What is a Derm PA?

PAs practice in every medical and surgical specialty and have been collaborating with dermatologists since the 1970s, providing a wide variety of services.

Physician Assistants (PAs) play an essential role in team-based practice of dermatology.

PAs are licensed medical providers that practice medicine with physician collaboration. From patient care and education, to skin surgery, treatment of chronic skin conditions, and cosmetic procedures, PAs are dynamic members of the healthcare team. PAs practice in every medical and surgical specialty and have been collaborating with dermatologists since the 1970s, providing a wide variety of services. These include history taking, performing exams, diagnosing, along with development and implementation of treatment plans including: prescribing of medications, ordering and interpreting lab tests, and surgical management of a wide variety of dermatologic diseases. As with all PAs, dermatology PAs are legally and ethically bound to practice only with physician collaboration, as defined by state law.

PAs are trained in intensive and accredited education programs.

Because of the close working relationship that PAs have with physicians, PAs are educated in the medical model designed to mirror and complement physician training and often do clinical rotations alongside medical students. Upon graduation, PAs take a national certification examination and they must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education (CME) every two years and take a recertification exam every ten years to maintain their certification. In addition, they are required to perform Self Assessment (SA) and Performance Improvement (PI) CME during their ten-year cycle. Graduation from an accredited PA program and passage of the national certifying exam are required for state licensure. How PAs practice dermatology varies with training, experience, and state law. In addition, the scope of the PAs responsibilities corresponds to the collaborating physician’s scope of practice. In general, a PA will see many of the same types of patients as the physician. Referral to the physician, or close consultation between the PA and physician, is based on the dynamic relationship between the physician and PA team.

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Derm PA Training
Learn some valuable tips on how to integrate a Derm PA into your practice and how to train them so that they can be most effective in helping you and your patients.
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Do I Need a Derm PA?
The demand for dermatological services has never been higher. Learn about the benefits that hiring a dermatology physician assistant can bring to your practice.
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