The Role Of A Dermatology Physician Assistant (PA)
Physician assistants (PAs) are becoming more prevalent in many areas of healthcare. These highly qualified medical providers work with physicians, and they receive education and training in all major specialities, including dermatology. While physicians receive a doctorate degree in medicine, most PAs have a master’s degree in medicine.
“PAs who work in dermatology receive a great deal of additional training from the physicians they work with,” explains Ashley Evans, dermatology physician assistant at Sanova Dermatology – Dripping Springs in Austin, Texas. They may also attend conferences and take courses to further their dermatology knowledge. Often, physicians and PAs who work together deliver care in very similar ways. Some of the roles of a dermatology physician assistant include:
PAs often see patients on their own, and are highly skilled at obtaining a patient’s history and performing a physical exam. Dermatology PAs know all of the signs and symptoms of dermatological conditions, and can give you expert information based on what they find.
PAs can independently diagnose a wide range of skin, hair, and nail conditions including acne, psoriasis, hair loss, and more! However, they also work as a team with their collaborating physicians to make sure that every patient receives the correct diagnosis. This is one of the best parts of seeing a PA–it’s like having the knowledge of two providers! PAs can always consult with the physicians they work with to get a second opinion or to assist with a difficult or complex diagnosis.
Just like dermatologists, dermatology PAs can prescribe medications to treat skin, hair, and nail conditions. One of the focuses of PA education is learning about medications and how they work, different medication options for each condition, and side effects. PAs can also perform dermatological procedures, including many cosmetic procedures like Botox, dermal fillers, and laser treatments.
PA Evans feels fortunate to be apart of a large team with Austin’s top notch dermatologist. “PAs working within a practice as large as Sanova Dermatology have the additional benefit of consulting many dermatology experts for the most complicated of cases,” shares PA Evans. “The more collaborating providers on the team, the more treatment options we have to offer our patients.”
Dermatology physician assistants offer expert knowledge and treatment to their patients. You can feel confident trusting your health to a PA. To find out more, or to schedule an appointment with a dermatology PA, contact us today!