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Scope of Practice

The AAOS strongly supports physician-led, team-based care. Orthopaedic surgeons, for example, have completed four years of medical school and five years of residency training. Many also pursue board certification and additional fellowship training to subspecialize in areas such as foot and ankle surgery, trauma, pediatric orthopaedics, spine, reconstructive joint surgery, sports medicine, hand surgery, or orthopaedic oncology.

While nurse practitioners and physician assistants play a critical role in our nation’s health care system and are key members of the care team, these health care professionals are not interchangeable with physicians.

AAOS is opposed to the Improving Access to Workers’ Compensation for Injured Federal Workers Act (H.R. 6087). This legislation would inappropriately permit nurse practitioners and physician assistants to diagnose, prescribe, treat, and certify an injury and extent of disability for purposes of compensating federal workers under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act.