It matters who you trust to treat your face. Dermatologists are one of the most versatile yet specialized groups of doctors as they possess extensive training and expertise in diagnosing and treating more than 3,000 conditions and diseases pertaining to the skin, hair, and nails. While you can go just about anywhere for a laser treatment or dermal filler, holding a board-certified designation is different than simply being a licensed practitioner. 

What does “board certified” mean and is it important? Medical licensure is the minimum requirement to diagnose and treat patients. All physicians in the United States must be licensed to practice and prescribed medicine. A dermatologist is a physician who has earned an MD or a DO degree in dermatology which is centralized around the medical treatment of diseases, impairments, and issues related to the skin including the scalp and under the nails. Dermatology uniquely bridges the gap of many medicinal fields ranging from cosmetic enhancements and aesthetic treatments to repairing disfiguring traumas or resolving life threatening cancers. To become certified by the American Board of Dermatology, in addition to a four4-year medical degree and licensure, must meet certain voluntary requirements as well as ongoing training and education. These include three 3 or more years of residency at an accredited dermatology program, passing of exams demonstrating knowledge and ability to treat patients in dermatology, and making a commitment to remain up to date on the latest advances in the field of dermatology with continuing education assessments and certifications. Additionally, after completing training and passing the medical boards, applicants must gather letters of recommendation and academic transcripts for board certification testing. Testing is rigorous and requires a passing score from the American Board of Dermatology following completion of the dermatology residency. Periodic recertification is required as well. 

Patients can have greater confidence in the success of the treatment they will receive with a dermatologist who has undergone extensive training to show competency in their field. Additionally, dermatology residency programs are very competitive. With so many qualified applicants vying for limited opportunities, residency programs likely choose to accept the best and brightest dermatologists. Choosing a board-certified dermatologist is important to ensure your care is in the hands of a doctor who has dedicated their study to the utmost safety, latest research, and up to date technology. 

For more information on our board-certified dermatologists at THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology, visit our About page on our website. To schedule your next appointment, give us a call at 602-867-7546.