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News & Press: SDPA News

President's Message | May 2019

Tuesday, May 21, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Blair Beggan
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Dear Colleagues:


My time as president of the greatest specialty PA society is nearing an end.  It seems so long ago that I began this journey. As I reflect about the past year, I am honored, humbled and – in hindsight - overwhelmed to have had the opportunity to lead the SDPA. The year wasn’t without its challenges; however, the rewards have exceeded any setbacks. It has been incredibly rewarding to lead alongside such amazing individuals who are all so supportive of each other and the society.


My foray into leadership began through my service as a committee chair. I then advanced to the board of directors, and ended up serving in the secretary/treasurer role. Other leaders began to ask, “When are you going to run for president?” At the time, I had responded that I was not interested as I did not feel qualified. I’m happy to say that I eventually decided I would take on this responsibility. With great mentors around us we can do most anything.


I have watched leaders come and leaders go. What I most enjoy is watching leaders grow.  Often, we assume others will take on the positions and we shy away. When we do step into a leadership position, it is often without any actual experience or understanding of expectations, and I recognize this can be intimidating.


As I grew in leadership with the SDPA, I also grew as a leader in my clinical practice and as a person. Somewhere along the way, I decided to further my education during this process to a terminal degree, Doctor of Medical Science. I would not advise taking this on at the same time of a busy presidential year! Below are a few items that stand out for me:

  • It is evident that dermatology PAs are often scrutinized by our dermatologist colleagues as well as in the media. During the year we have worked alongside a PR firm to help promote dermatology PAs to the public in a positive image. The GAPP (Greater Access for Patients Partnership) has spread awareness to patient wait times and how PAs can effectively reduce wait times and increase patient quality care.
  • Early on during the leadership year, the SDPA BOD decided to transition management from a corporate-owned management company to our own stand-alone nonprofit organization. This was a time of learning how to start a business on our own. We hired our own staff and secured an office in Alexandria, VA.

Again, it has been an honor serving as your SDPA president. I have very much enjoyed getting to meet dermatology PAs from all over the country, and engaging in discussions about the challenges and the joys we face together. Giving back is more important than ever.  Whether it’s volunteering a few hours a month on a committee, donating to the DPAF or to the AAPA PAC, it is these acts that will propel our profession forward. Now is not the time to become apathetic. Take this moment to get involved! Contribute your talents to ensure our profession continues to thrive as the one we all love, and of which we are all so proud. 


Respectfully yours,

Joleen M. Volz, DMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA

SDPA President and Diplomate


SDPA Annual Summer Dermatology Conference 2019
June 6-9, 2019 – Marriott Marquis – Washington D.C.
Pre-Conference June 5

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