What are the position statements of the Board and to whom do they apply?Adopted: Nov 1999
The North Carolina Medical Board’s Position Statements are interpretive statements that attempt to define or explain the meaning of laws or rules that govern the practice of physicians,* physician assistants, and nurse practitioners in North Carolina, usually those relating to discipline. They also set forth criteria or guidelines used by the Board’s staff in investigations and in the prosecution or settlement of cases.
When considering the Board’s Position Statements, the following four points should be kept in mind.
- In its Position Statements, the Board attempts to articulate some of the standards it believes applicable to the medical profession and to the other health care professions it regulates. However, a Position Statement should not be seen as the promulgation of a new standard as of the date of issuance or amendment. Some Position Statements are reminders of traditional, even millennia old, professional standards, or show how the Board might apply such standards today.
- The Position Statements are not intended to be comprehensive or to set out exhaustively every standard that might apply in every circumstance. Therefore, the absence of a Position Statement or a Position Statement’s silence on certain matters should not be construed as the lack of an enforceable standard.
- The existence of a Position Statement should not necessarily be taken as an indication of the Board’s enforcement priorities.
- A lack of disciplinary actions to enforce a particular standard mentioned in a Position Statement should not be taken as an abandonment of the principles set forth therein.
The Board will continue to decide each case before it on all the facts and circumstances presented in the hearing, whether or not the issues have been the subject of a Position Statement. The Board intends that the Position Statements will reflect its philosophy on certain subjects and give licensees some guidance for avoiding Board scrutiny. The principles of professionalism and performance expressed in the Position Statements apply to all persons licensed and/or approved by the Board to render medical care at any level.
*The words “physician” and “doctor” as used in the Position Statements refer to persons who are MDs or DOs licensed by the Board to practice medicine and surgery in North Carolina.