In Canada the name “dermatologist” is reserved for medical specialists who have earned a medical degree and have completed an intensive five-year program of advanced medical and surgical training in the prevention, recognition and treatment of diseases of the skin, hair, and nails.

How to become a dermatologist

Student studying to become dermatologist

Enroll in university and complete an honours undergraduate program that provides a strong pre-medical education. After successfully completing a four-year program and passing the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). application to medical school can be made. Medical School consists of another four years of study, after which the designation of MD is awarded.

After Medical School

Once accepted into one of the nine accredited Canadian universities that offer a Dermatology residency program, all Dermatology residents receive five years of advanced medical and surgical training.

Accredited Universities Dermatology Residency Programs

Residency programs are divided as follows

  • Two years of foundational clinical training.
  • Three years of approved residency training in Dermatology which must include a minimum of 1.5 years in an academic health sciences centre, and up to one year in research related to Dermatology.


Following residency, an individual must pass a series of medical examinations. After successful completion, a Specialist Certificate in Dermatology is awarded.

Post Certification

To ensure ongoing proficiency, all medical specialists are required to complete a mandatory Maintenance of Certification Program regulated by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. This involves additional training over and above the daily practice of medicine.