How to Become a Dermatologist in Canada

This is a simple guide on how to become a dermatologist in Canada.

To become a dermatologist in Canada entails that you must be ready to come in contact with all kinds of skins. In recent times, many people have realised the need to consult dermatologists for their skincare, especially if they experience any unfavourable skin condition. Besides, people with sensitive skins are at a risk of contracting all manner of skin diseases.

But then, that is why dermatologists exist. They are the best to consult when one experiences any concern around their skins. They offer the best advice on what product to use to make the skin glow and look better. In Canada, dermatologists are in high demand and it does not take so much to become one.

Now, that you have understood basics of the profession, it is good to know what it is all about and make your choice whether to become a dermatologist in Canada or not. This article is a comprehensive guide to help you prepare for this career path.

Is becoming a dermatologist right for me?

The first step to knowing if you are on the right track to study dermatology is to ensure you have the willingness and passion to commit to pursuing it as a career. You would not want to waste your time pursuing a career in dermatology if you don’t want to be there. You will need to continue reading to know more about dermatologist as a career in Canada.

Who is a dermatologist?

A dermatologist is a medical professional who treats different medical conditions that affect the skin, hair and nails. Dermatology, on the other hand, is the study of the treatment of skin conditions. There are various areas of expertise in dermatology, including dermatopathology, pediatric dermatology and Mohs surgery.

  • Dermatopathology: This is the use of a microscope to diagnose skin conditions. A dermatopathologist ensures to make a report of their discoveries and contribute to plans of action.
  • Pediatric dermatology: This is a field of dermatology that focuses on the treatment of children’s skin and hair. Pediatric dermatologists treat skin diseases that affect the proper functioning of the body.
  • Mohs surgery: This involves the treatment of the skin of cancer patients. A Mohs surgeon carries out surgical treatment to eradicate cancerous tissues, while observing the skin to make sure the cells are continuously healthy.

What does a dermatologist do?

Dermatologists carry out obligations that are associated to the treatment of the skin. Thus, they carry out both minor and major surgeries like removing skin scars or skin tissues. In addition, they conduct research on kin diseases and skincare conditions.

With their knowledge, they help in enhancing skin treatment and producing skincare products. Some of them may choose to work in the school setting as academics, while training students on the major know-how of the field.

What are the Educational Requirements for Dermatologists in Canada?

Before thinking of becoming a dermatologist in Canada, you must obtain a Bachelor of Science degree. The undergraduate program will provide you with a strong pre-medical education in your province. What’s more, Canada has numerous colleges and universities with varying courses to prepare you to become a dermatologist in the country.

Moreover, there are eight accredited universities by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada that focus on dermatology. These universities provide basic education and training to aspiring dermatologists from undergraduate to graduate programs.

Once you graduate from medical school, it is time for you to enter a five-year advanced medical and surgical training program. The first two years require you to undergo a basic clinical training in the field. It includes a minimum of one year in internal medicine and another three months in pediatrics. You will also encounter rotations in rheumatology, oncology and infectious diseases.

After this, you will have another two years of official residency training in dermatology, with a minimum of one year training in a general hospital. Finally, you must undergo another one year of basic research related to dermatology or full-time training in pathology.

Licensing and other requirements to become a dermatologist in Canada

After completing the above, you must pass numerous medical examinations. Upon your successful completion of the exams, you will be awarded a professional certification called Specialist Certificate in Dermatology. This certification gives you the right to answer a doctor of dermatology and you can provide dermatological services to patients in hospitals and clinics.

As a medical specialist, you must complete a compulsory Maintenance of Certification Program to augment your license. Further, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada regulates this certification.

Other Requirements for You to become a Dermatologist

Aside from the above educational requirements, licensing and certifications to qualify as a dermatologist in Canada, you will need other certain skills, knowledge and other requirements to help you gain experience in the field.

Firstly, you must have a good knowledge of how to operate technological equipment and apparatus for your dermatological practice. You must also be good at diagnosing and examining, while analyzing information you obtained thereof.

Besides, excellent communication skills will help you to have good interactions with your clients, employers, colleagues, among others. What’s more, you must have brilliant knowledge of other branches of medicine, therapy, chemistry and biology, together with counseling to help you offer exceptional services to your patients.

What is the average salary for a Dermatologist in Canada?

Averagely, dermatologists in Canada make higher income than other professions in the country. They can make up to $228,065 – $352,000 per year. Entry-level jobs can pay up to $62,000 per year. With more years of experience comes more income.

Most positions offer bonuses which can be as little as $405 and as high as $30,000 per year. However, different provinces in Canada may have different income margins, depending on the area you reside.

What are the Job Prospects for Dermatologists in Canada?

Dermatologists in Canada enjoy good job prospects. The employment prospects are very encouraging in most provinces with good populations. Factors like employment growth which may lead to different new positions, fewer unemployed workers with favourable work experience and number of people of retirement age, also determine the available jobs in the country.

Are there job opportunities for dermatologists in Canada?

As a certified dermatologist, you can practice by applying for a job or establishing your own business. Hence, you can decide to start a private practice where you work at your schedule or in a hospital.

Make sure your resume is frequently updated to reflect your current skills and qualifications. Attach your cover letter before you apply for any job. Some places you can send your resume include research laboratory, hospitals, outpatient centres, medical schools or independent practice.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it require to become a Dermatologist in Canada?

On average, it requires at least 12 years of post-secondary education and training to become a certified dermatologist.

Can a Dermatologist carry out surgery?

All Dermatologists have the basic knowledge of performing surgery on the skin. Such surgeries can be a minor cosmetic surgery to correct certain disorders on the skin. The surgery can also be more complex and requires anesthesia and post operative care. For any dermatologists to perform major skin surgery, they will need to attain supplementary training. An example is Mohs surgery.

What are the ways to pursue a career as a Dermatologist?

You can start your career in medicine and follow your path to becoming a dermatologist. Since there are many careers available in medicine, it is right for you to begin by obtaining a Doctor of Medicine degree in a certified medical school in Canada.

Is it worth becoming a Dermatologist in Canada?

Dermatology is a brilliant career path when it comes to job satisfaction, pay, and future job prospect. Besides, due to the aging population, it is good for the country to have more dermatologists to replace the existing ones as time goes on. Also, dermatologists are among the highly paid physicians in Canada. You can also check out the point on the salaries of dermatologists above. That should be a motivation to do your job.

What should I major in my pre-med school if I want to become a Dermatologist?

Most medical schools do not need potential students to major in explicit courses or degrees before they can be admitted into the school. However, most students prefer a related field in Biology or Chemistry.

However, as long as you have completed all the necessary courses, you can apply. In this case, you will have the same pre-requisites as any other candidate of a medical school.


We are certain that by now, you have made up your mind to become a dermatologist. Although the length of time required to complete your education and obtain your license is much, you will enjoy it after all. The job prospect, good career and high earning power are some of the things you will enjoy as a profession in the field of dermatologist. As long as you have the passion and are willing to do what it takes, the sky will always be your stepping stone.