The ISDPA is organized to promote the professional and personal development of Physician Assistants in the State of Illinois in the practice of quality, cost effective, and accessible health care in the medical specialty of dermatology. The ISPDA will also promote the Physician/PA relationship of the health care team in the practice of patient centered medical care.
Dermatology PAs are the fastest growing specialty in America. Find out what it means to be a dermatology PA as we take you behind the scenes of some of today’s top derm PAs as they talk about their education, challenges and passion for the work they do every day.
Physician assistants (PAs) in dermatology play a number of varied and vital roles, reflecting many facets of the field. From patient care and education, to skin surgery, treatment of chronic skin conditions, and cosmetic procedures, PAs are dynamic and flexible members of the medical team. Adaptable and versatile, they complement the work of their supervising physicians, making the practice of dermatology more flexible and responsive to the needs of patients and dermatologists. PAs practice medicine with physician supervision and have the authority to diagnose and treat patients with a range of medical conditions. PAs’ generalist medical education provides a solid foundation from which to address the diverse aspects of dermatology practice, including performing physical exams, diagnosing conditions and developing treatment plans, providing health counseling, prescribing medications, and assisting in surgery. PAs have suture training and, in the field of dermatology, perform biopsies and simple and complex excisions, as well as assist in major medical procedures such as Mohs. Dermatology PAs routinely see patients for acne, eczema, and other common skin disorders. Physician assistants are trained in intensive medical education programs accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. The average PA program curriculum is 26 months and is characterized by a rigorous, competency-based curriculum with both didactic and clinical components. Programs are offered at medical schools, colleges and universities, and teaching hospitals. PAs provide medical care with physician supervision. All states, the District of Columbia, and Guam regulate PAs. In those 52 jurisdictions and in federal agencies, physicians may delegate to PAs those medical duties that are within the physician’s scope of practice and the PA’s training and experience as allowed by law. After graduation, PAs are required to pass the national certifying examination administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) before they can practice. To maintain certification, PAs must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and take a recertification examination every six years.