Our last blog reflected on some of the changes we have seen in dermatology over the last decade. As we now start to get into the routine of the working year, we thought we could reflect on one of the most common questions we, as dermatologists, get asked by you – our patients. “What is it like to be a dermatologist in Melbourne?” and “Do you enjoy this work?”
Being a dermatologist in Melbourne, Australia is unique in many ways.
- Service – Private and Public: Dermatologists in Melbourne usually practice in both private and public sectors. While there are a number of dermatologists that work only private practice, many also hold positions in public hospitals. Patients that need to be seen in hospitals may have more severe, difficult to treat conditions and may require multiple specialists to care for them holistically. Public hospital service also provides a unique opportunity to interact and learn from other medical and surgical colleagues.
- Variety – it’s the spice of life: Dermatologists in Melbourne treat a wide variety of patients. Dermatology is one of the few specialties that treat children and adults. People from many walks of life have skin, hair and nail issues. There are literally thousands of skin conditions that are studied and seen in dermatology which means that every day brings challenges and something new. Some of the common conditions dermatologists see and treat are acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, hair loss and skin checks. But other less common conditions like hyperhidrosis, connective tissue diseases and problems are also seen and treated by dermatologists.
- Procedures – knives and laser beams: Dermatologists are also trained to perform skin surgery. Cutting out skin cancers is the most common type of procedure that dermatologists in Melbourne perform. We also remove small lumps, cysts, bumps and other skin spots using various surgical techniques. Some dermatologists have laser and light devices that, with the right technology and settings, can safely treat things like red birth marks, freckles and acne scars and can rejuvenate the skin.
- Teaching and research: Many dermatologists are also involved in teaching via universities and hospitals and supporting medical students and residents. Teaching is most commonly done before, during and after clinics and may even be done after hours. In Melbourne, only a few dermatologists are involved in investigator-initiated research because of the red tape and financial hurdles that research presents in Australia. For those of actively involved in research, the academic side of things really does give meaning to clinical work.
- Diversity – Chroma’s passion: Melbourne is a bustling metropolis and is home to people from hundreds of different countries. With nearly 5 million people and over 128 languages spoken in the city centre, Melbourne really is one of the most interesting places on the planet if you want to experience different cultures, cuisines and festivals. At Chroma Dermatology, we are passionate about caring for those with pigment problems and for those with skin of colour. We are proud to provide expertise in the diagnosis and management of skin conditions in people with Chinese, Indian, African, Hispanic/Latino, Indigenous, Pacific Islander and Middle Eastern skin types. We are excited about our culturally diverse and multi-lingual team and are happy to have our website available in over 20 languages.
Being a dermatologist in Melbourne is relentlessly challenging, infinitely rewarding and consistently evolving. It is a fine balance of medicine and surgery and if one is interested, can also involve education, patient advocacy and research.
We look forward to bringing you interesting facts and stories in this blog about pigment problems and dermatology in skin of colour during 2020.