How do PAs work with physicians?
PAs are committed to team practice with physicians and other healthcare providers. Currently, most state laws require PAs to have an agreement with a specific physician in order to practice. These agreements were included in early PA practice acts 50 years ago when the PA profession was new and untested.
Today, PAs are still held to these obsolete requirements despite the PA profession being well established, highly trusted, and essential to the U.S. healthcare workforce.
In 2017, the American Academy of PAs passed new policy called Optimal Team Practice, which calls for laws and regulations that remove the requirement for PAs to have an agreement with a specific physician in order to practice, enabling practice-level decision-making about collaboration. Under the Optimal Team Practice framework, PAs will still be legally and ethically obligated to consult with and refer patients to physicians based on the patient’s condition, the standard of care, and the PA’s education and experience. Read more here.