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Pathways: Why dermatology?

Why dermatology image

The AAD is collaborating with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health and Janssen to increase the number of practicing dermatologists who are underrepresented minorities (URiM) in medicine over the next five years through Pathways: Inclusivity in Dermatology. Other pages of Pathways explain the reasons why this effort is important for dermatology and dermatology patients, as well as how we intend to accomplish our goals. But there’s one missing ingredient: You.

Why should you get on the path to becoming a dermatologist?

The skin is an incredibly important and complex organ, and skin health has an enormous impact on people’s well-being. Skin conditions can impact our sense of self, seriously hinder our ability to be productive and achieve our goals, and sometimes signal a significant underlying problem.

As a dermatologist you are able to have an immediate impact on patients’ lives, restoring their confidence and capabilities. As a dermatologist you treat patients from infants to the elderly, offering a chance to build a lifelong connection with patients and families.

As a dermatologist you’ll also get to learn and use a variety of treatments — with new ones developed all the time. Every dermatologist has medical, surgical, and pathology training, and can choose to acquire additional specialty training in any of them. As a result, as a dermatologist you’ll be able to fix what ails many patients right at their appointment. And sometimes you’ll be the person who identifies systemic illnesses before anyone else, because many diseases show their first signs on the skin.

No matter the direction you choose to take, dermatology can offer a career that suits you. Some dermatologists see patients all week long and treat a wide range of diseases while others see patients intermittently and do research to better understand and develop new treatments for skin, hair, and nails. If you want to become the world’s preeminent expert on a particular condition, the person patients turn to when no one else can help, there’s a track for that, too.

Sound like something that interests you? Get started on the pathway to dermatology today.

Inclusivity in Dermatology, AAD Pathways, high school and college image
High school & college

Learn about our outreach and Dermatology Career Prep program.

Medical school

Medical students can join us for workshops, symposia, and fellowships.


Learn more about our programs for dermatology residents.