PA Spotlight: Elisabeth Neal

Get to know Physician Assistant Elisabeth Neal, new to Peraza Dermatology Group this year!

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

A: I grew up admiring my grandfather who was was a successful surgeon. He was a kind, astute man, who took excellent care of those in his charge. I always aspired to follow in his footsteps, which led me to pursue a career in medicine from the very beginning. I was always very artistically oriented as well, and combining both interests evolved into working in dermatology today.

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

A: My first passion in life was being an artist, and I still love to paint. I spent several years as a Science and Art Teacher at a ski academy and have always loved to teach as well. I have also spent a lot of time in the food industry and have a passion for good food and creating things with my hands. Ultimately, I wanted to take my interests to the next level that also respected my lifelong desire to pursue a career in medicine. Becoming a PA provided me with that opportunity while allowing me to maintain a balance with my avocational pursuits.

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

A: As I rotated through the spectrum of clerkships required by our Masters training, I found dermatology to be a very natural fit. It played to my strengths as a visual, aesthetic, and detail-oriented person. I relish measuring things in tenths of a millimeter and evaluating the different shades of purple, red, and violet to make an accurate diagnosis. Dermatology also provides a lot of opportunities for patient education. I enjoy helping patients navigate the plethora of chronic conditions, which complements my past work as a teacher.

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

A: Being part of a community-oriented practice where I get to connect with friends and neighbors while helping them with their dermatologic needs.

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

A: Learning to be ok with not getting a tan anymore! Becoming aware of the dangers of UV exposure has been enlightening and I am now committed to protecting my skin from the sun no matter what.

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

A: A healthy run, outdoor activity in the sun (with plenty of sunblock of course), followed by a delicious meal of great home cooked food, great wine, and great company.

Q: What is a place you hope to visit some day?

A: Italy. I have a lot of extended family there I would love to visit and share some amazing meals with!

Q: What is your favorite part about living in this area?

A: I love all the outdoor recreational opportunities here. From snowboarding to running and spending time on Lake Sunapee, there is always something fun to do.

To learn more about Elisabeth and her background, visit her bio page.