Dermatology Physician's Assistant - just as good as the doctor?
April 1, 2014 6:50 AM Subscribe
Is it reasonable to see a PA (Physician's Assistant) for your first dermatology exam for medical (not cosmetic) reasons? Or should I insist on the actual doctor?
posted by CathyG to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
Last week, I made an appointment to see a dermatologist for the first time. I'd like to get a baseline review of full body skin (I have a ton of moles/freckles) and I have a few weird things on my skin that I want to ask about. This is totally a medical appointment, not cosmetic and I was clear about that when I made the appointment.
The office just called to confirm the appointment for tomorrow, and they said that I would be seeing the PA (Physician's Assistant) instead of the doctor. Is this reasonable? In general, does a dermatology PA have the right kind of experience to look at weird things on your skin and decide whether it needs to have further examination... and is that further examination just "we better ask the doctor to look at this one", which means I would have to come back for another appointment to see the doctor, when I thought that's what this appointment was for?
Should I cancel this appointment and request one specifically with the doctor, or am I probably OK seeing the PA? I can call the office back and ask them this question, but I wanted to gather some insights if the hive has any.