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Position Statements

Physician scope of practice

 Categories:  Clinical Practice   Adopted: Mar 2011  Print Friendly Version  |   Share this item

This Position Statement is intended to guide physicians who undertake to perform new procedures, use new technologies, or migrate into areas of practice for which they have not received formal graduate medical education. The Board recognizes that medicine is a dynamic field that, along with individual practices, continues to evolve. Economic pressures, business opportunities, lifestyle considerations and access to care are all reasons that physicians move into new areas of practice. However, patient harm can occur when physicians practicing outside areas in which they were trained are unable to meet accepted and prevailing standards of care in the new practice area.

The informed, prudent care of patients begins with adequate training and the selection of appropriate patients. Follow up care and the ability to address complications is paramount. Physicians intending to expand their practice to an area outside of their graduate medical education should ensure that they have acquired the appropriate level of education and training.

It is the Board’s position that all physicians, irrespective of their training, will be held to the standard of acceptable and prevailing medical practice as set forth in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-14(a)(6).* It also may be prudent for physicians to confirm that their liability insurance provides coverage for the procedures they intend to perform.

*In some instances, the Board may have provided relevant guidance to particular practice areas. See for example the Board’s position statements on Laser Surgery, Office-Based Procedures, Care of the Patient Undergoing Surgery or Other Invasive Procedure, and Advertising and Publicity