What is a Dermatologist?
A dermatologist is a highly qualified medical doctor who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the skin, hair, nails and mucous membranes. A Cosmetic Dermatologist is a fully qualified Dermatologist who has a specialist interest in cosmetic procedures to improve the appearance of the skin and supporting tissues.
What qualifications are needed to become a dermatologist?
After completing a Medical degree in Ireland, a doctor must complete an internship, two years of basic training in Internal Medicine, followed by a minimum of five years of dedicated Specialist training in Dermatology to become a Specialist Registered Dermatologist on the Specialist Register for Dermatology of the Irish Medical Council. Typically most trainees also complete an MD thesis, a PhD, or further fellowship training in Dermatology and many also spend several years undergoing sub-specialist training in specialist centres in the UK or North America. There is no equivalent to the comprehensive training, certification and continuing education in the medical, surgical and cosmetic care of the skin which are required to attain and retain this qualification.
Make sure your doctor has the right qualifications!
Unfortunately, there are doctors in Ireland who call themselves Dermatologists, Cosmetic Dermatologists and Skin Specialists who have no formal Specialist training in Dermatology. Many Consultant Dermatologists are concerned about the safety of patients who attend non-specialist doctors in good faith believing that they are seeing qualified Dermatologists for serious skin conditions. We are seeing a steady number of patients who have been misdiagnosed or mistreated by various doctors purporting to be specialists in their field, when they are not.
Some of these doctors have attained Certificates, Diplomas or Masters in Dermatology, which are then used to mislead the public into believing that they are fully qualified Dermatologists. Aside from potential patient safety ramifications, this is against the law (Medical Practitioners Act 2007 Part 6, section 41). It is important to do your homework and check the credentials of your treating doctor.
Find a list of Specialist Registered Dermatologists in Ireland on the Irish Association of Dermatologists website:
You can also check the credentials of your doctor on the Register of the Irish Medical Council: https://medicalcouncil.ie/Public-Information/Check-the-Register/
When you chose a Specialist Registered Consultant Dermatologist you are choosing the best possible care for your skin.