Breaking into Dermatology: Tips for NPs & PAs

Nov 8, 2023 | For Candidates

Why don’t you help Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants without dermatology experience find jobs in dermatology?

This is a question we are asked often. And here’s our honest response…

Our clients (dermatology practices and healthcare groups) pay a fee for our services to help them find dermatology-experienced providers who can hit the ground running without much training or extensive oversight. Most often, our clients are looking for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants with a minimum of 1-2 years of direct dermatology experience.

That being said, we encourage you to follow your passion if breaking into dermatology is your dream. It’s a truly exhilarating specialty that offers medical professionals exceptional life-long collaborative connections and the opportunity to make a tremendous impact on patients’ health and well-being. 

If you truly desire a career in dermatology, here are some tips, resources and suggestions to help you get your foot in the door…

Obtain Additional Training

The more dermatology-focused training or certifications you can get, the better. A few training programs we recommend include: 

These are excellent resources, and those who have gone through these programs have certainly enhanced their marketability as a Dermatology APP. 

Prioritize Networking 

As a Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner looking to break into dermatology, networking with the right people should be one of your top priorities. Strive to form connections both in person and online. 

Follow professional dermatology organizations specifically for APPs, like the Dermatology Education Foundation. This group offers tons of resources and even an insightful podcast

The Society of Dermatology Nurse Practitioners is another group we recommend you check out. Connecting in Facebook groups specific to dermatology APPs can also be extremely helpful. 

Shadowing and Mentors 

Shadowing experienced dermatology professionals is an excellent step in the right direction. Reach out to local offices and inquire about potential job shadowing opportunities with physicians or advanced practice providers. 

This can help you build a network of connections knowledgeable about local opportunities and could provide referrals based on positive job shadowing experiences.

Applying Directly

It might be surprising to hear this from a recruitment firm. But if you’re a Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant without dermatology experience, we recommend applying for dermatology jobs directly with practices.

A practice is more likely to take on a new graduate or provider inexperienced in dermatology if they don’t have to pay a recruitment fee to get them on board.

Start Low and Grow

Expect to grow into a higher-paying position as you gain experience. Especially when applying on your own, it can be wise to offer a potential employer to start you with a lower base salary in exchange for on-the-job training and experience. 

Once you have that experience, you can learn to negotiate a higher salary as an asset to your current employer, or make a career move to a practice willing to pay you what you’re worth.

Develop a Strong Dermatology-Centric Resume

As you move through these steps, be sure to update your resume to highlight any relevant skills, certifications or coursework that demonstrates your commitment to pursuing a career in dermatology. 

Keys to Your Success

Transitioning into dermatology as an Advanced Practice Provider without prior experience may be challenging, but it is far from impossible. Persistence and passion will be your greatest allies on this journey.
And when you’ve acquired the skills and experience needed to step into your ideal position in dermatology, we hope you’ll trust myDermRecruiter to help you obtain everything you want and need from your career!

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