May 30, 2022
American Society of Anesthesiologists Calls for Removal of Divisive Anti-Physician Goal from NAM Clinician Well-Being Collaborative Document
CHICAGO – The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) urges the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) to remove the action item in its Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience document that calls for the removal of physician supervision requirements that protect patients. Introducing this inflammatory, non-consensus recommendation is contrary to the aim of the document. The goal is viewed as anti-physician, and it risks introducing stress and conflict into the workplace as well as the potential for increased burnout among the very stakeholders the Collaborative seeks to help.
“The National Plan is not an appropriate place to discuss scope of practice for advanced practice nurses,” said ASA President Randall M. Clark, M.D., FASA. “The phrase ‘top of training and education,’ as well as the frequently used ‘top of license,’ are devoid of statutory or regulatory meaning and therefore cannot serve as any kind of practical guidance or limitation. They are codewords used by non-physicians seeking to minimize the role of physicians in health care.”
In a letter sent to NAM, ASA noted, “the authority to establish scope of practice standards, requirements whose sole purpose is to protect the public, are a matter for state and federal policymakers and their designees. This document is intended to promote clinician well-being and resilience. The two subjects should not be confused. This National Plan must be appropriate to all stakeholders and applicable to the entire workforce.”
ASA calls for the removal of the Plan’s first action listed for Goal 5 in Chapter 5, which states, “Enable health workers to practice at the top of their training and education; and permanently eliminate onerous scope-of-practice regulations to allow advanced practice providers (e.g., nurse practitioners, midwives) to practice independently.”
ABOUT THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ANESTHESIOLOGISTS
Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 55,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves.
For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/madeforthismoment. Like ASA on Facebook and follow ASALifeline on Twitter.