Postgraduate Medical Councilof Western Australia Careers Portal

Dermatology involves study, research, and diagnosis of disorders, diseases, cancers, cosmetic and ageing conditions of the skin, fat, hair, nails and oral and genital membranes.

It involves managing these through various means including:
  • Dermatohistopathology
  • Topical and systemic medications
  • Dermatologic surgery
  • Dermatologic cosmetic surgery
  • Immunotherapy
  • Phototherapy
  • Laser therapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Photodynamic therapy.
Most dermatologists work in private practice, but also provide services to hospitals and volunteer in remote areas of Australia and many also work in research.

Dermatologists treat a range of conditions including:
  • Skin cancers
  • Skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, scabies, inflammatory conditions, autoimmune and infectious conditions
  • Treatment of hair concerns including hair loss and pigmentation changes
  • Acne, varicose veins, pigmentation changes and rashes.
Working as a dermatologist in WA you will work across all hospitals and get work in areas such as surgical and paediatrics.


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Dermatologists generally have:
  • Ability to critically analyse research and evidence-based treatments
  • Problem solving abilities
  • Good clinical reasoning skills
  • An interest in work that is logical, analytical and evidence-based
  • An interest in work that requires pattern recognition and repetition
  • Enjoyment from procedural skills
  • Interest in emerging technologies and research
  • Empathy and understanding of a patient’s journey.
The work hours as a consultant can provide a very good work-life balance.



To become a dermatologist you must undertake four years of training (with some flexibility for part-time training) as outlined by the Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD)

State faculties oversee the implementation of the national program in their state, with you nominating in which state you’d prefer to complete your training. There are approximately six registrar positions with only a few available each year. 

If you are successful you are rotated through different positions during the four years of training, so you can experience working in both large and small hospital settings as well as rurally. There is also the opportunity to apply to train overseas for one year. Once you have been accepted into the training program it can be difficult to move states, but it may be possible. 

ACD is a very small college, particularly in WA, providing a very structured program with lots of support and opportunities for feedback on your progress. 

As a trainee, you will move between the hospitals throughout the day whilst maintaining inpatients and fielding consults on the ward. Your week will also include tutorials which may be afterhours.

It is considered difficult to get into the training program but if you are passionate you will get there. You will need to be strong academically and clinically, have publications in your name and outside experiences. There is also a focus on those who want to work rurally. It’s also useful to talk with consultant dermatologists about any projects you could work with them on, or research articles you could assist with.  There are some resident rotations that include dermatology, but they are very sought after.

Success rate on first applications is about 25%. But it does go up from there. If you are keen, then be passionate and persistent!

Dermatology is a stand-alone qualification but can progress a dual qualification after completion.


What do you enjoy about dermatology training?
What isn't as enjoyable about dermatology training?
Is it possible to move states while undertaking dermatology training?
How many trainee positions are available in dermatology training each year?
How can I improve my chances of getting accepted onto dermatology?
Does dermatology offer flexible working arrangements?
Does dermatology offer dual training?
What is the application process?
Is dermatology competitive?
What is the assessment panel looking for in applications?

Most dermatologists work in private practice, but also provide their services to hospitals and volunteer in remote areas of Australia. Many dermatologists also work in research.

There is currently an under supply of dermatologists Australia wide and the ACD and Commonwealth Government, have aligned on ACD’s new strategic plan. Part of this strategic plan is to build the specialist pipeline by exploring innovative methods for delivering training.

N.B. Career prospects are dependent on both the supply of specialists and the projected future demand for services provided by medical specialists (including general practitioners). The complex interplay of supply and demand is currently being modelled at both a state and national level and will be included when it's available.