If you’re looking for a new dermatologist or even maybe your first dermatologist, let me give you some help so you can find the right doctor for you. Start with a personal referral. Ask a friend or a coworker or a relative, or better yet, ask your regular doctor for a name. And ladies, ask your gynecologist. He or she is often an excellent source of referral. If you don’t have access to a personal referral, then call the local hospital or, even better yet, call a teaching hospital and ask them to recommend a dermatologist on staff. Once you have his or hers, as the case may be, name, find out about his medical education and his professional activities, as there is often a correlation between those items and the level of professionalism that constitutes the right doctor for you. You’ll want to know where he went to medical school. Is he board-certified by the American Academy of Dermatology which means he's passed a very exacting test that assures a certain level of competency. Does he belong to the American Academy of Dermatology and what other professional organizations, because the more organizations he belongs to, the more apt he is to have multiple interactions with other physicians which assures a greater level of competency. What hospital does he belong to, and does he teach at the hospital? Teaching the residents requires being up on the latest breakthroughs in medicine and again helps find the right doctor for you. How do you get this information? Go to the doctor’s website. If the doctor doesn’t have a website, call his office manager and ask her these questions. It’s OK to interview him or her. Lastly, you can get this information from professional organizations like the American Academy of Dermatology or the local hospital. One other item may be important and that is what is the doctor's availability after hours, during the evening and on weekends? That may be important to you. No research method is perfect but this approach will help you get information so you can find the right doctor for you.