Change is inevitable, but how we adapt to changes in life can determine whether we can move forward. Sometimes our reaction is to wonder why change is needed if things are perfect the way they are. But are they “perfect?” What is ideal for one person doesn’t mean it is suitable for all. What worked yesterday may not even be considered for today. We must learn to adapt and pivot quickly; otherwise, we will be left behind. Trust me; I have been there trying to keep up with social media, work, family, and this thing called life! Some days I feel left behind, and others think I am way ahead of the game. But, in the end, I keep going. You have to!
It’s exciting to see the landscape of opportunities broaden for Dermatology PAs. However, one thing remains the same—every one of us is an ambassador for the profession. If we all continue to move forward together, the road will widen, and the opportunity path to growth will be well established for the future Derm PAs who will continue to do the same. Sure, there will be bumps in the road because, if it were easy, every one of us would be doing it 24/7. However, if we all pitch in, it will become easier to get the message across of everything we can do and much more. The leaders of any organization are not the only ones promoting our profession; all of you who go to work as a Derm PA do so daily. So, make sure your voice is heard loud and clear that you are proud to be a PA, that you are an integral part of the Dermatology Team, and that you matter.
What I have learned throughout my leadership years is that collaboration and communication are crucial to success. Most importantly, inclusion. Inclusion of all, no matter what level of leadership they are at. Leadership is not nor ever will be a popularity contest or game. In addition, appreciation of volunteers and staff is essential to keep the morale up. Even if it is a quick text message saying, “I appreciate you,” “Keep up the good work,” or a simple “Hello, how are you doing today?” can make a huge difference. This type of gesture also makes a huge difference at work as I speak to many colleagues who feel “invisible” or unappreciated. Maybe everyone should be taught the ethics and etiquette of being a team player because, in the end, it is for all the patients we care about.
Leadership comes in all forms (i.e., time commitment, personality, talent). Having an extensive network to bring it together keeps it growing and makes it more accessible for all involved. That is why we need you. The SDPA needs your uniqueness, time (whatever you have to give), and ideas for us to grow. Finally, please remember, we all need encouragement to open our own leadership door. People sometimes need an extra “push” to take it to the next level, which is okay. The person to offer that extra push to a future leader might be you! Remember that.
The SDPA Leadership Summit was 100 percent focused on Derm PAs. We have learned to make positive habits in our daily lives by being goal-oriented, embracing change, accepting responsibility, complementing, and never stopping learning. Most importantly, make sure you listen and understand without losing either your self-confidence or temper.
Keep in mind that you are not only members of the SDPA, but you are goodwill ambassadors for the profession. You represent the profession every single day. You make the difference in access to patient care, research, and education. Be very proud of that.
-Renata Block, MMS, PA-C