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SDPA Diplomate Fellowship™️ Policy & Procedures
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Eligibility Requirements

Any Fellow member of the SDPA is free to begin taking the SDPA Diplomate Fellowship™️ modules as soon as they gain Fellow status. A Fellow member is defined as any PA working with a Board certified or eligible dermatologist and who is an SDPA member in good standing. A minimum level of experience is not required, both seasoned and new dermatology PAs who are Fellow members are eligible.

Enrollment & Completion Timeline

Once a member has purchased any module(s) they will be considered formally “enrolled” in the program. Members will have 2 years, from the date of enrollment, to complete the full program (encompassing 22 core modules) and obtain Diplomate Fellow status. If the course is not completed by the 2 year anniversary deadline, the Fellow member should contact SDPA staff to discuss completion options.  

The 2 year completion timeline is to ensure that members complete the course within an appropriate timeframe and are therefore able to retain and apply the knowledge they have learned. Completing the course over a period longer than 2 years will leave participants with sporadic learning that does not achieve the program’s core goal to provide practicing dermatology PAs with an all-encompassing baseline for their day-to-day practice. Completing the program within the outlined timeframe allows members to be minimally affected by any updates to program content.

If a member has not completed the course within the 2 year time period and contacts staff for permission to complete the course after significant time has lapsed, the member will be required to (1) complete any unfinished modules (2) re-complete those modules which are not deemed as “introductory.” The SDPA will expect the member to complete these courses within a reasonable timeframe, as determined upon notification to staff by member. The member will not be provided with another 2 year completion period. A new CME certificate will not be issued for any modules that members are required to re-complete in their entirety.

Passing: In order to pass each section, members must receive a score of 70% or higher on the exam. To complete the module in full, all sections must have a passing score. Members will be required to complete an evaluation survey to finish the module and receive their CME certificate. To complete the entire course and receive formal Diplomate Fellow status, members must pass all 22 modules within the 2 year completion timeline.

The SDPA reserves the right to make changes to the course, its modules, sections and content at any time. Notice will be provided should a change occur, however, a grace period for such changes may not be necessary in each situation and is not a guarantee. Should the program ever need to be retired, members will be contacted and those who are past their 2 year deadline may not be provided with a grace period to complete the program in the event of the program’s retirement. 

Cost, Purchase, and Refunds

The SDPA Diplomate Fellowship™️ is priced at $7.00 per CME hour. Members will be able to purchase the course module-by-module. A full listing of cost per module can be found on the SDPA website. Modules will be priced based on the amount of CME they contain.

Along with the first module purchase members must purchase the associated core text book. Members will have the option to select either an electronic or physical copy. The physical copy will cost $50.00 (this includes shipping fees). Each physical copy also comes with complimentary access to the electronic version of the text. Electronic-only copies will cost $40.00.

Once a member has purchased and opened a module within the online Learning Center, the SDPA will consider the course as having been “accessed and utilized” and refunds will not be issued. The only exception to this rule is for the first module purchased by each member. Since the first module will include the purchase of the core text book, a refund will not be issued if the text has already been mailed to the member. We will consider a refund in this instance if the member mailed the book back, unopened from any wrapping AND they have not yet accessed the online module. The SDPA will not pay for return shipping fees for returned texts. Please contact staff immediately with refund requests at

In the event of damage or loss of your core text book, a new text book will be issued at a cost to the learner of $45.00 USD plus the cost of shipping. Shipping will be determined individually by zip code. SDPA staff will remit an invoice for payment to the member. The replacement text will not be sent until the invoice has been paid. 

The SDPA Distance CME Committee, under the direction of the Board of Directors, reserves the right to make exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Explanation and background will be required when submitting any request for a refund exception. Requests should be emailed to


Electronic CME certificates will be provided to members module-by-module within the online Learning Center. The SDPA will not provide printed versions of module CME certificates. Members can print their module certificates at any time within the online Learning Center.

Once the course has been completed, the SDPA will send members a formal, printed certificate indicating their new status as a SDPA Diplomate Fellow for display in their office. Replacement or duplicate copies of these certificates can be ordered from SDPA for $5.00 per certificate. The SDPA can also provide a replacement certificate with a revised name in the instance of a life event such as marriage. For a replacement certificate, please email:

Displaying your Credentials

Fellow members who complete the course will gain the title of “Diplomate Fellow.” “SDPA Diplomate” specifically refers to those members who completed the SDPA’s original training course, the Distance Learning Initiative (DLI).

Members should display their Diplomate Fellowship title exactly as follows once gaining Diplomate Fellow status:

  • When written out: Diplomate Fellow, SDPA

Content Review

The SDPA Distance CME Committee has built this program in conjunction with professional psychometricians and with the goal of obtaining program accreditation. The course and its content will be reviewed every 2 years by a panel of subject matter experts convened by the SDPA. At this time changes to content, modules, or sections may be necessary.

Diplomate Fellow Maintenance Requirements

SDPA Diplomate Fellows (and Diplomates) are expected to maintain their status by adhering to the three criteria below every 2 years. Your 2 year period starts upon completion of the full Diplomate course.

  1. Diplomate must maintain Fellow member status at all times. A lapse in membership may result in loss of Diplomate status.
  2. Diplomate must continue to work alongside a board certified/eligible dermatologist
  3. Diplomate must attend or complete one of the three items below every 2 years once they have obtained their status
    • Complete ALL available JDPA CME articles within the next 2 years.**
    • Attend at least one SDPA annual summer or fall conference
    • Complete one FULL set of recorded conference videos from one of our annual conferences available on the SDPA Learning Center. This does not include pre-conference fundamentals programs or workshops.

**Please Note: The JDPA CME articles are only active for one year due to certification restrictions. If you are unable to attend a conference in the two year period, you must keep up with the JDPA articles. Not all of them will be available if you wait until the end of your 2 year term.

Fellow Membership Grace Period

The SDPA recognizes that due to various life events, members may have a period where they do not meet the requirements of Fellow member status. As maintaining Fellow member status is a requirement of Diplomate Fellow status, Fellow members will be allowed a 1 year grace period to maintain their current membership status (dues still apply) as long as they have been a Fellow member for at least 2 consecutive years.

Fellow Membership Expiration

Should a Fellow member let their membership lapse, Diplomate Fellow status will become void after the membership has been lapsed for more than 6 months. Upon renewal following a lapse for more than 6 months, any membership dues discounts afforded to Diplomates would not be applied. In this instance, members can regain their Diplomate status by rejoining the society as a Fellow member (no renewal discounts will be applied) and attending an SDPA conference or full set online CME videos from one of our annual conferences (must complete all videos from that conference with the exception of pre-conference workshops). As soon as the member has attended the event or completed the online videos, SDPA staff will restore Diplomate status, and associated discount access, to the member’s profile. Members must contact to have status restored to their profile.

Contact with any questions or concerns or to notify them that you have met the requirements for regaining status.

Associate Member Allowances

Associate members of the SDPA, defined as any PA interested in dermatology who is an SDPA member in good standing, may submit a request for access to complete the SDPA Diplomate Fellowship™️. This request must be submitted using the online form (see below). Please note that the Distance Learning Committee will be selective and Associates must clearly evidence their dedication to working in the field of dermatology for a Board certified or eligible dermatologist. Associates who are granted permission to complete the full course will not gain true Diplomate Fellow status until they become Fellow members in good standing. Until that time, their title would be Diplomate Fellow Candidate. Upon gaining Fellow member status (and if the member has completed the full course at that time), their Fellowship designation would be changed to Diplomate Fellow and associated discounts would apply. Associates who complete the course will be expected to follow maintenance requirements both while working to obtain Fellow membership and once they obtain Fellow membership.

Associate members must complete the five modules open to all members (Modules 1, 5, 6, 7, 8) prior to applying for permission to complete the full course. The Distance Learning Committee will not consider your request until these five modules have been completed.

Associates can apply for special consideration to complete the course using the following form: The SDPA does not accept applications for consideration by email or phone. Candidates must fill out the online form in full.

Open Modules (Available to ALL Members)

The following modules will be open to ALL SDPA members to complete at their leisure.

  • Module 1 - Basic Principles of Dermatology
  • Module 5 - Neoplasms
  • Module 6 - Papulosquamous Eruptions And Eczematous Dermatosis
  • Module 7 - Acne and Rosacea
  • Module 8 - Infections and Infestations

SDPA Summer Dermatology Conference
May 14-17, 2020
Hyatt Regency Denver 
     at Colorado Convention Center
Denver, Colorado

SDPA 18th Annual Fall Dermatology Conference
October 29 – November 1, 2020
InterContinental Miami
Miami, Florida

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