ACGME Chief Sees 'Huge' Risk of Error in Proposed Assistant Physician Licensure

Cheryl Clark, July 11, 2014

The CEO of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education calls Missouri's move to license assistant physicians "precedent-setting and very concerning on a number of fronts."


Thomas Nasca, MD

Missouri doctors are pushing for a new physician workforce to help solve the state's dire physician shortage.

And to put it mildly, Thomas Nasca, MD, CEO of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education doesn't like the idea one bit. Nasca runs the organization that oversees accreditation of 9,300 U.S. residency programs in the U.S. and another 1,000 international programs that assure a steady supply of doctors.

Endorsed by the Missouri State Medical Association, the bill was signed into law Thursday by Gov. Jay Nixon. It sets up rules by which medical school graduates who haven't yet passed their final credentialing exam can treat patients in primary care settings.

Doctor Shortage 'Fix' Is a Disaster Waiting to Happen

The new law requires these doctors to be supervised on site by a "collaborative" physician for 30 days, after which the assistant physician could treat patients without that collaborator's presence in settings 50 mile away. These young assistant physicians will  be able to prescribe Schedule III, IV, and IV drugs.

Beyond that 30-day period, the collaborative physician is required to perform chart reviews on 10% of the assistant physician's cases every two weeks, but little else.


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