Jump To Navigation

Assistant Physician, not Physician Assistant

In a move that creates some confusing liability issues for physicians, to say nothing of quality of care issues for patients, the State of Missouri has now allowed for a license called an "assistant physician" to be issued to someone who has been graduated from any medical school and has completed steps 1 and 2 of the USMLE but has not completed any residency training.  These folks will be allowed to call themselves "doctor" and be allowed to practice as regular doctors.  Interestingly, the state of Missouri has traditionally placed more restrictions on nurses than most states and does not allow for independent practice by advanced practice nurses as many states have done to help ease the primary care physician deficit.

Presumably, these assistant physicians will be seeking hospital privileges.  As presumably few hospitals will grant admitting privileges to an assistant physician, they will then most likely seek arrangements with physicians to agree to admit and care for their patients who require admission.  Therefore, one open question is the degree of liability those physicians who agree to such arrangements will be taking on.  It is unclear if the courts will be able to see the difference between assistant physicians and physician assistants; for the latter, the supervising physician has full liability exposure for the actions of the PA.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Questions? Contact Us

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Office Location

Icenogle & Associates, LLC
S7563 Riley Road
Readstown, WI 54652
Phone: 866-625-9104
Fax: 608-629-5202
Map and Directions