Go to AAD Home
Donate For Public and Patients Store Search

Go to AAD Home

American Academy of Dermatology Association statement on physician assistant name change

ROSEMONT, Ill. (June 4, 2021) — Statement from AADA President Kenneth J. Tomecki, MD, FAAD

The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) values the role of physician assistants as members of a physician-led team providing quality patient care. But the AADA and its members strongly oppose the title change proposed by the American Academy of PAs from physician assistant to physician associate. The change will exacerbate patient confusion about who is providing care and his/her role in the health care system. The name change will not reflect the difference in education and training as compared to the training of a board-certified dermatologist.

Physician assistants are important components of patient care, collaborating appropriately with dermatologists throughout the U.S. The AADA believes that optimum care is delivered under the leadership of a board-certified dermatologist who provides direct, on-site supervision to all non-dermatologist personnel. Everyone who delivers medical care has an obligation to inform patients and the public of individual qualifications and competencies prior to treatment. Scope of practice in dermatology is critical to ensure patient safety.

# # #


Nicole Dobkin, ndobkin@aad.org

Julie Landmesser, JLandmesser@aad.org

About the AADA

Headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential and most representative of all dermatologic associations. A sister organization to the Academy, the American Academy of Dermatology Association is the resource for government affairs, health policy and practice information for dermatologists, and plays a major role in formulating policies that can enhance the quality of dermatologic care. With a membership of more than 20,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to excellence in the diagnosis and medical and surgical treatment of skin disease; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education and research in medical dermatology, surgical dermatology and dermatopathology; and supporting and enhancing patient care to reduce the burden of disease. For more information, contact the Academy at (888) 462-DERM (3376) aad.org. Follow the AAD on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology), Twitter (@AADskin), Instagram (@AADskin1), or YouTube (AcademyofDermatology).