In Canada, the name “dermatologist” is reserved for those medical specialists who, in addition to having earned a medical degree, have further completed an intensive five-year program of advanced medical and surgical training in the prevention, recognition and treatment of diseases of the skin, hair, and nails. All dermatologists must be certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and/or or the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec.
Dermatologists are the foremost medical specialists in dealing with diseases of the skin, hair and nails; choosing a career in this medical specialty requires extensive study. Dermatologists combine a balance of clinical skills, technical skills, and knowledge to provide the best treatment to their patients. Examples of disorders treated by dermatologists are skin cancer, eczema, psoriasis, acne, hyperhidrosis, alopecia, hirsutism, hair loss and many others. The name “dermatologist” is strictly reserved for medical specialists who have completed the following requirements.
Begin by enrolling in university and completing an honours undergraduate program that allow for a strong pre-medical education. Upon successful completion of a four year program and passing the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), application to medical school can then be made. Medical school training consists of another four years of study, after which time the designation of MD is awarded.
Following acceptance into one of the eight accredited Canadian universities offering a dermatology residency program, every dermatology resident receives five years of advanced dermatology training. The additional advanced medical and surgical training focuses on the prevention, recognition and treatment of diseases of the skin, hair, and nails.
Residency programs are divided as follows:
In Canada, all dermatologists must be certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and/or la Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec and/or the American Board of Medical Specialties.
In order to become a certified dermatologist an individual with approved university training must pass a strict and regulated series of medical examinations at the end of their residency. After successful completion of the final examinations a Specialist Certificate in Dermatology is awarded by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (FRCPC).
Some dermatologists choose to undertake advanced subspecialty training in programs known as fellowships after completion of their residency training. These fellowships can be between one to two years in duration. Fellowships in dermatology include pediatric dermatology, surgical dermatology including Mohs micrographic surgery, dermatopathology (pathology of skin diseases) and dermatological immunology.
To ensure ongoing proficiency, all medical specialists are required to complete a mandatory Maintenance of Certification Program regulated by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. This involves a required number of hours of additional training within ones specialty over and above the daily practice of medicine.