Janet DeSipio

What educational path did you take to becoming a physician assistant?

My work study during undergrad at Lehigh University was as a medical attendant in the University Health Center. I loved the patient contact and the medical decision making that I had to make.
At that time there was a brand new career called “Physician Assistant” which the director, Dr. Kreider thought would be a perfect fit for me. Back then, however, PA schools were accepting older applicants with prior medical experience – like medics and nurses, and so I was not accepted but my interest in medicine never quite left me. It was many years and 2 careers later, after raising 3 children and volunteering as an EMT that my dream of PA school finally was realized.

Where does your love of dermatology come into play?

While still in PA school I was offered a job in an Internal Medicine practice. Knowing I would be seeing skin conditions in Internal Medicine, I chose an elective rotation in Dermatology (PA school offers very limited instruction in dermatology).
I bought Fitzpatrick’s Atlas of Dermatology, studied the pictures and disease management and I was hooked. Fortunately, that dermatology elective also turned into a job offrer and I have been practicing derm ever since.
I especially love the challenge of dermatology manifestations of systemic disease.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

I double majored in college: Biology and Speech & Drama. When I did not get accepted to PA school I moved to NYC to pursue my other major.
I actually worked at Tavern-on-the-Green in Central Park where I met numerous celebrities including Alan Alda, John Lennon, the BeeGees, and Jackie O to name a few. I also worked Off-Broadway and on 3 Soap Operas.
Mohammad Ali was a friend of mine. If you want to see pictures of me and him, just ask next time you’re in the office!

Anything else you would like people to know about you?

Finally, I just want to say…..I LOVE MY JOB at Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute!! How many people can say they get up in the morning and look forward to going to work?!
As a former professor in a PA program, I love “teaching” my patients about their skin issues. I enjoy helping them understand how the medications work (if they use them properly). My patients come first!

Learn more about Janet on her Physician Profile

Victoria A. Cirillo-Hyland