Utilization and Supervision of Medical Assistants
While most laws on how medical assistants can be utilized remain vague, the laws on medical assistant direct
supervision are very clear. The ultimate authority in charge of the medical assistant is the employer, usually a
doctor or licensed health care practitioner who hired them, and in turn the doctor is the one who answers to the
State Medical Board/Board of Medical Examiners of the state in which they practice the art of medicine. Nurses
answer to their State Board of Nursing.
Too many medical assistants and their supervisors falsely believe that as long as they work under the umbrella
of the doctor they are allowed to do anything, however, little do they know that they might be taking massive
risks. Without access to information on prevailing rules and regulations and support from some sort of
organization permissible tasks and activities are hard to pinpoint. It is ALWAYS good practice to check with
your State Board of Medical Examiners, Board of Medicine, Board of Licensure in Medicine, Department of
Nursing, or State Board of Nursing to research whether any standards and legal parameters have been
established on how medical assistants may be utilized in a particular setting, e.g. in the Nurse Practice Act or
scope of practice in medicine. Verify which acts and duties are permitted, so that procedures that can
potentially lead to medical negligence and scope of practice violations can be avoided.