How To Become a Dermatologist in Canada-10 Best Steps

How To Become A Dermatologist In Canada- 10 Best steps 

Dermatology is an aspect of general medicine that specializes in the skin and the things that affect the skin. Its focus goes beyond the skin to the nails, mucous, hairs, and every skin lining especially delicate ones like the eyelids, nose, and mouth.

The skin, the largest and one of the most sensitive sense organs contains nerve endings, hair follicles, blood vessels, sweat glands, and various highly sensitive structures. Its care is beneficial to your health in both specific and general ways. 

Dermatology and every other medical path is the same tough journey with just varying requirements for specialized or respective exams.

Medical or internal medicine doctors in general practice generally diagnose manage and treat patients while dermatologists understand a more specific but deeper knowledge of the skin and are being referred to by medical doctors for specialized care.

Dermatologists are skin doctors who have undergone training to take care of and treat different skin disorders and diseases.

They improve facial looks and improve the healthy living of those with any sort of skin disorders, conditions, and types. 

They help boost the confidence of a lot of people especially teens by helping them understand and manage acne properly during puberty. 

And they work as specialists in Mohs surgery, pediatric dermatology, procedural dermatology, dermatopathology, and cosmetic dermatology. 

Your main study as a dermatologist usually begins with a four-year undergraduate bachelor’s degree program, another four-year program in medical school, and residency.

Dermatologists are one of the most paid in Canada, is in high demand, and are among the top jobs too. So if it interests you to become a dermatologist either as an international or local student, then Canada would love to accept and train you to become a dermatologist.

 The demand in the profession has risen over the years most especially because of the rising trend in cosmetic treatments and the important roles they play In helping people boost their confidence through perfect skin.

In this article, we’ll be stating 10 important steps to take on how to become a dermatologist in Canada.

How To Become A Dermatologist In Canada- 10 Best steps

  • Prepare yourself 

  • Obtain Your Bsc 

  • Write Your MCAT

  • Complete Medical School 

  • Complete Your Residency Program

  • Complete a Fellowship Program

  • Get Certified

  • Obtain Necessary Requirements

  • Volunteer

  • Start a Practice/ Get a Job

Prepare yourself 

If you want to become a dermatologist in Canada then you should know that getting ready for medical school doesn’t start with going to med school. There should be due processes and preparations.

You knew you’d be studying or coming to study in Canada for a license to practice but how prepared are you? 

There’s a lot to prepare for and you would be lucky if you started earlier than the rest in preparing for your dream job.

Education in Canada can be quite expensive so the financial commitment would be very high. 

As a prospective Dermatology professional, you’re expected to take courses like maths, biology, and chemistry that are related to dentistry.

If you have specific areas of specialization you want to venture into, you should start reading and making research about them on time to get familiar as there are different branches of dentistry.

Also, educational requirements in Canada can be high because of the competitive nature of the admission processes depending on the institution. 

So do yourself a favor and maintain good grades and show proficiency in science-related subjects (the subjects mentioned won’t necessarily hinder your admissions process or be a prerequisite for now, but can be important and beneficial in your career path).

Obtain Your BSc 

Secondly, you need to obtain a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university to get accepted into medical school.

At the university, you get foundational knowledge in pre-medical courses including biology,  general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. 

Other courses like biochemistry and maths are also requirements for some students, depending on the university.

For Students with no medical degree, full completion of the equivalent of a four-year Canadian bachelor’s undergraduate degree is required.

Also, every prospective student of dentistry is required to have a minimum average of B or B+ in a previous degree. Academic excellence is also noticed in the evaluation process of every student during the admission process.

Write Your MCAT

If you want to become a dermatologist in Canada, the medical college admission test is mandatory. 

This is an exam that tests the degree of your academic strength and is a determinant if you’re going to complete your medical degree.

This is a CBT, designed and administered by the Association Of American Medical Colleges, and tests each student’s knowledge on critical thinking and scientific concepts, physical, social, and biological sciences and psychological and biological foundations of behavior.

Students with an interest in going to medical school should take the MCAT as its scores are a requirement for almost every school in Canada. 

Though this is one of the few requirements for admission into med school, the scores still can either aid or shatter your dreams of making it to medical school.

Also, during the admission process, the evaluation of students uses the scores of the MCAT as an even platform to rate all students who applied.

In the physical sciences section, students are tested on their problem-solving ability in the area of physics and chemistry. They are evaluated on their ability to recognize and evaluate written sections in verbal reasoning and are also tested in biological sciences in the areas of biology and organic chemistry.

The test runs at a set time as it is also part of the evaluation in areas of thinking speed and accuracy.

Complete Medical School 

Welcome to medical school !!

Medical Schools are super tough and competitive and require evidence of a very high academic performance in the MCAT.

Canada has just 17 medical Schools that have met all necessary accreditation requirements of the association of faculties of medicine of Canada and you can check them out to make your choice.

Remember as we said in the first step, you are to make research to make sure your Bsc degrees align with the requirements of your chosen school.

Upon graduation from medical school, you’re awarded a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree (DO)or doctor of medicine degree (MD).

Generally, schools of medicine have tough and rigorous application processes, and just a well-prepared student would be successful. Make research, get to Know everything concerning admission requirements, and make preparations for such documents.

Such of those documents include personal statements, references,  documented descriptions of your extracurricular schedules, etc. 

Also, there are additional tests and an interview to be undergone, which may vary according to school.

Complete Your Residency Program

The residency program trains a student as an intern for a fully licensed dermatologist before qualification to practice independently.

This is a five-year program that is usually approved by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. And is administered by the Canadian Resident Matching Service.

This program is designed to enroll a student for a two-year basic clinical training, including over 12 months of internal medicine training (with inclusive training on rheumatology, oncology, and infectious diseases.) and three months of pediatrics. 

There’s another three-year training in dermatology with an attached general hospital training (minimum of 1year )and consultation (six months).

There’s also an available one-year training in clinical research on dermatology or dermatopathology-related areas. And all interested students are to receive approval from their program directors.

Also, there is optional training in pathology, surgery and plastic surgery, and emergency medicine.

Complete a Fellowship Program

Upon completion of your residency program, you should though it’s optional, enroll in further training

In sub-specialized fields such as laser medicine, immunodermatology, dermatopathology, etc, and is completed in a one or two-year fellowship program.

Get Certified

After residency and fellowship, you should get certified by the RCPSC. 

This certification makes you a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada.

For you to get certified, you need to complete your Residency, and fellowship, pass the dermatology certification exam which is administered by the RCPSC and present a letter from your program director, as evidence of membership in an academic dermatology-related project.

The certification exam evaluates you professionally and consists of written content on general dermatology, common rare diseases, literature, and therapeutics.

This is a three-hour exam that consists of two papers with questions from courses like dermatopathology, clinical dermatology, CanMEDS roles, and cutaneous manifestations. 

Generally, the exam test a student’s ability, diagnosis, patient management skills, communication, and interpersonal skills.

Also, dermatologists must obtain a license to practice medicine and pass a board certification exam administered by the ABD(American Board of Dermatology) and the AOB(American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology).

Obtain Necessary Requirements

Districts and provinces have regulatory requirements before being allowed to become a resident dermatologist.

All requirements and needs for assessment would be found after you research the district you wish to practice.

There are various requirements but most times, you are required to register with the provincial college of Physicians and Surgeons, get a permanent residency or work permit, evidence of Canadian citizenship, special exams, tests, certifications, etc. 



You’re a licensed dermatologist now but before full-time practice, either as a private practice or at an already established practice you might want to join in volunteers to help educate less enlightened areas and regions.

A lot of very experienced dermatologists join the volunteer as Canada has a great mass of dermatologists volunteering each year to go enlighten and help improve the practice of Dermatology in rural and less developed areas.

This gives you fulfillment and helps you learn more from older experts, shadow them more attentively and broaden your work experience which will have a better look at a resume.

Start a Practice/ Get a Job

Now that you are certified and have gotten a wide range of experience, you can now be a practicing dermatologist.

Many job opportunities are available for dermatologists in Canada and it’s your choice to work in an established hospital or start an independent practice.

Your resume should your qualification, skills, and work experience (the need for volunteering). You should prepare a nice cover letter and go through interview questions as much as you can. 

You can work in hospitals, medical schools, outpatient centers research laboratories, or even start a private practice which can be a specialized practice.

What health issues do dermatologists treat? 

Dermatologists diagnose over 3,000 conditions that are related to the skin, hair, and nails.

Some of the conditions include:

  • Acne

  • Autoimmune diseases

  • Dermatitis

  • Hemangioma

  • Itchy skin

  • Psoriasis

  • Skin cancer

  • Skin infections

  • Moles

  • Spider and varicose veins

  • Hair loss

  • Nail conditions

  • Skin allergies

  • Eczema

  • Hair loss

  • Skin pigmentation

  • Scabies

  • Scars

  • Skin lesions

  • Warts

What a dermatologist does 

  • Management of a  patient’s skin condition

  • Assess  patient’s medical records

  • Analyze all information regarding skin health conditions

  • Prescribe medication

  • Inform and refer patients for treatments if needed

  • Monitor the success track of skin treatments 

  • Educate and advise patients on skin care routines and behavior

Essential Skills of Dermatologists

  • Adeptness

  • Clinical and diagnostic skills

  • Communication skills

  • Excellent attention to detail

  • Organizational skills

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Understand vocal information.

  • Understand written information.

  • Attentiveness

  • Patient management skills

Boards of Certification

  • the American Board of Dermatology

  • the American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology

  • the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

Top schools of Dermatology Canada

University of Toronto

Ranking (Dermatology): 

1st in Canada, 14th in the world

Courses in Dermatology:

  • Undergraduate certification in Advanced dermatology studies
  •  Doctor of Medicine
  •  residency program in graduate studies

International Student Fee: Approximately $61,350.00 annually.

Official website:

University of British Columbia

Ranking (Dermatology): 

2nd in Canada, 31st in the world

Courses in Dermatology: 

  • Masters of Science
  • Doctor of Medicine
  •  residency
  •  Doctor of Philosophy

International Student Fee: Approximately $33,700 annually.

Official website:

McGill University

Ranking (Dermatology): 4th in Canada, 125 in the world

Courses in Dermatology:

  •  Doctor of Medicine
  •  residency program

International Student Fee: Approximately $15,942.90 annually.

Official website:

Western University

Ranking (Dermatology): 5th in Canada, 132 in the world

courses in Dermatology: 

  • Doctor of Medicine 
  •  residency program

International Student Fee: Approximately $23,600 annually.

Official website:

University of Alberta

Ranking (Dermatology):

 6th in Canada, 144 in the world

Courses in Dermatology: 

  • Doctor of Medicine
  • residency program

International Student Fee: Approximately $29,500 – 47,314


Official website:

University of Calgary

Ranking (Dermatology): 7th in Canada, 176 in the world

Courses in Dermatology: 

  • Doctor of Medicine
  •  residency program

International Student Fee: Approximately 12,595.9 CAD annually.

Official website:

University of Ottawa

Ranking (Dermatology): 9th in Canada, 210 in the world

Courses in Dermatology: 

  • Doctor of Medicine

International Student Fee:


Official website: 

McMaster University

Ranking (Dermatology): 10th in Canada, 211 in the world

Courses in Dermatology:

  •  Doctor of Medicine

International Student Fee: Approximately$43,000D annually.

Official website:

Dalhousie University

Ranking (Dermatology): 11th in Canada, 213 in the world

Courses in Dermatology: 

  • Doctor of Medicine
  •  residency program

International Student Fee: Approximately annually

(Unspecified, vary according to courses).

Official website:

University of Saskatchewan

Ranking (Dermatology): 12th in Canada, 284 in the world

Courses in Dermatology:

  •  Doctor of Medicine
  •  residency program

Fees for international students: Approximately $2,516.40 annually.

Official website:


What are the Dermatologist programs in Ontario?

  • There’s a long list of programs in Ontario but the tops ones are :
  • Advanced Dermatology- University of Toronto
  • Animal Dermatology- University of Guelph
  • Dermatology- University of West Ontario
  • Dermatology- University of Toronto

How much does a Dermatologist make in Canada?

The annual average salary for a dermatologist is $263,261 in Canada.

Though it might not be the same level of earning in all districts and provinces.

salaries will vary also, according to work experience and establishment.

How many years does it take to become a dermatologist in Canada?: 

Generally, it takes up to 13 years to become a licensed Dermatologists In Canada because, after a four-year degree in University, you’ll enroll in another four-year program in medical school and then finally, five years of residency.


Canada is a splendid country and an attractive destination for any educational or career choice. Dermatologists are now in high demand, their services highly sought after and their incomes being on a steady increase. 

So why not try making good use of the steps outlined just for you and see yourself being among the lucky few living, practicing, learning, and earning in Canada?

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