What Does it Mean to be a Board Certified Dermatologist?

Our Board Certified Dermatologists, Dr. Smith and Dr. Fardin.

Have you seen the designation “Board Certified” after a physician’s name and wondered what exactly it meant?


Board certification means that a physician (MD or DO) has not only completed training with an accredited (verified by national standards to be up to par) academic institution but that they have proven in formal, standardized testing ( such as given by the American Board of Dermatology or the American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology) that their knowledge is sufficient in their specialty relative to their peers.


Board-eligible means that a doctor is eligible to take the board examination but either hasn’t taken it or has not passed the exam. The exams are rigorous and test the doctor’s knowledge, experience and skills. If you want to check whether your doctor is board certified, search here for medical doctors (M.D.) or here for doctors of osteopathy (D.O.).


You may wonder why seeing a board certified dermatologist matters, particularly for something “cosmetic.”  While there are many wonderful, skilled, and talented practitioners out there treating “blemishes,” operating lasers, injecting fillers or toxins, or doing more advanced procedures, you ideally want someone who can not only treat your skin concern, but also manage any complications while viewing your concerns in a more global health context.  A board certified dermatologist can provide this kind of global approach, as dermatologists have the specialized training to both diagnose and treat all conditions of the skin, while prioritizing your safety.


So, while that little “freckle” that you want removed might be easily “zapped” at a local med-spa, only a board certified dermatologist would be able to best differentiate whether that freckle is truly a freckle (and not part of a more systemic issue or potentially cancerous) and whether laser is even an appropriate treatment option (versus a biopsy or other procedure).  Only board certified dermatologist are tried and true skin experts, so we’re best equipped to diagnose your concern, give you multiple treatment options and our best recommendations among those, and manage complications should they arise.  In fact, if something goes wrong at a “med-spa,” these doctors and nurses or aestheticians often send their patients to us to treat the complication. 


So be cautious, especially when you see lots of fancy marketing, and make sure you see someone you can truly trust with your skin—a board certified dermatologist.

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