Insights from the Dermatology Education Foundation

NPs and PAs ease the burden of an overwhelming demand for dermatologic care.


The Dermatology Education Foundation (DEF) is dedicated to developing educational and training resources for new and experienced dermatology nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs). Live national conferences (DERM2019) regional Bootcamps (Biologic and Small Molecule- Atopic Dermatitis and Psoriasis Focused) will deliver the clinical updates and training needed to maximize your level of practice. The DEF’s Advisory Board is comprised of national leaders and pioneers from the NP and PA communities, whose collaborative efforts lead DEF through the educational and grant programs offered.

DEF Founder Joe Gorelick and Advisory Board member Kara S. Gooding took time in February 2019’s issue of Practical Dermatology to talk about the valuable contributions of NPs and PAs in the dermatology field. “The overwhelming dermatologic needs of the US population have created a burden resulting in long wait times for patients to gain access to a dermatologist. Dermatologists have helped to address this need by integrating NPs and PAs into their practices.” Practicing clinicians are able to form bonds with practice patients and, in some cases, are seen as the primary provider of dermatologic care.

Gorelick and Gooding also bring forward the challenges PAs and NPs face, such as being properly paid for the work performed. “One of our largest challenges in the coming years will be obtaining adequate reimbursement for our services though insurance providers. Insurers demand more from individual health care providers, increasing our burden, while cutting reimbursements. Compounding this issue, some insurers reimburse NPs and PAs at 85 percent the rate that is payed to our physician colleagues for performing the same service.”

The DEF aims to help develop PAs and NPs provide the best possible patient outcomes by holding annual CME conferences and free resources online for CME credit. The DEF also offers a Mentorship Grant for NPs and PAs who seek hands-on training.

Read the full article in February’s issue of Practical Dermatology.