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New Year, New Doctor?

Is your “to do” list overwhelming you on this first Monday of the new year? Recovering from the holiday season can be stressful to say the least. In general, January is a time for catching up at work, catching up at school and trying to stick to lofty new year’s resolutions. Many major decisions about health care are also made in January with the end of health insurance enrollment rapidly approaching. The added stress and return to the hustle and bustle of life can lead to hastily made decisions. Don’t let your healthcare be one of these decisions.Banner for Blog

According to a recent survey of 7600 adults across 27 metropolitan areas, more than 90 percent of Americans reported that they consider choosing a physician a major life decision, however the majority of them dedicated more time to researching the purchase of a car. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, asked respondents  how many hours they spend researching cars, colleges, real estate agents, mobile cell phone plans, refrigerators, gyms and physicians.

Although the numbers in each category varied, the trend was obvious. People, in general, are spending less time researching which doctor to choose than researching less meaningful expenditures in their lives.

YOUR DOCTOR MAKES THE DIFFERENCE

When it comes to your health, the choice is yours. Choosing a doctor who specializes in your specific concerns is always a good choice. When faced with your skin health, you would naturally choose a doctor of Dermatology, but may not know what being a Dermatologist actually means.

What Exactly is a Dermatologist?

Simply put, Dermatologists are doctors who specialize in treating the:

  • Skin
  • Hair
  • Nails
  • Mucous membranes (e.g., the lining in your mouth, nose and eyelids)

Dermatologists specialize in the understanding of the structure and function of your skin and the above mentioned areas. Any treatment, ranging from topical agents to more sophisticated laser procedures, require a thorough knowledge of these areas.

FOLLOW THESE STEPS TO CHOOSE A DERMATOLOGIST

  1.  Decide what you will/ want to have done.
  2.  Find out about the doctor’s experience with the procedure. How long has he or she performed it? On how many patients? There is no substitute for experience. (Experience also includes attending seminars and educational meetings.) In addition to seminars, before I begin performing a procedure, I spend time with one of the first or most experienced physicians with that procedure. Find out all the experience your potential doctor has with the procedure.
  3.  Ask to see photos of patients.
  4.  Ask to speak to their patients. Physicians should encourage you to speak to some of their patients.
  5.  Ask about complications they have.
  6.  Ask what type of physician they are: General practice, allergist, plastic surgeon, etc. If they normally have not been trained to do this procedure, (allergists, etc.), the decision to perform these procedures may be made solely for monetary reasons. A two-day course in Hawaii does not count as “trained.”
  7. Dermatologists are trained to have a deep understanding of skin, extremely important for the procedure, but even more essential during the healing phase. If problems or potential problems occur, a dermatologist has expertise for all types of skin problems.
  8. You want a specialist in your area. I have heard of allergists, pediatricians, and even oral surgeons doing laser resurfacing.

Remember, it is your skin on the line, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and insist on the best. Don’t let doctors intimidate you or gloss over their experience. You have a right to demand the best care.

On the medical side of Dermatology, Dermatologists diagnose and treat more than 3,000 different diseases and skin conditions, including those we remedy at the Asarch Center for Dermatology and Laser in Denver, CO:

On the cosmetic side, Dermatologists help improve the appearance of their patients’ skin, hair, and nails. Cosmetic procedures often address the signs of aging on the face, neck and chest, such as fine lines and wrinkles, age spots, loss of volume, uneven skin texture and coloring.  Cosmetic procedures also address common body concerns such as excess fat, spider veins and stretch marks. Click on the below links to learn more about the cosmetic procedures offered at the Asarch Center for Dermatology and Laser in Denver, CO.

How Does a Doctor Become a Dermatologist? 

To practice Dermatology, a doctor must complete several years of education and each of the following steps.

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
  2. Complete Medical school-as a medical doctor (MD) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO).
  3. Complete Internship– 1 year required. Even after graduating from medical school, in order to practice medicine in the United States, a doctor must complete additional medical training. This first year of this  training is called an internship. According to the AAD, Doctors who want to specialize in dermatology usually intern in one of these fields —internal medicine, general surgery, family medicine, emergency medicine, or pediatrics.
  4. Complete Dermatology Residency Program– minimum 3 years.Following the completion of an internship, a doctor can enter a dermatology residency program and train to be a Dermatologist. After completing an accredited dermatology residency program, a dermatologist can take the dermatology board exams. Why is being Board-Certified important in Dermatology? Board certification requires extensive training and a  thorough review of a doctor’s knowledge, experience and skill in a medical specialty. Board certification also means that a  doctor is actively improving his or her practice of medicine through continuing education. A board-certified doctor is more  likely than a non-board-certified doctor to have the most current skills and knowledge about how to treat your medical    condition.
  5. Fellowship in Dermatology.  Some doctors continue their medical studies after completing their dermatology residency. A fellowship is an advanced study in one area of dermatology, such as:
  • Dermatopathology (specialize in diagnosing diseases of the skin, hair, and nails by viewing specimens under a microscope).
  • Mohs surgery.
  • Procedural dermatology (advanced surgical training).
  • Pediatric dermatology.
  • Aesthetic/cosmetic dermatology (treatment to improve appearance).
  • Research.

What Is a Specialty or Area of Special Expertise? After successfully completing a fellowship, a dermatologist may choose to specialize in one area of dermatology. A specialty is the branch of medicine in which a doctor has completed advanced clinical training and education. Most doctors are board certified in their specialty. To receive the best healthcare for your needs, consider choosing a doctor who specializes in your particular medical condition. A specialist will concentrate on your specific needs and will be familiar with the best treatment methods.

Book your appointment at Asarch Center by calling 303-761-7797!

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