Becoming a Dermatologist in the United Kingdom

26 May 2023

In health systems such as that in the UK and Europe, speciality medical training is strongly regulated and competitive. There are specific paths to becoming a dermatologist that are laid out by governing bodies such as the Royal Colleges. The first and most important step is to have a medical degree from a recognised university and this must be approved by the medical regulatory bodies in your country i.e. the GMC in the UK.

 How long does it take to become a Dermatologist?

A medical degree is only the start and afterwards the general pathway follows the steps of specialty training (4-5 years after your foundation years) while having the following basic requirements:

Exam requirements: 

  1. MRCP (must have completed the full MRCP in order to take up a specialty or ST3 post in dermatology) 

  2. Specialty Certificate Examination (SCE) in Dermatology (taken during specialty or ST training) 

Other requirements:

  1. Workplace-based assessments (an E-portfolio) 

  2. Surgical skills logbook 

  3. Some mandatory training courses in cutaneous biology, dermatopathology, skin surgery and photobiology. These also include postgraduate diplomas and masters degress that are relevant to the specialty. 

Once specialty training is completed, all future dermatologists must complete their Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in dermatology. The CCT signifies that the individual has met the required competencies and is eligible to practice as a consultant dermatologist. We offer a dermatology course which is a 9 month course offered by the The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.

Though a busy process, the pathway is fulfilling and allows for research and sub-specialization e.g. you may have an interest in a type of cancer or lab based drug development. Research is recommended but not required. If you are interested, dermatology has a plethora of lab-based and clinical research opportunities. The specialization receives considerable research support, and most departments have a researcher on staff.  

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Dr. Kunal Patel, Medical Director

26 May 2023