Certified physician assistant specializing in cosmetic & aesthetic dermatology 


Physician Assistant Questions

What is a PA?


A physician assistant (PA) is a healthcare professional licensed by the state to practice medicine as delegated by and with the supervision of a physician.  Physician assistants provide a broad range of medical and surgical services such as perform physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, assist in surgery, suture lacerations, and in most states (including California) prescribe medication.


Money magazine ranked being a physician assistant #2 in their annual Best Jobs in America poll.  According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment of physician assistants is expected to grow by 39 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations.

What does the “C” stand for in “PA-C”?


A PA-C is a ‘physician assistant-certified’.  This person holds the title by passing a rigorous certification exam developed jointly by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.  To maintain the certified status, a PA-C must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and take the national recertification exam every six years.


What type of schooling does a PA go through?


Most of the 154 accredited PA programs require a bachelor’s degree and GRE or MCAT scores for their initial application.  Upon completion of the 2-to-3 year program, a master’s degree is awarded.  The first 12 to 18 months of schooling is didactic and is held in a classroom and lab setting.  The latter half of the program consists of rotations through different fields of medicine.  Many schools have a designated elective rotation where students focus more time in their field of choice in order to gain more experience.


Treatment Questions


Can a PA legally perform injections and laser treatments?

It depends on the state’s laws for physician assistants.  In the state of California, the following licensed medical professionals can perform both laser and injectable treatments: physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and physician assistants.

Why is there such a wide range of pricing from one office to another?


Location and experience are major factors in determining price.  Los Angeles, especially the Westside, is a prime spot for the aesthetics industry.  There are many well-renowned physicians and injectors in a relatively small area.  As a result, their expertise and knowledge command a higher price point than others.


How come some practitioners recommend different injectables for the same problem area?


It all comes down to personal preference and past experiences.  One injector may feel more comfortable using certain products over another.  Feedback from patients is also important; they help cultivate a foundation in which an injector uses to create his or her own “facial mapping”.  For example, if an injector hears from multiple patients that they prefer the look and feel of a particular product in their lips, he or she will begin to naturally choose that product for future lip injections. 


Are all lasers the same?


No.  Although the science behind all lasers is essentially the same (choosing a specific wavelength to target certain components of the skin while leaving the surrounding areas unharmed), there are certain elements that can lead to better results.  Selecting the best blend of energies for each individual is the greatest way to achieve optimal results.  Furthermore, most problems or concerns that patients have require more than one laser to get the best results.


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