise due to insufficient examination of the patient’s condition or diagnosis.
You should be objective to make informed decisions. This is highly crucial to the profession.
Using logic and reasoning to implement the available resources most efficiently is a handy and crucial skill for aspiring dermatologist assistants.
A natural sense of professionalism is also sought in this profession. Medical care requires having professionalism ingrained in your behavior as it helps to soothe the patients.
Patients feel better when you provide them with facts with a hint of professional empathy.
Let’s take a detailed look at the simple steps to become a dermatologist assistant:
Step 1 – Earn your educational degrees
Once you earn your bachelor’s degree (preferably in science-related subjects), you must apply for a master’s degree in physician assistant studies.
This master’s degree involves theory classes for medical ethics and lay, clinical decision-making, and other subjects.
This degree also provides internships or clinical rotations for training in pediatrics, emergency medicine, and other aspects of patient care.
This course usually takes around six years, from a bachelor’s degree to earning a master’s degree and completing clinical training.
Step 2 – Earn a license and get certified
Once you earn your master’s degree, you must gain certification and a license to practice your profession in any state.
To earn your license, you must complete a national certification exam conducted by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.
Additionally, you must show 100 hours of continuing education every 2 years. You will also have to apply for renewal of your certification every 10 years to maintain your license.
Step 3 – Get training
Highly specialized training is required for you to become a professional and reliable dermatologist assistant.
Mostly, dermatologist assistants undergo this training during their internships and clinical rotations and when earning their licenses.
How long does it take to become a dermatologist?
After completing four years of a Bachelor's degree, you must pass the Medical Collect Admission Test.
You have to complete four years of a medical college degree and four years of the residency program to become a dermatologist. However, You may need to take additional courses for one or two years.
Can a medical assistant serve as a dermatologist's assistant?
Yes, physician assistants are eligible to explore their careers as dermatologist assistants. Once certified, physician assistants have multiple possibilities for specialization and professional advancement.
Is working as an assistant to a dermatologist rewarding?
The job of a dermatologist assistant is rewarding enough. Their annual earning ranges between $58,045 to $191,985. A certified dermatologist assistant can offer diagnosing and treatment for different skin conditions under the guidance of an experienced dermatologist.
They also help with cosmetic skin procedures, including tattoo removal, chemical peels, and dermabrasion.