What is a Dermatology Physician Assistant?

By: Vivacare - Dr. Mark Becker

What is a Physician Assistant?

A physician assistant (PA) is a medical professional who has received academic and clinical training to provide medical care under the supervision of a physician. Physician assistants practice in a variety of clinical settings, including family practice, primary care, general surgery, and surgical specialties.

PAs are licensed by all 50 states to practice medicine in collaboration with a physician. Each state has some sort of practice plan or collaboration agreement that allows the team to outline how they will work together to care for patients.

What is a Dermatology Physician Assistant?

Building on their primary-care training and experience, physician assistants may receive additional training in dermatology.

Together the physician-PA team will determine which clinical cases will be addressed and which dermatological procedures will be offered by the Physician Assistant.

Most PAs work autonomously within a dermatology office much like a staff dermatologist seeing a wide range of medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology case, but always with the support of a board-certified or board-eligible dermatologist.

PAs get additional education through their required continuing medical education (CME) hours at dermatology based conferences, tumor boards, dermatology grand rounds and self-study courses.

What is the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants (SDPA)?

Society for Dermatology Physician AssistantsThe Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants (SDPA) is a 501c6 non-profit professional organization composed of members who provide dermatologic care or have an interest in the medical specialty of dermatology. The SDPA is the only constituent organization of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) dedicated solely to the specialty of dermatology. As one of the largest AAPA constituent organizations, the SDPA has over 2,700 members spread out across the United States. The SDPA is the premier source for professional education, training, and networking within the field of dermatology PA’s.

Some dermatology Physician Assistants are referred to as Diplomate Fellows. This status is conferred upon those dermatology PAs who have completed an extensive training program. The SDPA Diplomate Fellowship™️ is the premier training program for PAs in the field of dermatology.