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Geriatric Dermatology Studies: Education and Training Program Options

Those interested in geriatric dermatology studies can undertake a dermatology residency program. The programs lasts about three years and prepares students to take the exam to earn board certification from the American Board of Dermatology (ABD).

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Essential Information

An increasing elderly population demands that all healthcare providers understand gerontology and how their medical specialty, including dermatology, relates to aging patients. Geriatric dermatology training is available to medical school graduates within residency programs.

Prospective dermatologists must complete eight years of education - a bachelor's degree and four years of medical school - as well as complete a residency and earn a license before practicing. While they are completing their residency, students may have the opportunity to learn techniques specific to treating geriatric patients. Dermatology residencies can be completed in about three years and may take place in hospitals, dermatological outpatient clinics or long-term care facilities, among other health care facilities.

Many schools use the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) managed by the Association of American Medical Colleges. This online application process requires students to submit transcripts, letters of recommendations, medical student performance evaluations and a personal statement. All applicants to dermatology residency programs must have completed (or be currently enrolled in their fourth year of) medical school.


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Dermatology Residency Studies

Dermatology residency students learn through lectures, live patient demonstrations and clinical rotations. Training may include rotations focused on areas like skin cancer, pediatric skin problems, skin disorder diagnostics and surgical procedures. Participants also conduct basic science and clinical research. Additional topics covered in dermatology residencies may include:

  • Phototherapy
  • Dermatopathology
  • Lasers
  • Mohs micrographic surgery
  • Plastic surgery
  • Geriatrics

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide statistics specific to dermatologists, it has projected an 14% growth in employment for physicians from 2014-2024. This is largely due to longer lifespans and a burgeoning number of elders, combined with an expansion in healthcare services. January 2016 reports from PayScale.com indicate that the salary of dermatologists ranges between $81,972 and $315,780.

Licensure and Certification

All states require physicians, including dermatologists, to be licensed. Licensure requirements vary slightly by state, but they typically include graduation from of an approved medical school, completion of a residency and passing the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination.

Dermatologists are not required to be certified, but optional board certification is available from the American Board of Dermatology (ABD). The ABD certification requires students to pass an exam that covers dermatopathology (a pathological evaluation of skin) as well as laboratory and clinical dermatology.

Geriatric dermatology studies are available in the form of a dermatology residency. Studies in dermatology and geriatrics will prepare graduates for a career within the field.

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