Physicians often practice in concert with optometrists, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and other allied health professionals. Although physicians have overall responsibility for the quality of care that patients receive, allied health professionals have training and expertise that complements physicians’. With physicians, allied health professionals share a common commitment to patient well-being.

In light of this shared commitment, physicians’ relationships with allied health professionals should be based on mutual respect and trust. It is ethically appropriate for physicians to:

  1. Help support high quality education that is complementary to medical training, including by teaching in recognized schools for allied health professionals.
  2. Work in consultation with or employ appropriately trained and credentialed allied health professionals.
  3. Delegate provision of medical services to an appropriately trained and credentialed allied health professional within the individual’s scope of practice.
AMA Principles of Medical Ethics: I, V, VII

Code of Medical Ethics: Inter-Professional Relationships

Visit the Ethics main page to access additional Opinions, the Principles of Medical Ethics and more information about the Code of Medical Ethics.

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