Why see a dermatologist? Educate your patients with this visually rich resource


By Elizabeth Martin, MD
Chair of the AAD Council on Communications

In November, to commemorate National Healthy Skin Month, the Academy launched a new campaign to educate the public about the importance of skin health and underscore the importance of the specialty.

The campaign includes a visually stunning web page, titled Why See a Board-Certified Dermatologist?, that includes a wealth of engaging graphics that explain why it’s important to see a board-certified dermatologist. The page includes information on:

Why See a Board-Certified Dermatologist? web page includes several infographics that educate patients on the specialty.

  • The diseases dermatologists treat.
  • The differences between dermatologists and nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
  • First-hand stories of patients who have received dermatologic care.
  • The amount of training required to become a dermatologist.
  • How a patient can tell if their dermatologist is board-certified.

Since launch, the page has been viewed by tens of thousands of people. The campaign also has been very successful on social media. We’ve posted infographics from the campaign through various channels and they have been shared hundreds of times.

In addition, the Academy issued a news release highlighting dermatologists’ expertise and encouraging the public to see a board-certified dermatologist if they have skin concerns.

I encourage all member to download the Why See A Board-Certified Dermatologist and Know Your Provider infographics and powerpoint slides to help educate patients and the public about our specialty.

Scope of Practice and Truth in Advertising

The public campaign to educate patients couldn’t come at a better time. In November, the Academy published a Letter to the Editor in response to a New York Times article, “Skin Cancers Rise – Along With Questionable Treatments,” which depicted detrimental patient experiences when treated by physician assistants for suspected skin cancers – without direct supervision of a dermatologist. The Academy took the opportunity to reinforce its position on scope of practice regulations, firmly stating that non-physician clinicians are to be supervised by a dermatologist in the practice. Non-physician clinicians should not provide dermatology care without supervision by a dermatologist.

The Academy is doggedly fighting non-physician efforts to expand their scope of practice. In the last three years alone, the Academy positively influenced scope of practice legislation in more than 20 states. To name a few, we have blocked nurse practitioner scope-of-practice expansion bills in Indiana and Pennsylvania, and defeated optometry scope expansion efforts in Maryland, North Carolina, Connecticut, and California.

In addition, the Academy has a firm position on truth in advertising and we are aggressively fighting for the implementation of direct and concise regulations and enforcement against fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading advertising. We are also pushing for regulations that require transparency and disclosure of a provider’s degree, field of study, board certification, and state licensure.

If you have a scope of practice or truth in advertising issue, the Academy can help you address it. Fill in this form, and the Academy will work with you to resolve this issue.

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