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What is the difference between a physicians assistant in dermatology and an actual dermatologist? Which is the better way to go?

Updated Bluffdale, Utah

As a future dermatologist, I have looked at the many different options out there in the world. The issue is that I am confused on which path to take. If someone could help, that would be great!
#medicine #dermatology #dermatologist #medicalfield #school #college-major #biology

1 answer

Hwal’s Answer

Updated Roanoke, Virginia

Hi Katie,

I wonder if you're still trying to decide which path to choose. I hope I can give you a bit more clarity since I'm a current PA student. Firstly, the amount of time and education required to become a PA vs. a dermatologist is different. I believe a dermatology PA can graduate from an accredited PA school and start working, most likely followed by training and mentoring on the job by a dermatologist. PA students are trained as generalists, so it gives them a great flexibility and versatility in terms of what healthcare settings they can work in.

Dermatologists, as I understand, would finish 4 years of medical school followed by 3 years of residency in dermatology. I believe the average salary for dermatologists is higher than for dermatology PAs, but there's much overlap in what they do on a daily basis. I would encourage you to perhaps talk to at least one dermatology PA and a dermatologist. I hope this helps.

Good luck!


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