About Me

Erin Jensen PA-C

Hello!

I am a certified Physician Assistant living in Southern California with my husband, Ryan, 3 children Elle, Drew and Dane. I have had a passion for medicine for as long as I can remember! After graduating from the USC Keck School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program I pursued my passion for Dermatology, since it was a field close to my heart. I spent a lot of time in the sun as a girl, I loved the beach, was on my High School swim team and spent years working as a lifeguard. My visits to the dermatologist started in High School and that was when I learned the importance of skin protection, thanks to the removal of many suspicious moles.

  I practice both medical and cosmetic dermatology, and I have a special interest in Botox, Fillers and Laser Treatments to create natural results. I also really enjoy treating patients with acne. Acne is an extremely frustrating condition with hundreds of treatment options. It is so gratifying to see a patient’s personality blossom when their complexion starts to clear.  I started The White Coat Treatment to share my passion about everything skin, beauty, motherhood, being a Physician Assistant and everything in-between.

Hope you enjoy. Thanks for stopping by!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What was your major in college? I obtained my Bachelors of Science in Biology from Loyola Marymount University

Where did you go to PA school? Keck School of Medicine at The University of Southern California

What did you do for hands-on paid experience prior to PA school?

I obtained my Certified Nursing Assistant certificate the summer after my freshman year and work for a few months during school as a nursing assistant at a nursing home and then as a private home care nursing assistant. The job just wasn’t for me. I nannied through college to “pay the bills” then after graduation I worked as a cast tech for an Orthopedic Surgeon. He was willing to hire me with out a medical assistant certificate. Being a cast tech was one of my most favorite jobs. I learned so much at the job. It was fast paced and overwhelming at times. There I learned I really liked working with my hands and a speciality with procedures was my calling.

What kind of volunteer work did you do?

I started volunteering at a local hospital in high school. When I was in college I volunteered for 2 years at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica. I really wanted to work in the ER but the only shifts available were on Friday nights. I decided to sacrifice my social life for this coveted shift. I was nice because I worked hand and hand with PAs and was able to observe first hand what they do.

What PA programs did you apply to?

I knew I wanted to stay in Southern California and I wanted to attend a masters program. I applied to Western University of Health Sciences, Loma Linda and USC.

What special things did you do to prepare for PA school?

I tell this to most people. Narrow down 10 PA programs you are going to apply to and work backwards from there. You can then see what pre-reqs you need for each program, necessary medical hours, etc… You don’t have to apply to all those programs but it will be a good guide on where to start. I printed out USC application guide my freshman year and had it in the top desk of my drawer so every time I opened it, it reminded me of my ultimate goal.

Did you take time off between undergrad and PA school?

Yes- I took one off in-between to work on gaining more hands-on paid medical hours.

How did you get into Dermatology?

I was always interested in aestetics. Initially I had my advanced rotation set up in Plastic Surgery. While I was in PA school my mom said she had an appointment with our Dermatologist, Dr. Sandra Lee. I tagged along and mentioned to Sandra that I was in PA school and interested in cosmetics/dermatology. She invited me to do my advanced rotation with her and her husband and the rest is history. They offered me a job right after PA school and I’ve been with the practice ever since.

  • Faith Mackenzie

    So excited I found your blog! I love it ! I am applying for PA school next year. I went to USC for undergrad. (=

  • kary heimbach

    Erin! Came across your blog and saw your beautiful children!! I am soo happy for you! Where is your office? Give my best to Ryan.

    xo,

    Kary

    • Erin

      Hi Kary! All is well. My office is in Upland, Skin Physicians and Surgeons. Are you still in Claremont? Hope all is well with you and your family too.

  • Micaela Wichman

    So excited to come across your blog! I am a freshman in college and am an aspiring dermatology physicians assistant. I would love to hear more about your schooling steps and how you got to exactly where you currently are!

  • Doan Duong

    Hi Erin! I stumbled into your website through your IG and have been checking your site for updates ever since! I am an aspiring PA and am reapplying again this year. I am having a hard time finding PAs to shadow in the area ( I live in LA). Are you currently allowing individuals to shadow you? What are some tips do you have for asking PAs to shadow them? Any advice is greatly appreciated!!

    -Doan

  • Kathryn Schwan

    Hello Erin!

    I am not sure if you remember me, but I am a patient of yours at the office in Upland. I am going to be a junior in college and I aspire to be a PA. I also am wondering if you have any shadowing or volunteer opportunities. I looked at your blog and I think it is fascinating. I would love to learn more about skin care and see if it is my passion!

    Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    – Kathryn Schwan

  • Ilianna Almada

    Hi Ms. Jensen,

    My name is Ilianna Almada and I am currently a senior at St. Lucy’s Priory High School. I am an ambassador and served as a host at the recent Women’s Wellness Day. I really appreciated you coming to talk to us! Although I did not get the chance to meet with you personally I heard great things about you from other students. I am contacting you because I am really interested in becoming a physician’s assistant in the future and was wondering if you could tell me a little bit about your educational experiences after St. Lucy’s. For example, what you majored in for your undergraduate degree, what kind of activities you pursued in order to pursue a PA degree, and how you made it to where you are today. If it isn’t too much trouble, any advice or insight from you would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much! I hope to hear from you soon!

    Sincerely,

    Ilianna Almada

  • Rachel Ramirez

    Hello Erin,
    I am a Freshmen in college and I’m thinking of changing my major in order to be a physician assistant. I was wondering if you could help me out because I’m not sure what to declare my major as. Additionally, I don’t know much about how med school or how to be prepared for it, but I’m really interested in becoming a physician assistant and would love to learn as much as I can.

    -Rachel

    • Erin

      The first thing you should do is narrow down PA programs you are interested in applying to. This will give you the prerequisites you need to apply and then you can find a major that requires those pre-reqs. Typically a biology major or pre-health major will cover most pre-reqs. You can really be any major though as long as you get your pre-reqs done. Good luck!

  • Payton Williams

    I am completely frightened to enter in to this profession, I worry if I’m smart enough, good enough and tough enough to even get into PA school. I am currently a finance major in my second year of college and slowly realizing that skin is my passion and want to pursue a career in cosmetic/medical dermatology. Many have told me that if I am not interested in overall health in every single field to not bother with wanting to be a PA. Also, from reading your bio you had plenty more experience than I did at this age. Should I bother with this profession if dermatology is my passion alone ?

    • Erin

      The great thing about being a PA is you are exposed to all aspects of medicine. You never know what other speciality might spark your interest. You can always pursue Derm but it’s best to keep an open mind. It’s not too late at all. If you’re really interested in going to PA school you should start researching schools and taking prerequisites for those programs. The average age of someone starting PA school is 28-30 so you have plenty of time. The sooner you start focusing the better, but it’s definitely not to late.

  • Jack

    Hey I was wondering if you were ever introduced into the Nurse practitioner role. Im struggling to decide what to be. There are so many pros and cons to each and if you could, would you be a NP instead? In addition, is it true you have to retake your boards every 6 years or so? How do you feel about that? P.S You should show up in Dr. Lee’s vids more often!

    • Erin

      Hi Jack! I was introduced to the PA role before the NP role so that’s the path I took. Both professions can diagnose, prescribe and see patients. I think both play a pivotal role in health care. It’s just different training. If you’re already doing nursing then NP makes sense. I was already working on my degree in Biology so PA made more sense for me. As a PA you have to re-take your boards every 10 years (they just changed it from every 6 years). I just re-took my boards earlier this year. It was not fun but I’m glad it’s over with. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Destiny

    I am a sophomore in high school also interested in getting into dermatology do you think its a good Idea to get a medical assisting certificate when I first get out of high school then apply to a college already having some prior knowledge and paid before I start a 4 year college ?

    • Erin

      Hi! I think it would be good to get started on your 4-yr education. You can find a summer break or other time off to work on a medical license.

  • Jenna

    Hi Erin!! I was just casually google researching PA stuff and came across your blog and I am in love! I am a senior in high school and recently was accepted into a 5 year combined bachelors and masters PA program here in New York and I’ve honestly been a bit undecided about everything but your blog has made everything clear. I want to be just like you! You have an amazing career and can stand on your own but you are also an amazing mother and wife with killer style might I add! Dermatology has always been so interesting to me, I’ve got porcelain white skin and I’ve sorta always been a skin freak so I think it’s perfect…I also am very much a girly girl, very into makeup so I think the cosmetic aspect of dermatology will always be great. Up until about a year ago I was seriously considering the medical school path but the fact that I can be practicing in just 5 years is incredible and I love that I can still have a family and won’t be hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. So anyways, I just wanted to tell you that you are my inspiration and whenever PA school gets tough, I’m just going to come back to your blog and Instagram and tell myself I can make it:)

    • Erin

      Hey Jenna,
      Those are such sweet words. I’m glad you stumbled across my blog. Good for you for thinking ahead about becoming a PA. You’ve saved yourself so much headache about applying to schools later on. Obviously I love my job (and I hope it shows). It’s such a great profession for a women who loves medicine but still wants that balance with life. I know you’ll do great!

  • Brigitte

    Hello Erin!

    I have been accepted to USCs PA program and am wondering if you have any advice? I also have my last interview at Western this month. I am so happy to have been accepted at USC but the thought of having to pay it all back is a bit daunting. Also, in retrospect, what are your feelings about their 3 year program? Has being a Trojan helped you immensely? Thank you so much!!!

    • Erin

      This is a very tough question and I really don’t know if I have a great answer for you. I loved USC, love being a Trojan and had a great experience in the program and don’t think I would have gone anywhere else. BUT… An extra year of schooling is A LOT of money. I took out loans for all of my schooling so I know what a burden it is. I think the ideal PA program would be 2 1/2 years, but that’s just my opinion. USC did not get me my job after school, I did by networking and putting my foot in the door at a practice where I wanted to work. Western is a good program too. You have to do what you think is right for you as everyone’s situation is different. Good Luck!

  • Abby

    Hi Erin,

    I just wanted to tell you that I think it is amazing that you show so much of your life to people. I’m in a 5 year PA program, and it eases my nerves to see how well you balance life and work. I was just curious about what an average day looks like for you, and how do you deal with patients that may not take you as seriously as an MD or DO? Thank you again for letting us in our your life.

  • michelle

    I am really excited about your blog! What you’re doing as a profession has also been a dream of mine for years, but I’m wondering if I may be too late. I am 31 yrs of age and married with 5 children. I have some college credit but not an official degree. Based on your knowledge and experience, what would you recommend for a woman like me as far as college is concerned?

    • Erin

      Hey Michelle,
      It would be a journey to get there, but if it’s your dream you should pursue it! You should find a PA school you’re interested in applying in and contact their admissions office. You can see if other people in your position have attended their program and see what it took for them to get there. You will need to complete your prerequisites and work on obtaining hands-on medical hours. Good luck to you!

  • Sydney

    Hi Erin,
    I was wondering if you knew of any places I could shadow PA’s or volunteer? I live in the San Fernando Valley. I have been researching but I can’t seem to find anything. Please let me know. Thank you!!!

  • Sarah Callihan

    Hey! I know that after PA school I’m wanting to go into derm. After PA school, how do I go about studying medical and cosmetic dermatology and how much more school is it?

    Thank you!!

  • Tracy Dinh

    Hello! I am planning on being a PA. Im interested in dermatology, but as a Derm PA, what exact procedures are you allowed to do? What are the procedures that differ you from a Dermatologist?

  • Alex

    Hi!

    I was just recently accepted to USC’s PA Program and I’m so excited! I was wondering if you could help me prepare for school and give me some tips. One thing I’m concerned about is figuring out where to live, since the PA Program is all the way in Alhambra. I’m moving from Florida so I’m not too familiar with the area. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

    Best,
    Alex

  • Hilary

    Hi Erin! I just graduated PA school and I am scheduled to take my PANCE very soon. I am wanting to get into the wonderful field of dermatology! As a new grad what do you recommend I do in order to increase my chances of getting a position as a derm PA as I know it can be difficult without years of clinical experience. I unfortunately did not have a rotation in dermatology but I was able to do several dermatology procedures/provide patient education in regards to several dermatologic conditions during my family practice and pediatrics rotation. I plan on applying to derm positions despite my experience. I am curious if it would be appropriate to reach out to a clinician to shadow etc. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!

  • Liz

    Dear Erin, i just finished med school in Peru, im really interested in Dermatology, im planning to do the residency in Spain, but ill be in the usa in march i guess, is there a chance i can do a mini-rotation with you? I would love to learn from you.

  • Bethany

    Hi Erin! I am a current PA student – following you on social media sparked my interest in dermatology and it has now become my passion! I am having a lot of trouble finding a dermatology rotation – do you have any suggestions as to how one should go about finding a dermatology preceptor? In addition, do you think it will be very difficult to find a job in dermatology without a derm rotation?

  • Bethany

    Will do – thank you!