job description
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Job Description:

Temperaments of the Job|Physical Demands/Activities
Work Hours and Travel|Work Environment|Income

Becoming a dermatologist takes a lot of work. The great this is that this career choice will be around in the future. Here's a quick overview on some things to look forward to when planning a career as a dermatologist and what the job entitles you to do... as well as some work skills. Remember, this isn't used to scare you! It's what you would be required to do:

  • diagnosing illnesses/disorders and prescribing and administering treatment for people suffering from injury or disease
  • examining patients and taking their medical history
  • observing or analyzing physical or mental problems
  • ordering, performing, and interpreting diagnostic tests
  • advising patients on how to prevent diseases and how to keep fit through exercise, hygiene, and diet
  • using medical/dental instruments to treat patients
  • instructing people on health care
  • planning and arranging a health care treatment
  • treating physical and mental problems
A beam of laser light is directed at a site to selectively and gently eliminate tissue abnormalities, such as skin lesions and tattoos or to remove spider veins and birthmarks. Shown here is a birthmark called a port-wine stain significantly improved after several laser treatments.
Copyright © 1995-1997 by ASDS.
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Temperaments of the Job:

Besides what you will have to do, you will also have to deal with other issues that comes with the job...

  • Taking Responsibility - You are a licensed doctor and that means that people trust your knowledge and instinct on their personal well-being. (That doesn't mean you are supposed to have a cure for everything!) It means that you're responsible for your mistakes or your actions.
  • Dealing With People - This job involves working with LOTS of people -- whether it be the young or the old. You will be advising and counseling these people. Not everyone is willing to cooperate, though you may be the most respected doctor in the business.
  • Working Under Stress - Along with feeling great that you helped someone, (and the money you'll get, lol), stress may be something you also have to deal with. The job can get very stressful--like too many patients in so little time, or you have other issues back home. Under the circumstances, you still have patients to see.
  • Making Judgments and Discussions - This is a major thing as a doctor, because you call the shots. You are responsible (though you may seek help) for diagnosing any illnesses or disorders the patient may have. People follow your orders and listen to you.
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Physical Demands/Activities:

Being a dermatologist, you may not have to be THE most physically fit person, but if you are... great job on taking care of yourself :0) Here's a rundown on what may be asked of you:

  • using your hands
  • using your fingers - you use your fingertips to feel (like for scars, scabs, and such)
  • talking (that shouldn't be too too hard)
  • hearing
  • seeing clearly up close
  • focusing eyes
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Work Hours and Travel


Being a doctor, you may get called down to the office or hospital at odd hours (like during your sleeping time). So be prepared for this. To tell the truth, being a doctor takes up a lot of time, period.


Besides being awaken at odd hours or called down at irregular times, your job may require weekend work. Unfortunately, people do get sick on the weekends, and the holidays. Not only do you have patients to see, but you also have to do the paper work for each patient.


Planning vacations or holidays may not be the easiest for you. Not only do you have irregular hours, or working on the weekends, you may have to do overtime. Yeah, that may mean canceling some vacationing time... but sometimes you have to do it.


Depending on where you work, you may have to travel to see patients. For example, if you do house calls. Another example is that you may attend conventions or meetings that require travel. So if you like traveling, you can volunteer or offer to take the job of doing so.

This doesn't mean that you won't have time to enjoy your outside life... this may be what is expected. Working independently or at a hospital is a different thing. Owning a private practice allows you to cut back your work time, and scheduling as many patients as you want, but it may also mean charging a little more because you don't see as many patients as you probably would if you were working in a hospital. Pick a hospital or place where you are comfortable in and fits your requirements. For instance, working in the city may involve more patients, than, say the country.

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Work Environment

The work environment is pretty good. There aren't any extreme temperatures that you have to worry about... because if you work in a hot area, it will most likely be air conditioned. lol. It also shouldn't have hazardous working conditions and most of your work will probably be held inside anyway. However, it may be in multiple locations. This means that you may work in an office, in a lab, examining room, etc.

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So, how much money are we talking about here? That may be one of your questions. Well, here's some information on the money! Being it that you worked so hard to get yourself there, you get something back for all that hard work.

50% of dermatologists earn more than $80,000 to $200,000.

However, this income depends on these factors:

  • what region you live in
  • the hours worked
  • your skill(s)
  • and whether you're self-employed (private practice) or employed at a hospital
NOTE: Being self-employed determines your wages, because you get to decide on what you charge for each patient. Working in a private practice, usually earns you more money.

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