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A Conversation With Amber Blair, MMS, PA-C, at the SDPA Conference


The SDPA President Elect shared insights, hopes for the field, and the importance of leadership.

Dermatology Times editorial board member Renata Block, MMS, PA-C, sat down with Society for Dermatology Physician Assistants (SDPA) president elect Amber Blair, MMS, PA-C to discuss her goals as leader of the organization, her interest in clinical research, and the importance of patient care.

Renata Block, MMS, PA-C: So what what does it mean to you to be the next president of the SDPA, and what is your goal as president?

Amber Blair, MMS, PA-C: It could not be a bigger honor for me to sit here right now having this conversation, and to be a part of this organization, and to be thought of as a leader in this organization. It's wild to me. When I started as derm PA, I thought I stumbled into this mecca. This is the coolest specialty that could ever be. I fell in love with it instantly.

And as soon as I got my feet under me, and I figured out what I was doing, kind of, sort of, in clinic, I wanted to give back somehow. I started working with a nonprofit in the state of Florida, my home state, and loved it. And that somehow matriculated into SDPA.

I didn't have a path to become president of the organization, by any stretch of the imagination. I just loved what I was doing and wanted to be involved.

Block: There have been a lot of advancements in medical and aesthetic dermatology. What is the one thing that excites you most? And, are you involved in any research?

Blair: I love that question! So I'm very fortunate right now in my clinic to work with a dermatologist who’s fantastic: Gilly S. Munavalli, MD, MHS, FACMS. We have a global research department in our office, which I hadn't previously been exposed to. And it's been a really interesting new addition to my learning experience.

So I do have the opportunity to be involved as sub-investigator for a couple of clinical trials, more in the aesthetic space than general dermatology or the medical side of things. We do a little bit of both.

My clinic is very heavy in cosmetics and device-driven areas. However, a huge amount of what I do is medical dermatology, but having the opportunity to be involved in research has been really great.

Block: What is the one thing that you love about research?

I like being on the cutting edge of it. I love writing about things prior to them being FDA-approved, or public knowledge, and understanding behind the scenes what happened.

I very much enjoy treating acne, especially in teenagers. I find it very gratifying to be able to take a young child or a teenage child that struggles with their acne and help them overcome that and give them the confidence and the confidence to see that change in them. I love that.

Transcript has been edited for clarity.

Want to read more about the 2024 SDPA Annual Summer Dermatology Meeting. Follow coverage of the meeting here.

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