Dermatology Physician Assistants Helping To Supplement Care in Underserved Areas

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Alex M. Glazer MD
National Society for Cutaneous Medicine
New York, New York 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We had previously studied the geographic distribution of dermatologists throughout the United States which revealed that dermatologists are unevenly geographically distributed throughout the country, with many regions having fewer than the 4 providers per 100,000 people needed to adequately care for a population. Because of the influx of PAs and NPs into the healthcare workforce throughout the past decade, we wanted to see how these providers were supplementing dermatologic care.

The main finding of our study is that dermatology PAs are helping to supplement dermatologists and together are providing broader, more uniform coverage across the United States

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Although there is an undersupply of dermatologists, dermatology PAs are helping to supplement care and provide more care, especially in regions which were previously under-served. Because the growth of board-certified dermatologists is limited by the number of residency training slots (which has remained relatively stagnant), dermatology PAs are playing a substantial role in correcting the dermatology provider supply shortage.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Further research including dermatology nurse practitioners and other non-physician clinicians could give a better idea of the total dermatology provider index throughout the United States. Additionally, further workforce research to show what services the non-physician clinicians may be providing may help to more accurately assess how these providers are supplementing dermatologists and if there are additional dermatologic care gaps which may need to be corrected

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Glazer AM, Rigel DS. Analysis of Trends in Geographic Distribution of US Dermatology Workforce Density. JAMA Dermatol. Published online March 15, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.6032

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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