How Do I Find the Best Dermatologist?
When looking for the right dermatologist for your needs, Olbricht recommends starting by determining whether the doctor you’re considering is a board-certified dermatologist. “Board-certified dermatologists went to college and then went to medical or osteopathy school followed by an internship and then three years of dermatology residency. So, this is training that’s only in dermatology.” To achieve board-certification status, these doctors must also pass a rigorous exam, and to remain certified, they must continue their education and take additional examinations every 10 years.
Mowad agrees that board certification is important. “Lots of health care providers offer some dermatological care, but as board-certified dermatologists, we feel we have the additional education and training that specializes us in the care of the skin.” If you can’t be seen directly by a certified dermatologist, she recommends looking for a practice that’s under the direction of a board-certified dermatologist. In those cases, you may see a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant who works closely with a board-certified dermatologist and can call on their expertise as needed.
How to Choose the Right Dermatologist for You
Determine if your dermatology needs are medical, surgical, or cosmetic
Chances are you have a concern you want to solve, but not every dermatologist is suitable. Dermatologic care, like any other type of medical care, must be specific to your needs as a patient. This is a transactional service after all.
If applicable, identify dermatologists who treat people of color
Your natural skin color affects your dermatology needs.Dr. Saya Obayan, a board-certified clinical dermatologist who specializes in the care of skin, hair, and nail diseases, says, “If you are a person of color, the first thing to do would be to find someone who has experience treating skin of color.”
Plan out how you will be paying
Will your current health insurance plan cover your dermatology costs or will you be paying out of pocket? The answer, which depends a lot on your reason for seeing a dermatologist, may significantly influence who you choose.
Verify the dermatologist’s credentials
This is crucial when seeing any medical professional for the first time. Don’t overlook it. Typically doctors will list their certification and credentials on their website. You can also verify a doctor’s board certification (which means they’ve been trained extensively and exclusively in dermatology) with the American Academy of Dermatology or the American Board of Dermatology.
Scour reviews with a grain of salt
By this point, you already know this person is professionally qualified. Now you need to know if they’re right for you. Most doctors’ offices are searchable online and offer Google and Yelp reviews, as well as reviews on websites like HealthGrades.com, Vitals.com, and RateMDs.com, by former clients. But while credentials are a good way to verify qualifications, you ultimately want a practitioner who makes you feel good about being you.
What are The Tips to find the Best Dermatologist?
You should start with a referral list of dermatologists out of your primary care health doctor. Also ask own family, buddies, and different health care providers for tips. With a listing of some names, call every dermatologist’s office to peer if he or she is accepting new patients. Ask the receptionist for a consult appointment to meet and interview the dermatologist.
Consider the dermatologist’s experience
Experience matters when you are facing skin, hair or nail issues. The extra revel in a dermatologist has with a condition or procedure, the higher your effects are likely to be. Ask how many of the procedures the health doctors has accomplished and discover about rates—complications the doctor has encountered in addition to your personal chance of complications.
Evaluate the communication style with the doctor
Try to choose the best dermatologist with whom you are comfortable talking and also supports your information needs.
Signs of a Great Dermatologist
After-hours care. You should never feel left in the dark. Whether you’re experiencing an allergic reaction following a treatment or you have a pressing question about it, there should be a way for you to reach the dermatologist during evenings and on weekends. “A good dermatologist will have on-call service for emergencies after hours,” says Bank. Some may have answering services that relay messages, while others may leave an urgent contact number on the office’s answering machine. Rather than finding yourself out of luck after weekdays at 5 pm, find a dermatologist who will be there for you.
A generous sampling policy. An office chock-full of mini tubes of various products shows that a dermatologist genuinely wants patients to find the best — and not just any — solution to a given skin problem, and that he or she is conscious of budgets and prescription copay amounts. “If your dermatologist wants you to try a product to make sure it’s right for you before you commit to buying a prescription, it’s a great sign,” says Bank. And don’t be shy; speak up and ask if samples are available, as doctors often have to trash loads of expired samples.
No sales pitching. It’s a doctor’s office — not a home shopping television show. The dermatologist and the office staff should never aggressively push products, treatments, or other remedies that don’t specifically address your personal concerns. “If you feel that a dermatologist is selling you, he or she may be more interested in your money than in helping you,” says Dr. Bank.
Unrushed appointments. Exceptional dermatologists don’t look at the clock; they look at your chart and are completely focused on your personal story and your questions. “Your dermatologist should take the time to explain things, address your concerns, and explain treatment plans, as well as any tests you may have to undergo,” says David Bank, MD, president of the New York State Society for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery. If a dermatologist dismisses your thoughts, is difficult to follow up with, or rushes you through an appointment, it’s time to find someone who values you more as a patient.
The best credentials. Report cards matter. Any doctor with a medical degree can start a dermatology practice, but certified physicians boast additional years of supervised study and have passed rigorous exams. Do a free online search to ensure that a prospective dermatologist is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology, which is the gold standard for the industry, says Wendy Lewis, the author of America’s Cosmetic Doctors and a cosmetic surgery consultant. She warns, “Many doctors call themselves dermatologists but may be internists, general practitioners, or something else.”
How to Choose a Dermatologist
Ask the right questions. You want someone who does the procedures you’re seeking all the time. At least three to five cases a day is good; more is even better. For lasers, ask if the practice owns or rents the devices. If they rent, they aren’t lasering as much. Also be sure to ask who is doing the lasering. Some doctors will say they “supervise” the treatment a nurse or technician performs, but I don’t think that’s enough. The doctor should be hands-on.
Listen up. When you meet a cosmetic dermatologist for the first time, I think it’s best to give a vague sense of why you’re there and then let her talk. Mention that you’re bothered by the lines on your face or noticeable leg veins, but don’t go into all the remedies you’ve researched online. Listen to how she’d address those issues. Her opinion will give you a sense of her aesthetic philosophy, including how aggressive she is.
Go for a consult. Schedule your first appointment for a Monday or Tuesday. These are usually the busiest days. Take advantage of the full waiting room and ask your fellow patients about their experiences. It’s a good sign if you have to wait several weeks for a consultation; the doctor is in demand. Most doctors charge for a consultation, but often that fee is put toward the cost of a procedure.
Check their bios. Doctors usually have one on their practice’s website. Look for board certification from the American Academy of Dermatology—you don’t want to get Botox from someone certified as an OB-GYN. A website is also a good place to see whether the doctor’s focus is general or cosmetic and if she specializes further. Someone who names laser treatments, or Botox and fillers, will be more experienced than a doctor who insists she does them all equally well.
Know the types. A general dermatologist will treat rashes, acne, and rosacea; they do skin exams to check for questionable moles; and they can help with issues such as thinning hair. They are a good starting place for anti-aging prescriptions such as Retin-A or hydroquinone for wrinkles and brown spots. Deeply etched wrinkles, scars, or persistent discoloration—anything that requires a peel, injection, or laser—are best treated by a cosmetic dermatologist.