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Scope of Practice

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Each year, in nearly every state, non-physician health care professionals lobby state legislatures and regulatory boards for expansions of their scopes of practice. While some scope expansions may be appropriate, others definitely are not. Through resources, data and the Scope of Practice Partnership, the AMA has what you need to advance your scope-of-practice advocacy agenda.

Scope of Practice Partnership

The Scope of Practice Partnership (SOPP) is a collaborative effort of the American Medical Association, American Osteopathic Association, national medical societies, state medical associations and state osteopathic medical associations that focuses the resources of organized medicine to oppose scope-of-practice expansions by non-physician providers that threaten the health and safety of patients.

At all times, the SOPP has as its goal the protection of the health and safety of patients whose well-being may be threatened by health care practitioners who lack the education, training or experience to perform procedures for which they seek licensure or recognition. This goal is accomplished through a combination of legislative activities; regulatory activities; judicial advocacy; and programs of information, research and education. The AMA provides staff to manage the operation of the SOPP.

Scope of Practice Data Series

Education and training matter. That is why the AMA is committed to providing accurate, objective information about the education and training of physicians and other health care professionals. The Scope of Practice Data Series is a collection of modules intended to educate legislators, regulatory bodies and other policymakers about the education and training of certain health care professionals, as well as about the qualifications that physicians must attain to prepare them to accept the responsibility for full, unrestricted licensure to practice medicine. State and specialty medical societies now have the information necessary to challenge the advocacy campaigns of non-physician health care professionals who seek unwarranted scope-of-practice expansions that may endanger the health and safety of patients.

The AMA maintains modules for the following health care professionals: Audiologists, Naturopaths, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Practitioners, Optometrists, Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons, Pharmacists, Physical Therapists, Podiatrists and Psychologists. In line with the express purpose of the modules being used for governmentally directed advocacy, it is not the policy of the AMA to provide the modules to individual physicians.

Contact Information

State medical associations, national medical specialty societies and national medical organizations should contact Kristin Schleiter, senior legislative attorney, at [email protected] for access to the Scope of Practice Data Series. Other available documents include:

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