What Is a Dermatology Medical Assistant?

Research what it takes to become a dermatology medical assistant. Learn about education requirements, employment outlook and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Dermatology Medical Assistant?

Dermatology medical assistants perform clerical duties and assist with clinical procedures in the office of a dermatologist; that is, a doctor who is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions. On the administrative side, dermatology medical assistants schedule patient visits, take inventory and manage billing. On the clinical side, they can perform patient intakes to document the patient's medical history and current dermatological condition. They can also aid the dermatologist with diagnostic testing, as well as treatments like phototherapy and dermatological surgery.

While a high school diploma and on-the-job training are sufficient to enter the field, most employers seek candidates who've finished a training program. Other key details about this career are outlined in the table below.

Training Required Postsecondary certificate
Education Field of Study Medical assisting
Key Skills Organization, analytical, interpersonal, attention to detail
Certification Certification is voluntary but preferred by employers
Job Growth (2014-2024) 23% (for all medical assistants)*
Median Salary (2015) $30,590 (for all medical assistants)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Job Duties of a Dermatology Medical Assistant?

A dermatology medical assistant performs administrative and clinical duties in order to support the work of a dermatologist and staff. According to a job posting from December 2016 on gs.columbia.edu, your day could include organizing patients' consultation schedules, reviewing medical histories, obtaining consent forms, preparing patients for procedures and administering medications. In smaller offices, it is likely that you will perform a wide range of duties, while in larger offices, your role may be more specific.

How Do I Prepare?

If you would like to become a dermatology medical assistant, you may consider enrolling in a medical assistant training program. Various programs are available; they may lead to a certificate or associate's degree. Certificate programs generally require less than a year to complete. According to the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), accredited training programs include a combination of basic science and office management courses, including human anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, accounting, insurance processing, laboratory techniques, pharmacology, first aid and medical ethics, among others (www.aama-ntl.org).

Most dermatologists prefer to hire medical assistants who have experience in assisting with surgery and other medical procedures. Therefore, you may start out as a medical assistant in a general medical office. Additional qualifications include CPR certification and basic computer literacy since most medical scheduling and records programs are electronic.

How Do I Advance My Career?

You could pursue certification credentials if you are seeking to demonstrate your professional knowledge. Both the AAMA and the Association of Medical Technologists sponsor certification processes. In order to be eligible for certification, you must have completed an accredited training program and complete an examination. You will need to recertify periodically and take continuing education courses.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you are interested in a clinical support position in a healthcare facility, you might also want to think about a job as a licensed practical or vocational nurse (LVN/LPN). Under the supervision of higher level nurses and doctors, they can provide basic clinical care in a wide variety of settings. LPNs and LVNs need to complete a postsecondary program and pass a licensure exam before they can practice. If you are passionate about skincare, you might also want to think about a job as a skincare specialist or esthetician; these professionals provide cosmetic and skin health maintenance treatments, and they can refer people with skin diseases to dermatologists. In most states, this job requires professional certification.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »