It can often be daunting when trying to find a doctor, particularly when you’re not always sure that you’re getting a trained, fully educated physician. With the increasing popularity of cosmetic procedures, it can be particularly tricky to locate a dermatologist in Los Angeles. After all, are you getting the doctor or a physician’s assistant? Is your preferred specialist really the type of specialist that you need?
Most of us already know that it is preferable to find a dermatologist who has met only the most stringent of medical standards—education, post-graduate training, and career certifications—but sometimes actually finding that dermatologist is a challenge in and of itself. Of course, one way to be sure that your dermatologist meets the rigorous qualifying standards you would expect from any physician is to seek out a physician-only clinic. A physician-only clinic ensures that whoever treats you, it will be a licensed dermatologist who can help you achieve the results you want.
With that in mind, here are a few reasons why you should consider a physician-only clinic when seeking out your dermatologist.
- Board Certification
In order to even become a board-certified dermatologist, the medical professionals at a physician-only clinic must undergo training and education requirements that reach well outside the scope of non-physician staff, such as nurses and physician assistants. Your dermatologist requires first a bachelor’s and medical degree, followed by a one-year internship and a three-year dermatology residency. Only then can they begin the process of obtaining board certification. Next, the dermatologist must verify his or her medical degree, then demonstrate the proper experience and skills to the American Board of Dermatology, the American Osteopathic Association, or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Your dermatologist, unlike other non-physician staff, must continue to renew board certification every 10 years.
- Avoidance of Costly, Unnecessary Procedures
There are some things that only a trained and certified dermatologist knows. Other medical professionals—nurses, physician assistants, and even physicians without a background in dermatology—can make decisions that will end up costing you more money or undergoing unnecessary procedures, and these are the types of decisions that a dermatologist knows to avoid.
In the paper “Should Non-Dermatologists Practice Dermatology?” it was reported that a physician who is not a dermatologist is more likely to order a procedure that is unnecessary and costly: “Plastic surgeons were much more likely to perform excisional biopsies of these lesions than dermatologists (50.5 % vs. 1.4%, respectively). Surgical excisions of these extremely common lesions not only increases the overall medical care cost, but also may put patients under completely unnecessary risks, such as longer anesthesia and higher chance of cutaneous infection.”
After achieving board certification and the necessary experience that comes with it, what really separates a dermatologist from a physician assistant or nurse is the confidence and expertise to make informed decisions that have the best possible outcome for patients. Consider a study, “Nurse-Led care in Dermatology: A Review of the Literature,” published in the British Journal of Dermatology, which found that there is little comparison when it comes to the expertise and confidence that a dermatologist brings to the table. This study notes: “The evidence emerging from the literature indicates that nurses are treating a number of dermatological conditions, primarily using treatment protocols, across a broad range of clinical settings.” It goes on to report findings that primary care nurses, and especially practice nurses, were not confident of their treatments, particularly related to specific conditions related to psoriasis and eczema. At least part of the problem, it seems, falls on unmet educational needs.
Find Your Preferred Dermatologist
If you’re ready to explore your options in at a physician-only clinic and meet with a dermatologist in Los Angeles, call the doctors at Skin Care and Laser Physicians of Beverly Hills to arrange a consultation, 310-246-0495. You can also visit them online to complete the contact form and schedule your appointment today.