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How To Find A Dermatology Doctor

How To Find A Dermatology Doctor

A patient who needs a dermatologist should first know what sort of dermatologist they’re looking for. Patients who have acne scars, fine lines, wrinkles, or other benign skin conditions that they find unsightly might wish to find a cosmetic dermatologist. These dermatologists specialize in procedures like Botox injections, dermabrasion, dermal fillers and face lifts. But there are subspecialties even among cosmetic surgeons. Some plastic surgeons are specialists in rhinoplasty, while others excel at chemical peels.

A dermopathologist specializes in diseases that attack the skin. These diseases can be anything from acne to psoriasis to eczema to skin cancers. Doctors who specialize in immunodermatology treat disease of the skin that are the result of autoimmune diseases like lupus, while Mohs surgeons use a type of very accurate surgery to treat skin cancer. These surgeons must also be well versed in dermopathology.

The patient’s general physician might be the first person to turn to to recommend a good dermatologist for her particular skin disorder. However, if a patient's just moved to a new town or city this might not be possible. In that case, the patient might check lists provided by medical specialty and subspecialty boards. These lists can provide the names of dermatologists in the patient’s area. She can double-check the names by calling the board directly or by calling the American Board of Medical Specialties Verification Center. A dermatologist might be certified by the American Board of Dermatology or the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

A dermatologist, even an excellent one, doesn’t have to be certified to practice. Certification simply means that teh doctor has taken a written exam to test his or her knowledge of the field. A dermatologist can be board eligible. This means they’ve met the requirements of their board, but haven’t taken the written test yet.

Another good way to find a dermatologist is for the patient to get referrals from the teaching hospital in their area. Speaking to nurses and other medical professionals who work with dermatologists can be very informative. They can tell the patient who, in their opinion, is a very good dermatologist. They might even be able to give the patient references.

Once the patient has a list of perhaps three or four dermatologists who would be appropriate for their problem, she should set up consultations with them. The physician might charge a fee for the consultation. The patient should see if it's covered by her insurance, and if the doctor carries that insurance. The patient should know, however, that most insurance doesn't cover cosmetic surgery, if this is what she’s seeking.

Before the patient goes to the consultation, she should write down a list of questions she might ask the doctor, and bring a notepad with her to jot down the answers. Among questions to ask might be:

• How many years has the doctor specialized in their dermatology subspecialty?
• How many patients has the doctor treated who have the same condition as the patient? What were the outcomes of the treatment?
• Where does the doctor have admitting privileges?
• Who takes over the running of the doctor's office in case of emergencies?

The dermatologist should also assure the patient that he or she works with an accredited hospital or other medical establishment and that he or she strives to keep abreast of the latest technologies and discoveries in the field.

The patient should also be attentive to the doctor’s body language and overall attitude. If the doctor seems impatient or inattentive, the patient might want to turn to another dermatologist who pays more attention and who seems conscientious and caring.