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Who is a Dermatologist?

Dermatologist: A dermatologist is a physician who is trained to evaluate and manage pediatric and adult patients with benign and malignant disorders of the skin, hair, nails and adjacent mucous membranes. A dermatologist has had additional training and experience in the following:

  1. The diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers, melanomas, moles, and other tumors of the skin.
  2. The management of contact dermatitis and other inflammatory skin disorders.
  3. The recognition of the skin manifestations of systemic and infectious diseases.
  4. Dermatopathology.
  5. Surgical techniques used in dermatology.

Dermatologists also manage cosmetic disorders of the skin, including hair loss, scars, and the skin changes associated with aging.

Dermatopathologist: A dermatopathologist is expert in the microscopic diagnosis of diseases of the skin, including infectious, immunologic, degenerative, and neoplastic diseases. This entails the examination and interpretation of specially prepared tissue sections, cellular scrapings, and smears of skin lesions by means of light microscopy, electron microscopy, and fluorescence microscopy.

Pediatric Dermatologist: A pediatric dermatologist is a dermatologist who has additional training and expertise in the evaluation and management of skin diseases which occur more commonly or exclusively in children. Examples include: all types of birthmarks, neonatal dermatology, genodermatoses, pediatric infections or inflammatory processes and skin diseases in children with complex medical conditions requiring coordinated multispecialty care.

Dermatologist specializing in Clinical and Laboratory Dermatological Immunology: A dermatologist who utilizes various specialized laboratory procedures to diagnose disorders characterized by defective responses of the body's immune system. An immunodermatologist also may provide consultation in the management of these disorders and administer specialized forms of therapy for these diseases.

What is dermatologic surgery?
Dermatologic surgery deals with the diagnosis and treatment of medically necessary and cosmetic conditions of the skin, hair, nails, veins, mucous membranes and adjacent tissues by various surgical, reconstructive, cosmetic and non-surgical methods. The purpose of dermatologic surgery is to repair and/or improve the function and cosmetic appearance of skin tissue.

Thanks to research breakthroughs, clinical advances and instrumentation innovations pioneered by skin surgery experts, the majority of dermatologic surgeries are now minimally invasive and require only local or regional anesthesia. This translates into superior patient safety while reducing the all-important "downtime" and recovery period. In addition, new developments and the latest techniques are constantly enhancing the results of many established skin surgery procedures.

Examples of dermatologic surgery procedures include anti-aging treatments, injectable and implantable soft tissue fillers, botulinum toxin treatments, correction of acne scarring, chemical peeling, tumescent liposuction, vein therapy, hair restoration, laser surgery, skin cancer treatment and reconstructive flaps and grafts.

Who is a dermatologic surgeon?
Dermatologic surgeons are physicians who have unique qualifications and experience in the use of a wide variety of surgical and non-surgical methods of treating the skin and preventing skin problems. Moreover, they are the "masters of your appearance," helping you to look good and feel good at any stage in life.

After completing medical school and a year of internship, a dermatologic surgeon receives specialized education in the form of at least three years of residency training in an accredited program that includes a core curriculum in the therapeutic, reconstructive and cosmetic treatment of skin conditions. In short, a dermatologic surgeon demonstrates competence in the diagnosis, medical care and surgical management of:

- Diseases and disorders of the skin, hair, nails, veins and nearby tissues
- Benign and malignant growths and skin cancers
- Aging and sun-damaged skin
- Cosmetic improvement of the skin

Dermatologic surgeons are Board-certified dermatologists. After completing their residency education, candidates take an exam given by the American Board of Dermatology (ABD), which is sponsored by the leading medical organizations in the field. Doctors who pass the Board-certification exam are then referred to as Diplomates of the ABD.

Dermatologic surgeons are also members of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), a professional medical organization founded in 1970. The Society is dedicated to excellence in the subspecialty of dermatologic surgery and the highest standards of patient care. To advance dermatologic surgery as a scientific discipline as well as the knowledge and skills of each practitioner, the ASDS supports clinical and basic research grants and provides continuing education opportunities for its members.

How do I claim my CME credits?

For those who are enrolled in the AAD CME Transcript/Award Program, you will need to bring your green card. Green cards will not be available at ASDS meetings. You can either turn in your card at the meeting to be forwarded to the AAD or you can submit it directly to the AAD. The ASDS is not responsible for maintaining your CME, but will send your green card into the AAD. For more information go to

Postgraduate credit for other medical societies
Appropriate credit for attendance should be ascertained and reported by the individual physicians to the particular state or medical society to which he or she belongs.

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