Scope of practice issues in the delivery of pediatric health care

Carmelita V. Britton, Michael R. Anderson, Carol D. Berkowitz, Aaron L. Friedman, David C. Goodman, Kristan M. Outwater, Richard J.D. Pan, Debra Ralston Sowell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of nonphysician pediatric clinicians and an expansion in their respective scopes of practice. This raises critical public policy and child health advocacy concerns. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) believes that optimal pediatric health care depends on a team-based approach with coordination by a physician leader, preferably a pediatrician. The pediatrician is uniquely suited to manage, coordinate, and supervise the entire spectrum of pediatric care, from diagnosis through all stages of treatment, in all practice settings. The AAP recognizes the valuable contributions of nonphysician clinicians, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants, in delivering optimal pediatric care. The AAP also believes that nonphysician clinicians who provide health care services in underserved areas should be supported by consulting pediatricians and other physicians using technologies including telemedicine. Pediatricians should serve as advocates for optimal pediatric care in state legislatures, public policy forums, and the media and should pursue opportunities to resolve scope of practice conflicts outside state legislatures. The AAP affirms that as nonphysician clinicians seek to expand their scopes of practice as providers of pediatric care, standards of education, training, examination, regulation, and patient care are needed to ensure patient safety and quality health care for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-435
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


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