Malaysia facing shortage of dermatologists

June 20, 2012

An acute shortage of dermatologists has prompted Malaysia’s health ministry to call for the country’s medical schools to increase training in the specialty.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - An acute shortage of dermatologists has prompted Malaysia’s health ministry to call for the country’s medical schools to increase training in the specialty.

TheSunDaily.com reports that there are only 84 registered dermatologists in Malaysia - one for every 200,000 people. The Ministry of Health’s goal is to have 285 dermatologists by 2020.

Only seven or eight of the nation’s 33 medical colleges teach dermatology, mainly due to lack of interest in the field, TheSunDaily.com reports. The health ministry has met with the deans of medical schools to discuss reintroducing dermatology training to boost interest in the field.

Dermatological Society of Malaysia President Koh Chuan Keng, M.D., told TheSunDaily.com that the main reason for the shortage is that it takes up to 20 years to be a fully qualified dermatologist.

“After completing his housemanship of two years, a medical graduate would have to practice in general medicine for up to five years before he would be allowed to take up the health ministry’s dermatology training program, which will take another five years,” Dr. Keng said.

TheSunDaily.com quotes Dr. Keng as saying the society has urged the ministry to shorten that process.

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