WHAT IS DERMATOLOGY?
Dermatology is a five year specialty training residency period after medical school; Dermatology residents receive extensive training in skin cancer diagnosis and therapy, skin cancer surgery, medical dermatology (e.g. psoriasis, acne, eczema etc) and cosmetic dermatology. This is not expertise that is gained at a weekend course. Most practicing Dermatologists in Canada have 13-14 years of post secondary education. Be wary of designations such as “cosmetic skin specialist” – there is no such recognized specialty. Read more about Dr. Chris Keeling's credentials here.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
There has been an extraordinary rise in the number of clinics and MediSpas offering cosmetic dermatology services. Many of these clinics are associated with a doctor who is not a Dermatologist and may not even be on site during your treatment session. Therefore, it is very important for the patient/client to be aware of precisely who is treating their skin.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY TREATING PHYSICIAN IS A DERMATOLOGIST?
Please visit the official Alberta society of dermatologists website.
MY DOCTOR WON'T REFER ME TO SEE A DERMATOLOGIST. WHAT CAN I DO?
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta states that your physician must honour a patients reasonable request to be referred to other healthcare professionals and to receive a second opinion about treatment or the physicians methods (see Section 6 of the Health Professions Act). This is your right as a citizen of Alberta. If you are having difficulties getting a referral, please contact us.
WHAT OTHER QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK?
How many of these procedures have you performed?
Have you taught this procedure to medical residents and other physicians?
Is your clinic a certified Non-Hospital Surgical Facility?
Will you be doing the procedure? If not, who will be doing it and what are his/her credentials?
Have you ever had any complications with this procedure? Be very, very cautious of someone who answers no to this question – Every procedure has a complication rate and you need a specialist that can recognize and treat complications.
Will you be in the building during my procedure?