Scope of practice

Find what services non-physician clinicians are allowed to perform in each state.

The AADA supports appropriate safeguards to ensure patient safety and a focus on the highest quality, appropriate care as the workforce expands to include greater use of non-physician clinicians. Advocacy efforts are consistent with AADA guidelines that non-physician clinicians are to be supervised by a dermatologist in practice. It is the AADA’s position that non-physician clinicians cannot appropriately provide care in independent dermatology practice.

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Below, find additional information about state medical boards as well as state policy, data, and other resources regarding the scope of practice for NPs, PAs, and medispas.

Educate your patients on the importance of seeing a board-certified dermatologist. Access the online resources or download in slide form

What the Academy is doing

AADA scope of practice advocacy actions have included the following:

  • Serving on the Steering Committee of the Scope of Practice Partnership (SOPP), which comprises 14 national medical specialties, nearly every state medical society, and 34 osteopathic medical associations. The SOPP was formed in 2006 to challenge inappropriate scope of practice expansions, such as those that are not commensurate with a non-physician provider group’s education and training.
  • In 2013, 600 scope of practice bills were introduced nationwide; only one (Nevada) resulted in NP independent practice. Over the past three years alone, our efforts (and those of the House of Medicine) influenced legislation in more than 20 states.
  • Promoting the physician-led team by sponsoring a resolution to the AMA House of Delegates to ensure regulation of physician assistants remains under the medical board (adopted AMA policy).
  • Participating in coalition efforts that led to the defeat of optometry expansion efforts in Maryland, North Carolina, Connecticut, California, and Illinois. Generally, these bills set


    a dangerous precedent for all specialties by allowing optometrists to diagnose the cancerous nature of a lesion and then perform a wide variety of scalpel and laser surgeries on the eyelid without the necessary medical education and surgical training it takes to safely perform these delicate procedures. Moreover, any scope expansion for invasive procedures by non-physicians puts patients at risk.
  • Engaging grassroots participants who prevented the enactment of nurse independent practice legislation in Indiana.
  • Codifying team-based care messaging and enacting promotion of these messages with the Pennsylvania Medical Association and others.

Additional resources