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Why Board Certified?
In the Middle Ages, expert skill in any discipline, from medicine to masonry, was learned and validated by serving an apprenticeship for years before being declared a master by a group of masters—the guild. The guild’s standards of excellence, ethics, and conduct insured quality and professionalism throughout generations. One look at an ancient cathedral attests to the success of this method.
In modern medicine, this same principle is still applied as specialties require a long apprenticeship of rigorous training and practice after graduation from medical school. In the case of dermatology, the apprenticeship—including general, surgical, and cosmetic aspects of this specialty—usually lasts four years after becoming a medical doctor, culminating in a comprehensive national board exam given by the masters. Beyond this, experts in the field continue to pass on skills and wisdom to fellow specialists. This is what it takes to become and remain a board certified specialist.
Since current law allows physicians to call themselves by any specialty they choose, take the time to find out if your dermatologist is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology.
Robert Benson, MD
American Board Certified Dermatologist
Dermatological Surgeon and Cosmetic Surgeon