In celebration of PA week, I would like to define the role of a Physician Assistant (PA) and recognize the terrific PAs working at Sand Lake Dermatology Center. PAs work in collaboration with Physicians in a team approach to treat patients and their medical conditions. We are able to diagnose, treat, order/interpret tests, counsel, perform surgeries and write prescriptions.
PAs have been involved in health care for 47 years and the first class of PAs graduated from Duke University in 1967. The profession was originally created to assist with a physician shortage and it has grown considerably over the years. PAs can be found in all medical specialties and are practicing in all 50 states. As health care continues to embrace the role of and need for PAs, demand has skyrocketed. In the 1990s there were only 50 accredited PA programs while currently there are 185 programs in the United States.
A PA is a nationally certified and state licensed medical professional. Graduate level training programs generally last approximately 26 months including a rigorous didactic portion and approximately 2000 hours of clinical experience. PA programs follow very similar medical and educational models as medical schools. In addition, prior to training, many PA students have prior medical experience in the medical field. Once a PA student graduates, they must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) in order to practice and recertify every 10 years. An individual must also complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years in order to maintain their certification and “PA-C”.
Sand Lake Dermatology Center has three fabulous PAs assisting with medical care: Theresa Helsel, Nicole Hill, and Gina Mangin. Each of us are passionate about dermatology and working in collaboration with our physicians to offer the best quality of patient care. Each of us treat acne, rashes, psoriasis, warts, nail disease, hair loss, and many other conditions. All lasers and IPL treatments are performed by the PA and we also perform cosmetic services such as Botox, dermal fillers, and sclerotherapy. We strive for perfection with compassion and are continually working to improve our skills and increase our knowledge.
Happy PA week to my colleagues! It is a pleasure to work beside you each day and offer superb patient care.
By: Gina Mangin, MPAS, PA-C