Top Women in Derm Offer a Fresh Outlook During SDPA Town Hall Meeting

SDPA Board President Lauren Miller, MPAS, PA-C, Nov. 17 took the stage as a moderator and leader in a presentation with Alicia Quella, PhD, PA-C, Director of PA Relations for NCCPA; AAPA President Jennifer Orozco, DMSc, PA-C; and former SDPA Board President Jane Mast MPAS, PA-C.

Mast, Dermatology Medical Director with Novartis, kicked off the discussion by highlighting the partnership between SDPA, AAPA and Novartis medical affairs with their joint campaign for hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) awareness. Mast described HS as a “hidden disease” which significantly affects the mental health of those who suffer from the condition. It takes an average of 7-10 years before patients who have HS are properly diagnosed. Mast encouraged PAs to fill the breach in care for HS patients through “upskilling” your treatment of these patients.

Coverage: SDPA 20th Annual Fall Dermatology Conference Nov. 17-20, 2022, in Miami

Next, Alicia Quella, PhD, PA-C, Director of PA Relations for NCCPA, helped outline the new alternative to the PANRE, called the PANRE-Longitudinal Assessment (LA). Dr. Quella described the PANRE-LA as a “thoughtful and deliberate alternative” which relied on PA input as well as extensive qualitative and quantitative feedback from the Pilot-LA. Take-aways from the Pilot-LA reveal those who took the PANRE-LA had a growth in their knowledge over time, valued the flexibility and convenience and appreciated the use of references making the exam feel more like “real-life.” The PANRE-LA takes up to 3 years to complete over 8 quarters with 25 questions per quarter. Of note, the NCCPA Blueprint for both the PANRE and PANRE-LA will be updated in January of 2023. Lastly, certified PAs due for recertification in 2024, 2025 and 2026 are eligible for the 2023 initial launch of the PANRE-LA and must sign up before the 11/30/2022 deadline.

AAPA President Jennifer Orozco, DMSc, PA-C, highlighted some key statistics regarding challenges in our healthcare system. For example, 98 million Americans lack adequate access to primary care with 157 million Americans lacking access to mental health care, revealing patient demand is outpacing provider supply. PAs are working to fill the gap with a 28% increase in PA employment between 2021-2031. Furthermore, Dr. Orozco discussed the change in name for the profession from “physician assistant” to “physician associate,” emphasizing that “until your state laws change, you must say physician assistant.” On the other hand, PA societies and programs can change their names. It is likely that it will take 5-10 years before the profession name fully changes. The dual goals of optimal team practice (OTP) are advancement of the PA profession and increased access for patients. OTP allows PAs more autonomy and flexibility while maintaining our collaboration. Lastly, other topics such as diversity, equity and (DEI) in the PA profession, state laws, physician acceptance of the PA role and incorporation of PAs in research were further elucidated during this engaging session.

Byline: Sarah B.W. Patton, PA-C

Pictured: (from the left) SDPA Board President Lauren Miller, MPAS, PA-C; AAPA President Jennifer Orozco, DMSc, PA-C; and Alicia Quella, PhD, PA-C, Director of PA Relations for NCCPA.