A dermatologist specializes in treating the hair, skin, and nails. When looking for the right dermatologist or the best dermatologist, you should begin by determining if the dermatologist is board certified.
Board-certified dermatologists went to college and then graduated medical school. They then did an internship and three years of dermatology residency which is training within the specialty. If the dermatologist specializes in Mohs Micrographic Surgery or dermatopathology, then s/he would have spent 1 to 2 more years in training. Furthermore, to achieve board certification, the dermatologist must pass the boards (a rigorous exam) and then continue education to recertify every 10 years.
This video from the American Academy of Dermatology provides information on board certification:
How do I know if my dermatologist is board certified?
Nearly all board-certified dermatologists are members of the American Academy of Dermatology. All of Vanguard’s dermatologists are board certified and completed their dermatology programs at respected dermatology programs in the U.S.
What else should I look for if I have a serious condition like skin cancer?
All dermatologists have been trained in all skin conditions, including diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer.
The best medical practice for skin cancer, however, should also have deep expertise and breadth of specialties. For example, the following specialties work together for skin cancer:
- A dermatopathologist is trained in both dermatology and pathology. Having both a dermatopathologist and lab on site ensures you receive an accurate and timely diagnosis for any tissue samples.
- A good skin cancer practice will have at least one fellowship trained Mohs surgeon on staff. The Mohs surgeon should be a member of the American College of Mohs surgery, the gold standard for only Mohs surgeons who have completed fellowship training. Mohs surgeons specialize in removing most types of skin cancer with the highest cure rate and best cosmetic result.
- A plastic surgeon is also an important part of a skin cancer practice since s/he can provide optimal reconstruction results.
Vanguard has built its reputation as a skin cancer practice, so our doctors cover dermatology, dermatopathology, Mohs surgery, and plastic surgery to provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. We want to provide the best chance for a cure.
Should I see a dermatology Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner?
Physician Assistants (PA) and Nurse Practitioners (NP) work with physicians to provide patient care, and they are important members of the healthcare field. It is appropriate to see a PA or NP if s/he has extensive training in dermatology and works closely with the physician team.
At Vanguard, the average PA or NP has spent over 10 years in dermatology or has completed a rigorous fellowship program.
What should I look for in an aesthetic practice?
To find the best in aesthetic medicine, you want to go to a practice with a physician on staff and on site. There should be a high degree of safety protocols to ensure quality patient care.
At Vanguard, our aesthetic medicine department is supervised by a board-certified plastic surgeon. One of our plastic surgeons or dermatologists is always on site to provide expertise and supervision of all aesthetic treatments.
Any last advice on finding the best dermatologist in Colorado?
Your dermatologist needs to be available to provide timely diagnosis and treatment. It doesn’t matter if you have found the best dermatologist, if the dermatologist is not available.
About Vanguard Skin Specialists
Vanguard Skin Specialists has five convenient locations covering Canon City, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and Woodland Park.
Call us today at (719) 355-1585 or request an appointment online. We believe in early diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer, so we will prioritize your appointment if you have recently been diagnosed with skin cancer or have a mole that is changing color, size, or shape. We also see the full range of dermatology and plastic surgery needs.