What is A Derm PA?
There are over 2500 Physician Assistants (PAs) specializing in Dermatology in the United States. Derm PAs are licensed healthcare providers who work under the supervision of a Dermatologist and deliver healthcare based on a "Physician/PA Team" approach. Derm PAs diagnosis, evaluate and treat a variety of skin conditions, including surgical and cosmetic procedures. The medical and surgical services provided by the PA are delegated by their supervising physician based upon the experience, knowledge and training of the PA. Most Derm PAs work autonomously in their practice, but always with the supervision of a dermatologist.
Physician Assistants are trained in programs accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant The average program is 27 months. After graduation, PA's are required to pass a certification exam administered by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants before they can practice. In order to maintain certification, PAs must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education hours every two years and take a re-certification exam every 6-10 years. Derm PAs may obtain additional training through educational resources such as CME conferences, dermatology journals, dermatology grand rounds, self study courses, and the SDPA Diplomate Fellowship. Physician Assistants often provide lectures at PA programs and serve as clinical preceptors to PA students.