Expert Perspectives on the Management of Plaque Psoriasis - Episode 10

Patient Referrals in Plaque Psoriasis

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Experts in plaque psoriasis discuss how patients are referred to them for treatment.

Jerry Bagel, MD, MS: As far as referrals, how do people find you?

Alexa Hetzel, MS, PA-C: They Google a lot because it’s usually the patients who are so frustrated that they look for the best psoriasis treatment centers. Most of the time, they find you, but if they end up in the office in the afternoon, they find me.

Jerry Bagel, MD, MS: I’m glad.

Alexa Hetzel, MS, PA-C: What about you? What do you see in terms of referrals?

Jerry Bagel, MD, MS: It’s changing a little. I’m getting a lot more referrals from word of mouth, more than before. I agree with you, it’s Google. Search engine optimization needs to be No. 1; if they search psoriasis treatment Central New Jersey, they find us. Also, some of the people find from our clinical trial facility end up trickling into our practice after they’re done with the clinical trials. With word of mouth, it’s very interesting since very few dermatologists within 20 miles of us send us anybody, but I get some from North Jersey. They keep coming down from there. It’s definitely word of mouth and referrals.

I was asked, how do the PA [physician assistant] and MD work together? I would say, what you put in is what you get out. If you educate your physician assistants, and they’re interested and want to learn, they’re as good, if not better, than any physician. It boils down to their intellect, their desire to learn, and their willingness to apply what they learn to help their patients in the best way. I don’t know of any physicians who would treat psoriasis any better than Alexa as a PA. Maybe just as good, but not better. Therefore, I don’t think any patient by any means would suffer from seeing a PA who was supervised, or taught by a dermatologist who enjoyed treating psoriasis. I don’t think there’s much more than that.

Transcript Edited for Clarity