With so many skin care practices and websites promising results, it can be difficult to decide whom to turn to for your skin, hair, and nail concerns. When one dermatologist sounds just as good as another, it’s important to know how to identify a board-certified professional.
In the United States, dermatologists are required to receive extensive education and training. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university is required, followed by medical school to become either a medical doctor (MD) or a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO).
After obtaining a medical degree, dermatologists are then required to fulfill a year-long training internship and participate in a 3-year accredited residency program. Upon completion of the residency program, there are still other requirements for dermatologists to meet before they can effectively begin diagnosing and treating skin, hair and nail conditions.
When it comes to choosing your dermatologist, certification matters. Dermatologists who have obtained certification from the American Board of Dermatology, the American Osteopathic Association or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Canada have passed board exams that thoroughly test their knowledge, experience and skills.
FAAD stands for Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, and it is a crucial distinction to note. A dermatologist who carries FAAD after his or her name not only has a license to practice medicine but has also passed the board exams and is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology.
FAAD dermatologists are the most qualified to diagnose and treat skin, hair and nail conditions and can provide the highest standard of patient care. In order to stay current as techniques and approaches advance, dermatologists are required to retake board exams every 10 years.
There are also titles given to dermatologists who are have not yet achieved FAAD status but are in the process. While they may have the necessary education and training, they are not yet board certified, which can make a major difference in effectively diagnosing and treating your health concerns.
An associate dermatologist is one who has completed the residency program and is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology but has not passed the required board exams.
This distinction can mean one of two things. An affiliate is either an MD who is certified outside of the United States or Canada, or a DO who is certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology but has not yet achieved FAAD status.
Visit https://www.aad.org/find-a-derm to find out more about the dermatologist in your area.