How to Become A Skin Doctor in the United States?

How to Become A Skin Doctor in the United States?

Ever looked at someone’s flawless complexion and thought, “Hold on, I need to be the one behind that magic?” 

If you’re obsessed with all things skin, hair, and nails (and maybe ~slightly~ grossed out by pimples?), then becoming a dermatologist might be your ultimate dream job! 

But buckle up buttercup, this path ain’t for the faint of heart (or weak stomachs).


Why Should You Become a Dermatologist in the US?

Skincare guru? More like Skin Boss!  Dermatology in the US lets you:


  • Be a Detective: Solve skin mysteries, diagnose conditions, and help people achieve skingoals.
  • Make a Difference: Boost confidence and even save lives by treating everything from acne to skin cancer.
  • Choose Your Path: Private practice, research, teaching – derm life has options for every passion.
  • Get Paid to Do What You Love: Dermatologists are top earners in the medical field. Cha-ching!
  • Level Up Your Skills: The US is a derm powerhouse, offering top training and cutting-edge tech.


Think you have what it takes? Becoming a dermatologist rocks!

Top US Colleges for Aspiring Dermatologists (2024)


Ranking University Description Sample Coursework Estimated In-State Tuition Estimated Out-of-State Tuition
1 Harvard University Consistently ranked #1, Harvard offers a rigorous MD program with a strong focus on research. Many graduates match into top dermatology residencies. Human Anatomy, Medical Biochemistry, Dermatology Clerkship, Elective Rotations in Cosmetic Dermatology ~$53,000 ~$80,000
2 University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) UCSF boasts a world-renowned medical school known for its innovative approach and patient-centered care. Medical Physiology, Immunology, Dermatology Clerkship, Elective Rotations in Pediatric Dermatology ~$54,000 ~$90,000
3 Johns Hopkins University Johns Hopkins is a leader in medical research and offers a well-rounded MD program with strong clinical training. Cellular & Molecular Biology for Medicine, Pathophysiology, Dermatology Clerkship, Elective Rotations in Mohs Surgery ~$58,000 ~$85,000
4 University of Pennsylvania (Penn) Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine is known for its excellent faculty and abundant research opportunities. Human Genetics in Medicine, Pharmacology, Dermatology Clerkship, Elective Rotations in Teledermatology ~$62,000 ~$88,000
5 Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science Integrated into the world-famous Mayo Clinic, this program offers exceptional clinical training alongside renowned researchers Medical Microbiology & Immunology, Clinical Reasoning, Dermatology Clerkship, Elective Rotations in Laser Surgery ~$51,000 ~$92,000

Now you know the top medical colleges in the US. Now let’s dive in to learn how to become a dermatologist in the US. 

Pre-med Preppin’

Let’s spill the tea on what you gotta do in high school and college. Think of it like your skin prep routine before the real glow-up.


  • Subject Slay: No pressure, but you’ll probs need to ace classes like biology, chemistry, and maybe even physics. Think of it as building the foundation for your future knowledge of skin, from its cellular structure to how it reacts to medications.


  • MCAT Mania: Buckle up for the MCAT, a super important test that med schools love. Studying for this might feel like prepping for finals week on repeat, but trust, the payoff is worth it. Acing the MCAT shows med schools you have the brains and the stamina to handle the rigors of dermatology training. 

Medical School Madness

Congrats, you made it to med school! Time to trade your TikTok addiction for textbooks (sorry, babe).


    • The Grind is Real: Get ready for long lectures, endless studying, and maybe a few tears shed over anatomy labs (but hey, at least you’ll understand the different layers of skin like the back of your hand!). But hey, you’re learning how to be a skin boss, so it’s all good!
    • Research Rockstar: Show off your intellectual side by getting involved in research, especially anything derm-related. Research projects not only beef up your resume but can also land you a recommendation letter from a superstar dermatologist – major cred for residency applications!
  • Residency Rumble: Med school is over, but the fun (and sleep deprivation) isn’t! Residency is where you actually become a derm detective, diagnosing and treating all things skin-related. Think of it as finally getting to use all that knowledge you crammed in med school to solve real-life skin mysteries! ️
  • Match Day Mayhem: Residency programs are competitive AF, so make that application flawless. Strong MCAT scores, stellar grades, and killer recommendation letters are your way to get into the colleges.
  • Derm Dreamland: Residency might be tough, but imagine the satisfaction of finally treating patients and literally changing lives (and skin) for the better! You’ll be the ultimate skincare guru, diagnosing everything from acne to eczema to even skin cancer.

Career Crossroads

Woohoo, you’re a certified dermatologist! Now you gotta decide what kind of derm you wanna be. The options are endless, from becoming a private practice pro to joining a research lab.


  1. Private Practice Party: Picture yourself in a swanky clinic, treating patients and building your dream practice. You get to be the king or queen of the consultation, creating personalized skincare regimens and wielding your derm tools like a magic wand. Just remember, the business side of things can be a beast too!
  2. Researcher: Dive deep into the science of skin! Research labs are where groundbreaking discoveries happen, and you could be a part of it. Maybe you’ll unlock the secrets of aging or develop the next miracle acne treatment – the possibilities are endless!
  3. Academic All-Star: If you love teaching and sharing your knowledge, then consider becoming a professor of dermatology. You’ll get to mold the next generation of derm superstars while staying on top of the latest research. ‍


Bottom Line:

So, becoming a dermatologist in the US is a long and challenging journey, but trust us, the reward is chef’s kiss. You get to be a medical superhero, helping people achieve their best skin ever. Plus, who wouldn’t want to be the ultimate skin guru? 


P.S. We know this blog post is kinda long, but hey, nobody said becoming a derm was easy! Just like achieving flawless skin, it takes dedication and the right routine. But with enough hustle (and maybe a few sheet masks along the way), you can totally make your derm dreams a reality!


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