By: Jessica Meyer
You may know them as your nurse practitioner or physician assistant, but they are all encompassed under the term “mid-level provider”, or someone who is licensed to diagnose and treat patients under the doctor. How are our mid-levels qualified to treat you? This is a question that we are asked all the time, and rightfully so. It is very important to know the qualifications of your dermatological healthcare provider.
First off, I’ll explain a doctor’s schooling. They spend (typically) four years in undergrad, another four in medical school, three to seven years in residency depending on their specialty, and potentially more time to complete a fellowship. A doctor also must become licensed to practice and has the option to become board certified, as well. This qualifies them to fully care and provide for patients medically.
A mid-level provider, such as an NP, PA, or CRNA, has also gone through significant medical schooling. First there is their undergraduate education. In a nurse practitioner’s case, their undergraduate degree will be in nursing. They must also complete a master’s degree in nursing. A physician assistant has a similar educational path. A PA may major during undergrad in things like biology, kinesiology, psychology, etc. Their master’s degree would then be in Physician Assistant Studies. Mid-level providers must then complete their respective certification in their state to practice there. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants then may go ahead and specialize in something like dermatology for example. This qualifies certified mid-level providers to diagnose, treat patients, and prescribe under the supervision of a physician. They are also qualified to perform minor surgical procedures.
At Derick Dermatology, our mid-level providers are extremely qualified to biopsy, diagnose, treat, and prescribe for their patients. They have all spent extensive time working directly with the doctor. This is in addition to any experience they brought to the practice from their previous jobs. All of the dermatological providers’ biographies and backgrounds can be found on the website, as well. Of course, you absolutely have the choice of who you would like to see, but hopefully this helps to broaden your knowledge on our mid-levels’ qualifications as healthcare providers.