Early Skin Cancer More Accurately Diagnosed By Dermatologist Than Other Providers

Physician assistants (PAs) are increasingly used in dermatology practices to cut costs and improve access to care, but are more likely than dermatologists to perform unnecessary skin biopsies to check for cancer, while being less likely to accurately diagnose early stage skin cancers, according to new research conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

The results of the study, led by Laura Ferris, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Dermatology, are published today in JAMA Dermatology.

“Although the availability of PAs may help increase access to care and reduce waiting times for appointments, these findings have important implications for training of PAs and other non-physician practitioners in dermatology,” said Ferris. “Currently there is no formal training or certification program in dermatology for PAs or other advanced practice providers.”

Read the full article at medicalxpress.com