What Is A Dermatology Physician Assistant?

Jun 1, 2020 | Trending Topics

You may have heard me say I am a Dermatology Physician Assistant (PA). If you are like many people; including my own patients, you don’t really know what that is or what I do from day to day. 

I want to share with you a “day in the life” as a Dermatology PA but first, let me take a moment to explain what a PA is. 

What is a PA?

PAs are medical professionals who diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and often serve as a patient’s principal healthcare provider. With thousands of hours of medical training, (PAs are educated at the master’s degree level) PAs are versatile and collaborative. Upon graduation, PAs must pass boards to become certified at the national level.  We maintain this certification with hours of continuing education and by re- taking the exam every 10 years. PAs practice in every state and in every medical setting and specialty, improving healthcare access and quality.

What is a Dermatology PA?

Physician Assistants (PAs) in the field of dermatology are licensed healthcare providers who work in collaboration with a Dermatologist.  PAs in dermatology both diagnose and treat a wide variety of skin, hair, and nail conditions that are medical, surgical, as well as cosmetic in nature.  

Why did I decide to become a Dermatology PA?

It was an easy decision for me. In my training, we are exposed to a variety of specialties. From pediatrics to surgery.  I spent a month with a Dermatologist and I saw how he changed people’s lives. I saw how skin and its appearance can actually affect mood. I also realized that skin has so many functions and that when it is not functioning properly, so many things can happen.  It is fascinating to me and I still learn something new every day. 

What is my typical day like? 

I work in an academic center so unlike many private Dermatology practices, we have full days, 5 days a week. I typically start at 8am and see my last patient at 4. After that, I spend about an hour and a half calling patients back, refilling medications, reviewing lab results and charting.  I see about 25 patients a day and treat a variety of conditions from acne to lupus and skin cancers. One morning a week, I have journal club where we gather and discuss important developments in Dermatology or we have Grand Rounds. Grand Rounds is where we discuss the most difficult cases in our practice and in the community. I love these days because I am always learning something new. 

Why did I decide to start Perfect Skin Code?

One thing I notice while treating patients is that everyone wants great skin. However, most people have no clue how to get there. What most people do is try something and hope for the best. This leads to frustration when products don’t work for them, or make their skin even worse.  I decided to start Perfect Skin Code as a way to help people weed through the tons of information out there and decide what is best for them based not on recommendations and ads, but on their personal skin care needs and goals. Eventually, I decided to create my own skin care products as a way to provide effective, science based products that I know people want. No fluff, just good products.  I am still working to formulate the best products without a hefty price tag-the process has not been easy but it will be worth it. Stay tuned for announcements regarding the launch of my products including beauty tools! 

In the meantime, click
 here to set up a 20 min video skin consultation. During the consultation, we will discuss your skin care concerns and formulate a plan to help you achieve your best skin ever!  

Creator & CEO of Perfect Skin Code
Photo of Perfect Skin Code owner Kimberly Brown
Kimberly Brown

Perfect Skin Code was created by Kimberly Brown, a Physician Assistant in Dermatology, when she decided to create products for her patients who had trouble finding effective yet gentle skin care products.

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