A message from Renata Block, MMS, PA-C, President, SDPA
As we begin the new year and strive toward new goals, I cannot help but reflect on what the SDPA has accomplished over the past six months. First, the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants (SDPA) and its membership continue to grow. We now have the highest number of members, volunteers, and staff personnel to date, with new members stepping up into leadership, which is beyond exciting for me. Second, the Journal of Dermatology for Physician Assistants (JDPA) has welcomed a new Editor-in-Chief, Ms. Cynthia Faires Griffith, MPAS, PA-C and more than 30 new peer reviewers for the journal. Their team has so much passion and drive that will undoubtedly take the journal to new heights in 2022. Finally, SDPA has exciting plans for all Dermatology PAs in 2022 to revamp the Dermatology PA Foundation (DPAF), take conferences to the next level, and provide more CME to make everything bigger, better, and focused on the profession in its entirety.
Even though the SDPA is a trade association with members, I feel that it truly represents all Dermatology PAs because, in the end, we educate, support, and defend individual Dermatology PAs whether member or nonmember. SDPA members, I applaud you for supporting the only organization that gives back to the entire Dermatology PA profession. If you are not a member, I encourage you to join and be part of the movement that takes us higher because together, we are stronger.
The PA profession is a top career choice in healthcare (again), but we already knew that. For the fifth year in a row, PA has been named one of the top two healthcare jobs in the country by U.S. News & World Report in its annual Best Jobs List. PA was runner up this year to Nurse Practitioner on the Best Healthcare Jobs List and placed third on Best Jobs Overall. I would argue we take it a step further and say the Dermatology PA profession is even better, although I acknowledge that, as a practicing Derm PA, I’m a little biased! PA positions, especially in Dermatology, are highly sought after, as we know. So, this year, we continue to highlight members’ accomplishments to share with our colleagues and the public. Please keep them coming! Also, don’t forget to pay it forward to an aspiring Dermatology PA by offering your time and guidance through mentorship.
I get asked by many strangers about becoming a Dermatology PA, and I never hesitate to tell them my story. I also emphasize the importance of becoming involved outside the scope of the practice. Whether a pre-PA student, a current PA student, or a PA practicing in a different specialty, I am always available to share my wisdom. Though these conversations are hardly ever done in person, it is a pleasure to connect with these individuals and take the journey throughout their careers. Nothing feels better than to finally meet with those connections in person at an SDPA conference.
The positive vibes within the organization keep the momentum going. It takes a team to move the ball but only one person to get that ball rolling. Could you be that person? Absolutely! Be the change and remember that change is imperative for any company or organization to grow and become successful. New thoughts and ideas brought in are what evolves the status quo. Though it can be frightening at first, it is the only way to move forward! So, I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and “go-for-it!”