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SDPA Statement Regarding the ABDPA Board Certification Exam for Derm PAs

October 8, 2019

Recently, an organization named the American Board of Dermatology Physician Assistants (ABDPA) was announced on October 6, 2019, purportedly to provide a board certification exam for physician assistants working within dermatology. The Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants (SDPA) was not privy to the development of any certifying exam for Derm PAs nor believes there is a need or authority to do so.

The ABDPA originally stipulated that criteria to sit for the exam included completion of the SDPA Diplomate Fellowship TM OR (4) years collaborating with a dermatologist. SDPA does not endorse the ABDPA and sent a formal letter on Thursday October 3, to the ABDPA requesting all reference to SDPA and its Diplomate Fellowship TM be removed from their website.

  1. SDPA believes that outside of medical board regulation of PA state licensure, certification of Derm PAs is solely granted by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).
  2. ABDPA has no authority to grant a “board” certification where a board does not exist.
  3. SDPA does not support an exam that has not undergone the vigorous psychometric analysis required to qualify as an accurate examination.

Any questions, comments or concerns can be directed to Blair Beggan, Director of Communications at SDPA headquarters via email at

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