DERMATOLOGY is a medical specialty involving the evaluation and treatment of conditions related to skin, hair, and nails. Dermatologists complete a 4-year residency in Dermatology prior to becoming eligible for certification by the American Board of Dermatology. Some Dermatologists may also pursue subspecialization in Dermatopathology (the study of cutaneous structures at the microscopic level), Pediatric Dermatology, or Micrographic Surgery & Dermatologic Oncology (also known as Mohs Micrographic Surgery, or Mohs). While Dermatologists treat diseases such as skin cancer, psoriasis, and eczema, many offer Cosmetic Dermatology services as well. Cosmetic Dermatology (also known as Aesthetic Dermatology) is a lucrative and rapidly expanding area within the Dermatology field. Aesthetic procedures include dermal fillers, laser treatments, chemical peels, and an ever-expanding variety of procedures and techniques. While any Cosmetic Dermatology procedure may be performed by a Dermatologist, many practices delegate aesthetic procedures to mid-level providers such as Physician Assistants, nurses, and aestheticians. While laws regarding such practices vary from state to state, it is becoming increasingly common to see mid-level providers performing Aesthetic Dermatology procedures.
Malpractice claims against Dermatologists generally involve complications of treatment, though some claims stem from allegations of missed or delayed diagnosis.