Our Physician Assistants
What is a Physician Assistant?
Certified physician assistants (PA-C or PA) are medical providers formally trained in surgical and primary care, graduating from one of over 100 accredited academic medical-model training programs in the United States. Because of the close working relationships PAs have with physicians, PAs are educated in the medical model designed to complement physician training. Upon graduation, physician assistants take a national certification examination developed by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants in conjunction with the National Board of Medical Examiners. To maintain their national certification, PAs must log 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and sit for a recertification exam every six years. Graduation from an accredited physician assistant program and passage of the national certifying exam are required for state licensure.
PAs conduct physician examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and in most states can write prescriptions. Within the physician-PA relationship, physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. PAs also practice in education, research, and administrative services.
Physician Assistants in Dermatology
All PAs are trained in wound closures. In addition, they are trained to perform biopsies and cryotherapy, as well as perform simple and complex excisions. PAs have been practicing with dermatologists for 30 years, providing a wide variety of services. Services performed by dermatology PAs include, but are not limited to, treatment of acne, psoriasis, phototherapy, and other general dermatologic conditions. Others perform various cosmetic procedures such as sclerotherapy or operate various lasers. Still others perform a wide variety of surgical procedures and assist in Mohs micrographic surgery.
Heidi Neugent, PA-C
"As a Physician Assistant, I have the opportunity to spend time with my patients and their families regarding their skin. My goal is to make sure they are educated about their skin condition as well as understand their treatment plan. My reward is when a patient smiles with reassurance and confidence that they will get better."
BS: University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
PA: University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Board Certification: National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
Member: Society of Dermatologic Physician Assistants; American Academy of Physician Assistants; Alabama Society of Physician Assistants
Accreditation: NCCPA; Basic Cardiac Life Support for Healthcare Providers; Advanced Cardiac Life Support