Dermatology Staff

Dermatology Staff - Ithaca, in Ithaca and Cortland, NY

About Dermatologists

Dermatologists are doctors with additional specialized training that allows them to diagnose and treat disease of the skin, hair, nails and mucous membranes. Dermatologists diagnose and treat more than 3,000 different disease including skin cancers, moles, eczema, acne, psoriasis, warts, fungal infections, nail infections, and other skin conditions. Dermatologists see patients of all ages, from newborns to over 100 years of age. They can improve the appearance of their patients’ skin, hair, and nails. Dermatologists are also skin surgeons who can remove skin cancer and suspicious growths, improving health and appearance by preventing continued growth and development of worrisome lesions and skin cancers.

How to become a board-certified dermatologist

To be a board-certified dermatologist in the United States requires many years of education. After earning a bachelor’s degree, a person applies and is accepted to medical school; spends four years earning a degree as a Medical Doctor (MD); undergoes an extremely competitive application process to match in dermatology (although a troubling recent trend allows some applicants to bypass the Match process by receiving corporate funding ); spends three years completing an accredited dermatology residency training program focused on dermatology; then sits for and must pass the American Board of Dermatology certification examination to prove competency in dermatology before being allowed to practice as a board-certified dermatologist.

What does FAAD after a doctor’s name mean?

Most board-certified dermatologists in the United States are members of the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy). Dermatologists indicate this by placing FAAD after their names. FAAD stands for “Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.”

To be a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology (FAAD), a dermatologist must:

  • Have a license to practice medicine.
  • Pass the board exams given by the American Board of Dermatology.
  • Be a member of the Academy.

Information provided by American Academy of Dermatology .

About Physician Assistants

Physician Assistants (PAs) extend the care that physicians provide and increase access to care. PAs work in teams with their attending physician and are educated in a collaborative approach to healthcare, which improves coordination of care and can improve outcomes. Studies have shown that PAs provide high-quality care with outcomes similar to physician-provided care. PAs have been recognized by Congress and the President as crucial to improving U.S. healthcare. In the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Congress recognized PAs as one of three healthcare professions in primary care.

Due to their general medical background, PAs have flexibility in the types of medicine they can practice. They are uniquely suited to provide preventive care services in all settings, from primary care to surgery.

Physician Assistants have earned undergraduate degrees in varying subjects, but then must complete prerequistes in biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, organic chemistry, microbiology and physics if they were not obtained in their undergraduate programs. Once accepted into an accredited graduate program, they follow the medical model of training with 12 months of didactic learning and 12 months of clinical rotations equaling 2,000 hours of patient contact. Upon successful completion of their program, physician assistants graduate with a Master's Degree in Physician Assistant Studies.

Before they can practice, PAs who graduate from an accredited program must pass the 7 hour, 600 question Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and also obtain licensure from the state in which they wish to practice. In order to maintain certification, PAs must complete a recertification exam every 10 years as well as 100 hours of continuing medical education (CME) every 2 years. The "PA-C" after a PAs name means they are currently certified.

Our PA’s are highly trained and closely supervised by Dr. McAllister to ensure a consistently high level of care delivered to our patients. They play a key role in allowing our patients access to dermatological care in a timely manner.

Make sure to get the facts! Check out PA Myth Busters by the AAPA .

Information provided by AAPA .


Thomas Brown

Physician Assistant


David Mizro

Diplomate Fellow, SDPA
Physician Assistant


Mark Wernham

Physician Assistant


Catherine Thompson

Physician Assistant