2022 State by State Scope of Practice: Physician Assistant

Physician assistants (PAs) are nationally certified, state-licensed advanced practice allied health professionals. As licensed clinicians, they must obtain a license in their state of practice before seeing patients. Before they can earn licensure, PAs undergo rigorous education and training as medical professionals. Once licensed, they may practice in every healthcare setting and specialty. Each state has a PA licensing board and specific laws outlined in its Physician Assistant Practice Act. Because a physician assistant’s scope of practice varies by state, it’s essential that they know and understand the laws governing them in their state(s) of practice.

 

What Is Scope of Practice?

Scope of practice details the activities a licensed medical professional is legally permitted to perform in their practice area. Therefore, a physician assistant’s scope of practice guides them as they examine, diagnose and treat patients. At the practice level, there are many similarities between PAs and nurse practitioners (NPs). However, there are three key differences.

  1. PAs receive their education in general medicine, with comprehensive coverage of all aspects of medicine. Alternately, NPs must choose a patient population they focus on, such as pediatric or geriatric patients.
  2. PAs complete their training following a curriculum patterned after the education received in medical school. NPs complete their training in the advanced practice of nursing.
  3. PAs can practice in any healthcare setting and within any medical specialty, but a physician must supervise them to some degree in every state. As of mid-2022, NPs could practice independently in 26 states, Washington, D.C., Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

State law and facility policies primarily determine a PA's overall scope of practice, and there are varying laws governing different components. State policies impact physician assistants in three primary areas: supervision requirements, scope of practice determination and prescriptive authority.

 

Responsibilities of Physician Assistants

The physician assistant profession got its start in 1967. Today, there are about 159,000 PAs nationwide. PAs are educated at the master’s degree level and must graduate from an accredited physician assistant program to obtain licensure. They must also pass a certification exam, then maintain their certification by completing 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and passing a recertification exam every 10 years. Through their education and training, PAs may work in all types of healthcare facilities as advanced practice professionals, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, medical offices, nursing homes, urgent care centers, retail clinics and community health centers, among many others.

A PA’s specific duties and responsibilities partially hinge on their work setting, specialty and experience level. They can also vary based on state laws. However, PAs can usually:

  • Obtain and review medical histories
  • Perform physical examinations
  • Order and interpret diagnostic tests
  • Diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries
  • Perform medical procedures
  • Prescribe medications
  • Develop and manage treatment plans
  • Assess and document a patient’s progress
  • Assist in surgeries
  • Complete clinical research
  • Make rounds in hospitals and other healthcare facilities
  • Provide education and counseling on preventative care

 

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The Different PA Practice Categories Explained

Like nurse practitioners, PAs have different practice categories that follow the scope of practice defined by the laws in their practice state. Over the years, states have modified their viewpoints on regulations for physician assistants as mounting evidence emphasizes the high-quality and safe care PAs provide. However, regulations remain tight in most states. While NPs have three practice categories, the American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA) describes four PA practice categories, including:

Optimal: 

PAs may practice to the fullest extent of their medical education, training and experience. Their employer and/or the healthcare team may establish collaboration, consultation and/or referral beyond what state laws and regulations outline. PAs collaborate, consult and/or provide referrals to the appropriate healthcare team member(s) as indicated by the PA’s competencies, patient’s condition and standard of care. 

Advanced: 

PAs may practice to the fullest extent of their medical education, training and experience, but they must comply with state law/regulation mandates regarding additional administrative requirements. 

Moderate: 

State law/regulations mandate further administrative requirements that impact the practice environment. PAs and the healthcare team are limited in flexibility due to these requirements. 

Reduced: 

State law/regulation restricts at least one element of PA practice. Laws/regulations adhere to a practice model of restrictive supervision requirements and/or limited delegated authority. 

 

Laws Relevant to Physician Assistants

All states require PA licensure and state laws regulate various aspects of physician assistant practice. Most state laws require physician assistants to enter into an agreement with a specific physician to practice, but states don’t require physicians to be on-site 100% of the time while PAs see patients.

According to the American Medical Association (AMA), 20 states require physicians to co-sign a specific number or percentage of PA charts. Physicians have established limits on how many PAs they can supervise or collaborate with at a time in 39 states. All states require PAs to have some sort of supervisory or collaborative arrangement with a physician, but the exact nature of these arrangements differs.

Most states allow PAs and supervising/collaborating physicians to determine the PA’s scope of practice at the practice site. Most states also allow PAs to prescribe Schedule II through V medications, generally under their supervising physicians' delegation and/or supervision. A handful of states don’t authorize PAs to prescribe Schedule II drugs under any circumstances.

 

Physician Assistant Scope of Practice by State 2022

The following is an overview of the scope of practice for physician assistants in all 50 states. However, you should contact your State Medical Board or PA licensing entity for the most current and accurate information.

 

Alabama: 

The Alabama State Medical Board determines the scope of practice for PAs. State law requires a direct continuing and close supervisory relationship between a PA and physician, but facilities may make provisions for different physicians to provide coverage when a PA’s supervising physician isn’t available. Policy rules must outline supervision requirements and facilities must establish guidelines when PAs practice off-site. PAs may prescribe legend drugs and Schedule III – V controlled substances as outlined by their supervising physician but can’t prescribe Schedule II drugs. 

Alaska: 

PAs licensed by the Alaska State Medical Board may provide medical diagnosis and treatment within the scope of practice of the collaborating physician. State rules outline appropriate supervision, which includes an evaluation of medical care and clinic management by the supervising physician and the establishment of periodic methods of assessment of the quality of practice by the collaborating physician, with a certain amount of direct personal contact. Collaborative plans must include a minimum amount of direct personal contact or monthly radio, electronic or telephone contact between the PA and their primary or alternate collaborating physician. PAs may prescribe medications and Schedule II – V controlled substances with their supervising physician’s approval and documented authorization in the collaborative plan. 

Arizona: 

The Arizona Regulatory Board of Physician Assistants and state laws put the responsibility of all aspects of the performance and supervision of PAs on the supervising physicians. PA and physicians must establish a process for evaluation and define the relationship and access to the supervising physician. A supervising physician delegates tasks within the PA’s skills and scope of practice and delegates the prescription of drugs and Schedule II – V controlled substances by the PA. 

Arkansas: 

The Arkansas State Medical Board and state laws allow PAs to work under a delegation agreement with physicians. They may perform duties in any setting if delegated by their supervising physician and per all facility policies. Provided services must be within the PA’s skills and a component of the supervising physician’s scope of practice and conducted under supervision. PAs may prescribe medications and Schedule II – V controlled substances under the delegation of their supervising physicians. 

California: 

The California Physician Assistant Board and state law allow the supervising physician and PA to determine supervision at the practice level. However, they must establish written guidelines to determine adequate supervision. PAs may perform medical services delegated by their supervising physicians at the practice level and prescribe drugs and Schedule II – V controlled substances under the supervision and delegation of a physician. 

Colorado: 

The Colorado Medical Board establishes supervision requirements for all PAs, from new graduates to experienced PAs new to a practice setting and beyond. Supervising physicians delegate medical services and procedures to PAs consistent with the physician’s education, training, experience and active practice and must provide periodic assessments of PAs. Physician assistants may only prescribe medications and controlled substances under physician supervision and delegation. 

Connecticut: 

The Connecticut Medical Examining Board requires active and direct supervision by a physician, but the physician and PA determine this supervision on-site. Supervising physicians may delegate tasks to PAs when they’re satisfied that a PA's ability and demonstrated competency are in keeping with sound medical practice. However, PAs must perform functions under the supervising physician's direction, oversight and control. PAs may only prescribe drugs and controlled substances under physician supervision and delegation. 

Delaware:

The Delaware Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline requires a collaborative agreement between PAs and collaborating physicians. The PA and collaborating physician determine the PA’s scope of practice; however, it must adhere to the PA’s education, training and experience. PAs may prescribe medications and Schedule II – V controlled substances when the collaborating physician outlines these tasks in the collaborative agreement.

Florida: 

Florida Board of Medicine licenses PAs and state law outlines the exact nature of responsible supervision. Although direct supervision isn’t required, supervising physicians must be readily available or physically present for consultations. All duties delegated to PAs must be within the supervising physician’s scope of practice. State law also requires a written agreement between PAs and supervising physicians outlining their prescribing privileges, but current supervisory standards allow PAs to prescribe controlled substances.

Georgia:

The Georgia Composite Medical Board must approve the job description documents between PAs and supervising physicians. Both parties must sign these documents, and supervising physicians must delegate the tasks PAs may perform. All activities must be within the supervising physicians’ scope of practice. Supervising physicians are primarily responsible for supervising the physician assistants’ practice according to the signed job description, including prescriptive authority. However, PAs may prescribe medications, devices and Schedule III – V controlled substances but not Schedule II.

Hawaii: 

The Hawaii Medical Board allows supervising physicians to determine supervision requirements of PAs on-site, but they must develop a written document. Physicians may utilize PAs in any setting they authorize, but there must be adequate means of communication between supervising physicians and PAs. Supervising physicians may also delegate PAs to prescribe drugs, devices and Schedule III – V controlled substances, but PAs may only prescribe Schedule II drugs in inpatient hospital settings if delegated by supervising physicians. 

Idaho: 

The Idaho Board of Medicine requires PAs to have a collaborative practice agreement with physicians. This agreement must outline that the PA must collaborate with, consult with or refer to their collaborating physician. PAs may perform services in any setting their supervising physicians authorize. Physicians may delegate medical services to PAs when included in a medical services agreement, which can also outline a PA’s ability to prescribe medications and Schedule II – V controlled substances. 

Illinois: 

The Illinois State Medical Licensing Board requires a written supervision agreement between PAs and supervising physicians that outlines the treatment and procedures PAs may perform and which tasks require supervising physicians’ presence. However, they may establish adequate supervision requirements on-site, and physicians aren’t required to be personally present on-site where PAs provide medical care. PAs may prescribe medications and Schedule II – V controlled substances if outlined in their written supervision agreement. 

Indiana: 

The Indiana Medical Licensing Board requires a written supervisory agreement between PAs and physicians. This agreement must include all tasks delegated to PAs by physicians and specify the required protocols for prescribing drugs, devices and Schedule II – V controlled substances. Physicians may delegate any medical services they deem necessary if they typically perform and are qualified to perform these services. 

Iowa: 

The Iowa Board of Physician Assistants licenses PAs, and state laws outline responsible supervision and the duties PAs may perform. All delegated medical services must be within the scope of practice of both the PA and supervising physician. Although direct supervision isn’t required, supervising physicians must be readily available in person or through telecommunication for consultation. PAs may prescribe drugs, devices and Schedule III – V controlled substances but not Schedule II drugs listed as depressants in law. Supervising physicians must outline the amount and purpose of face-to-face meetings with PAs. 

Kansas: 

The Kansas State Board of Healing Arts determines the supervision responsibilities of physicians over PAs. It considers PAs capabilities and amount of training, the needs of the patients in the geographic areas of the state in which PAs and supervising physicians practice, the different practice settings in which they practice and the varying degrees of supervision and direction appropriate for each area and setting. PAs may only perform medical services delegated by their supervising physicians and match the physicians’ education, training and experience. Physicians determine the types of medications PAs may prescribe, with prescriptive authority outlined in a written agreement. 

Kentucky: 

The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure oversees the physician supervision of PAs. It outlines the active and continuous supervision of a PA’s activities. PAs describe their scope of practice in their application to the Board for supervisor approval and may only perform medical services and procedures within their defined scope. PAs may prescribe legend drugs and devices as delegated by supervising physicians and Schedule III – V controlled substances as delegated after receiving approval from the Board. 

Louisiana: 

The Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners allows physicians and PAs to determine supervision and doesn’t require the physical presence of supervising physicians when and where PAs render services. However, supervising physicians must assign medical services performed by PAs, which must be within the PA’s scope of education, training and experience. Supervising physicians may delegate PAs to prescribe drugs and Schedule II – V controlled substances. 

Maine: 

The Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine, with joint rules with the Board of Osteopathic Medicine, requires written supervision agreements between PAs and physicians that outlines the PA’s scope of practice and practice setting. Written agreements must outline the requirements as described in statutes and by the physician, but PAs may determine how they shall accomplish each requirement. All delegated services must be within the supervising physician’s scope of practice. PAs may prescribe drugs, devices and Schedule II – V controlled substances as delegated by their supervising physicians and outlined in written agreements.

Maryland: 

The Maryland Board of Physicians licenses PAs, and state law outlines the patient services that PAs may provide. Physicians must continuously supervise PAs, but supervision may include electronic communication, written instruction, on-site supervision or assignment of an alternate physician. PAs and physicians must create a delegation agreement outlining the relationship and medical acts delegated to PAs within their education, training and competence level and their supervising physician’s scope of practice. PAs may be given prescriptive authority by their supervising physicians if outlined in their delegation agreement, including medications, devices and controlled substances. 

Massachusetts:

The Massachusetts Board of Registration of Physician Assistants regulates PAs and requires supervision by a physician. Physicians must establish a supervisory relationship with PAs and outline how they will accomplish adequate supervision. PAs may only provide services under supervision within their scope of services and competency. They may prescribe medications and Schedule II – V controlled substances after mutually developing and agreeing upon written guidelines with their supervising physician. 

Michigan: 

The Michigan Task Force on Physician Assistants requires practice agreements between PAs and physicians, with criteria for this agreement outlined by statutes. PAs may only provide medical services under a physician’s supervision if these services are delegated by the supervising physician and within the physician’s scope of practice. PAs with practice agreements may prescribe drugs and Schedule II – V controlled substances following established protocols and procedures. 

Minnesota: 

The Minnesota Board of Medical Practice requires a written delegation agreement between PAs and supervising physicians that outlines the supervisory relationship and the assigned duties and responsibilities of the PA. All services must be within the PA’s training and experience. PAs may prescribe drugs, devices and controlled substances if identified in the delegation agreement and delegated by the supervising physician. 

Mississippi: 

The Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure regulates the practice of PAs and must approve the supervision arrangement between PAs and physicians. It authorizes how PAs and physicians implement the protocol and the method and manner of supervision. Although supervision must be continuous, it doesn’t require supervising physicians to be physically present. All duties and responsibilities performed by PAs must be within their training and skills and delegated by their supervising physician. PAs may describe medications and Schedule II – V controlled substances if the Board-approved protocol outlines it and the supervising physician delegates it. 

Missouri: 

The Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts licenses PAs and issues their certificate of controlled substances prescriptive authority. State regulations outline appropriate supervision between physicians and PAs. Regulations require a jointly agreed upon written agreement that may delegate the authority for PAs to prescribe, dispense or administer medications and provide treatments within their training, skill and competence. All healthcare services delegated in the supervision agreement must be within the PA’s and physician’s scopes of practice. PAs may prescribe Schedule III – V controlled substances when outlined in the supervision agreement but can’t prescribe Schedule II drugs. 

Montana: 

Montana Board of Medical Examiners licenses PAs, and state statutes define supervision requirements, including types of supervision and amount and purpose of face-to-face meetings. PAs and physicians must determine the PA’s scope of practice and develop written agreements describing this scope. Supervising physicians determine the prescriptive authority of PAs, which can include the authority to prescribe Schedule II – V controlled substances. 

Nebraska: 

The Nebraska State Board of Health has a PA Committee with regulations outlining supervision requirements. PAs and physicians must create an agreement that includes the PA’s scope of practice. Supervisory physicians retain legal responsibility for medical services provided by PAs. Although supervision must be continuous, it doesn’t require physicians to be physically present at all times. Supervising physicians may delegate PAs to perform any medical services within their competence level and scope of practice predetermined between the PA and physician. PAs may prescribe medications, devices and controlled substances when delegated by their supervising physicians. 

Nevada: 

The Nevada Board of Medical Examiners licensed PAs, but state regulations define adequate supervision of PAs. Supervising physicians must develop and conduct programs to ensure PAs provide quality care. Once monthly, supervising physicians must spend part of a day with their PAs to monitor the quality of their care and act as a consultant. PA must provide medical services within their education, training, experience and competence level and their supervising physician’s scope of practice. They may prescribe drugs and Schedule II – V controlled substances that follow mutually developed and agreed upon written guidelines. 

New Hampshire: 

PAs and supervising physicians must jointly create written job descriptions conforming to supervision requirements established by the New Hampshire Board of Medicine and the law. Supervising physicians must be readily available through electronic communications but don’t have to be physically present when and where PAs provide services. PAs and physicians must also create an agreement determining the PA’s scope of practice, limited by the supervision physician’s scope of practice. Supervising physicians may authorize PAs to prescribe, administer and dispense drugs under their delegation. 

New Jersey: 

The New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners allows PAs and physicians to determine appropriate supervision at the practice level. PAs may perform duties delegated by their supervising physician within the PA’s skills and under supervision. PAs may also prescribe Schedule II – V controlled substances if their supervising physician authorizes them to do so.

 

New Mexico:

The New Mexico Medical Board requires PAs and physicians to determine supervision or collaboration relationships at the practice level. PAs may only perform duties assigned by their supervising physician and within the physician’s scope of practice. PAs may also prescribe Schedule II – V drugs under physician supervision and within Board-approved parameters.

 

New York:

The New York State Office of the Professions requires continuous supervision between PAs and physicians, but it doesn’t require physicians to be physically present where PAs perform services. PAs may perform medical services delegated by their supervising physician and within the physician’s scope of practice. They also may prescribe Schedule II – V drugs if they’re acting within their scope of practice and under their supervising physician’s delegation.

 

North Carolina:

The North Carolina Medical Board allows physician assistants and supervising physicians to determine the PA’s scope of practice on-site, but the delegation of medical services must be within the supervising physician’s skills and the PA’s competence level. PAs may perform medical services under the continuous supervision of supervising physicians, but physicians don’t need to be on-site when and where PAs render service. PAs may prescribe drugs, devices and controlled substances as delegated by a written supervisory agreement.

 

North Dakota:

The North Dakota Board of Medicine allows PAs to collaborate with an appropriate healthcare team member, with the degree of collaboration determined at the practice site. Supervising physicians and PAs determine the PA’s scope of practice, which must be appropriate to the PA’s competence level. PAs may dispense medications they’re authorized to prescribe under their supervising physician’s guidelines.

 

Ohio:

The State Medical Board of Ohio requires a supervision agreement between physicians and PAs, with appropriate supervision determined between them. Medical services that supervising physicians delegate to PAs must be within the physician’s expertise and regular course of practice. Supervising physicians may delegate PAs to prescribe drugs and Schedule II – V controlled substances. PAs must furnish their supervision agreement to the Board.

 

Oklahoma:

The Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision licenses PAs, and state regulations outline the medical services PAs may perform. These services must be within the physician’s scope of practice and the PA’s skills. However, PAs and supervising physicians may determine the supervisory relationship at the practice level. Supervising physicians must be readily available but don’t have to be present where PAs provide services. PAs may prescribe drugs, devices and Schedule II – V controlled substances under their supervising physician’s direction and Board approval.

 

Oregon:

The Oregon Medical Board requires PAs to practice in collaboration with a healthcare provider appropriate to the patient’s condition and standard of care and the PA’s education, experience and competence level. PAs may perform medical services in their collaborative agreements matching their education and training. A PA’s degree of collaboration must be determined at their primary practice location. PA’s may prescribe drugs and Schedule II – V controlled substances after registering with the Board for authority to dispense medications.

 

Pennsylvania:

The Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine must approve the required written agreements between PAs and supervising physicians. Agreements must include practice location and the manner of supervision. State regulations detail the medical services PAs may provide to patients. Supervising physicians must delegate all services, which must be within the PA’s training, skills and experience, and outlined in their approved written agreement. PAs may prescribe medications, devices and Schedule II – V controlled substances as delegated by their supervising physician.

 

Rhode Island:

The Rhode Island Board of Licensure for Physician Assistants requires PAs to practice in collaboration with physicians but allows PAs and collaborating physicians to determine the type of collaboration. Medical services performed by PAs must be consistent with their expertise and supervising physicians' expertise. They may also prescribe legend drugs, Schedule II – V controlled substances and devices when delegated by their supervising physician.

 

South Carolina:

The South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners requires PAs to develop a supervisory relationship, with their scope of practice guidelines approved by the Board. State statutes outline what PAs must include in their guidelines, including treatments and therapies that may be initiated, continued or modified for medical conditions. PAs may perform medical services within their approved written scope or practice guidelines under a physician’s supervision. PAs may prescribe drugs, devices and controlled substances when delegated by their supervisory physicians.

 

South Dakota:

The South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners approves the required written practice agreement between PAs and supervising physicians outlining supervision and delegated activities PAs may perform. PAs and supervising physicians must meet twice monthly to discuss patient care. PAs may prescribe drugs and Schedule II – V controlled substances when outlined in the practice agreement and provided with supervision. 

Tennessee: 

Tennessee Committee on Physician Assistants requires written protocol between PAs and supervising physicians and regulates a supervising physician’s review of the information contained in a PA’s patient charts. The written protocol determines the range of services PAs may provide and can only include services within the PA’s skills and competence level. All services must also be within the supervising physician’s usual scope of practice. PAs may prescribe drugs and Schedule II – V controlled substances when delegated by their supervising physician. 

Texas: 

The Texas Medical Board requires PAs to be supervised by physicians. Although supervision must be continuous, physicians aren’t required to maintain a constant physical presence. Supervising physicians delegate medical services provided by PAs, which must be within the PA’s education, training and experience. PAs may prescribe drugs and devices if delegated by their supervising physician and may prescribe controlled substances under certain provisions. 

Utah: 

The Utah Physician Assistant Licensing Board requires PAs with less than 10,000 practice hours to practice under a collaborating physician using written policies and procedures established at a practice level. PAs may provide medical services within their skills and competence level, including consulting, collaborating and referring patients to appropriate healthcare team members. They may prescribe drugs and devices within their practice scope and controlled substances within their scope if they have DEA registration and a Utah controlled substance license. 

Vermont: 

The Vermont Board of Medical Practice requires a delegation agreement between PAs and physicians, including how they define supervision and a process to evaluate the PA’s performance. The agreement must also identify the PA’s scope of practice. The supervising physician must delegate all medical care. PAs may prescribe drugs and devices as delegated by their supervising physician. 

Virginia: 

The Virginia Board of Medicine authorizes physicians to supervise PAs and delegate certain medical services. The Board also requires a supervision practice agreement after PAs and physicians identify the supervisory relationship, access to the supervising physician and a process for evaluating the PA’s performance. Both parties must also identify the PA’s scope of practice, including the delegation of medical tasks matching their competence level. PAs may prescribe drugs, devices and controlled substances under physician supervision if authorized to do so through their practice agreement. 

Washington: 

The Washington State Medical Commission requires a mutually agreed upon delegation agreement between PAs and supervising physicians. Their agreement must detail the PA's manner and extent of supervision and practice. Supervising physicians and PAs determine which procedures the PA may perform, which must match their education, training, experience and competency and be consistent with their delegation agreement. State law details the limitations on certain healthcare services. PAs may prescribe legend drugs and Schedule II – V controlled substances consistent with their scope of practice and approved agreement. 

West Virginia: 

The West Virginia Board of Medicine allows PAs to practice in collaboration with physicians in any practice setting and provide any medical services consistent with their education, training and experience in accordance with their practice notification. PAs may prescribe medications, devices and Schedule III – V controlled substances as delegated by their supervising physician but not Schedule II. 

Wisconsin: 

The Wisconsin Medical Examining Board requires supervision between PAs and physicians who must always be readily available for consultations with their PAs. The PA’s scope of practice can’t exceed their educational training and their supervising physician’s scope of practice, with limitations to medical care outlined in statutes. PAs may prescribe drugs under physician supervision. Physicians must review their PA’s prescriptive practice annually. 

Wyoming: 

The Wyoming Board of Medicine requires a supervision agreement between PAs and physicians, but physicians aren’t required to be physically present if they can easily communicate with their PAs. Supervising physicians may delegate duties and responsibilities to PAs within the physician’s scope of practice. PAs may prescribe drugs and Schedule II – V controlled substances under physician supervision. 

 

Relevant PA-Related Current Events

The AAPA House of Delegates announced on May 24, 2021, that they’d passed a resolution to begin the lengthy process of changing the physician assistant moniker to “physician associate” to describe their role better. However, it warned PAs not to start calling themselves physician associates until the name change before fully legal to avoid any potential discipline from their licensing board or other legal actions against them. 

Although AAPA has legally changed its corporate name to reflect the desired update, it said it would likely display both physician assistant and physician associate on its website for several years because the complete transition will take time. AAPA is currently encouraging other professional associations to change their names, but changing the profession’s legal title at the state and federal levels will be a long-term process. 

While the name change better identifies PAs as advanced practice professionals and not just an assistant to a physician, it doesn’t impact any other area. It won’t change what PAs do or their scope of practice. It also likely won’t change any state-level rules or regulations, at least not directly. 

AAPA will continue working with state PA chapters in the pursuit of changing the professional title in their state legislatures. PAs wanting to stay current on their state’s efforts should consider joining their local organization to receive the latest news. 

Schedule a demo with Vivian Health to see how we can help you find and recruit physician assistants and other advanced practice professionals to fill your facility’s needs. 

 

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and shouldn’t be construed as legal or professional advice. Please contact your professional advisors for the latest information regarding the scope of practice for physician assistants in any state in which you practice.

Moira K. McGhee

Moira K. McGhee

Moira K. McGhee is Vivian’s Content Writer & Editor. As part of the Vivian Health team, she strives to help support the empowerment of nurses and other medical professionals in their pursuits to find top-notch travel, staff, per diem and local contract jobs.

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