PA Spotlight: Ashwin Kumar

Get to know Ashwin Kumar, a talented and dedicated Physician Assistant, who has been on the Peraza Dermatology Group team since the summer of 2014!

Q: Is there anything in particular from your childhood / teenage / college years that drove your interest into medicine?

A: My biggest influence to become interested in medicine was my mother.  She is a nurse and always encouraged my brother and me to be involved in the medical field.  When we were growing up, she encouraged us to volunteer and give back to our community.  Our first medical experience was as volunteers at Legacy Emanuel Hospital back home in Portland, Oregon.  It was a great experience as we got to see how the different aspects of the hospital came together to provide patient care and also exposed us to the medical environment.

Q: What other career did you consider before deciding to become a PA?

A: If I wasn’t a PA I would probably be a forensics analyst.  I have always had a fascination with taking small pieces of a puzzle and trying to put it together to solve a problem or learn an answer.  One of the most interesting classes I took in college was a class on forensics and I think that really sparked my interest in this field.  That class taught me how to analyze things in a detailed manner to see what others might miss.  I think that that skill continues to help me today as a dermatology PA.

Q: When training to be a PA, when was the moment that made you decide dermatology was the field you wanted to pursue?

A: When I started PA school I wasn’t sure what specialty I wanted to pursue.  To be honest, dermatology was something that I had never considered.  Once I started to do clinical rotations, dermatology was my favorite rotation for a number of reasons.  I like the amount of variety in the dermatology field from rashes, to lesions, to cancer prevention skin exams, to cosmetics and lasers, to surgery.  Dermatology is a good mix between clinical medicine and procedures.  I’m a visual learner and that is also very important in dermatology as a big part of being a good dermatology PA is recognizing patterns and characteristics.

Q: What has been the most rewarding part of being a PA for Peraza Dermatology Group?

A:  The most rewarding part of being a PA for Peraza Dermatology Group is the people.  Not only do I feel fortunate to work with a great staff but we also have such interesting and diverse patients.  It has been rewarding to develop relationships with the people I work with and the community that we serve.

Q: What has been the biggest challenge for you in dermatology?

A: The biggest challenge in dermatology is knowing what you do know, but also, knowing what you don’t know.  What I mean by that is that as a new PA one of the biggest issues is confidence.  Therefore, you have to become well-versed in your specialty, but at the same time, you have to realize that you don’t know everything and that you have to rely on your mentors when needed.  Luckily, I have great mentors in Drs. Jose and Daniel Peraza who have helped to guide and mold my career.

Q: An ideal day outside of the office is spent doing what?

A: An ideal day would have to be a summer day spent at the beach/lake with family and friends relaxing and having a BBQ while playing with my dog.  I don’t have a dog but in the ideal world I would…he would be a bulldog.

Q: Best place you’ve ever visited?

A:  The best place I’ve ever visited is the Fiji Islands.  That is where my family is from and I visited there when I was 8.  Growing up in Oregon, this tropical landscape was something I had never seen before.  It is such a beautiful country and it was special to go there and to see the houses that my parents grew up in and to get a taste of what their lives were like growing up.  It is a special experience to see where you come from and where your roots originated.  I’d love to go back someday.

Q: Place you hope to visit some day?

A: I often ask patients about trips and traveling and their favorite places that they have been.  The two most common answers are Spain and Italy.  I hope to visit both of these places some day.  These countries are filled with so much history, culture, and tradition that I think they would be great places to experience.  Plus the food would be amazing!

Q: Favorite part about living in this area?

A: Living in this area you have to like nature and the outdoors.  I have grown to appreciate the hiking trails and the scenic views.  It’s nice to be able to get away at times.  Away from the people, and the cars, and the noises of urban life that I’m used to.  Although I’ve been in the area for 2+ years, I still find myself exploring and experiencing all that the Upper Valley has to offer.

To learn more about Ashwin and his background, visit his bio page.