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Clinical Supervision Policy for Medical Students 
Legal Limitations on Professional Practice

It is a violation of the laws of the State of Georgia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and contrary to the policy of this College for any unlicensed person to engage in or attempt to engage in the professional practice of heath care. Please remember that, as a student, you are NOT a licensed-health care provider and until you have graduated and you are licensed, you cannot engage in the practice of health care.

Professional practice in health care includes such unsupervised activities as diagnosis, the rendering of medical treatment or advice, the prescribing of drugs, and all other activities normally performed by physicians or other licensed professionals. Students are cautioned to confine their training activities involving the activities above to supervised teaching clinics, hospitals, and training sites. At no time should you assume responsibility for the care of any patient. Any student delivering unsupervised medical care is engaging in unauthorized treatment in violation of College policy, is not insured by the College malpractice carrier, and may be subject to disciplinary action including dismissal.

No student is authorized to receive or to collect for himself/herself or for any other person, any fee or gratuity for professional service.

While some DO students may be fully licensed in other health care professions (for example, RNs, PAs, dentists, etc.), they may NOT exercise the rights and responsibilities of their license while simultaneously performing their duties and responsibilities as a medical student on clinical clerkship rotations.

Malpractice Insurance

All students serving approved clinical clerkships are covered by the professional liability insurance of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Supervision Guidelines for Clinical Clerkships

  1. Clinical clerks shall be under the supervision of a physician designated for this purpose.
  2. Clinical clerks shall assume responsibility for and perform their assigned duties in conformance with the training site regulations.
  3. When requested or required by the supervising physician, clinical clerks are permitted to take a history and physical examination of the patient. Histories and physicals will be dictated or recorded and may be signed by the clinical clerk according to the rules and regulations of the training site. The histories and physicals done by the clinical clerks should be reviewed by the attending and/or supervising physician and, as an educational modality, be reviewed with the clinical clerk.
  4. Progress notes may be written by the clinical clerks under the direction of the attending
    or supervising physician. Progress notes must be countersigned within the time required by the rules and regulations of the training site.
  5. Clinical clerks shall not order any examinations, tests, medications, or procedures without consulting and obtaining the prior approval of the attending or supervising physician. Clinical clerks shall not write prescriptions.
  6. Clinical clerks shall be required and encouraged to participate in the utilization of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) when ordered. OMT shall be applied under the direction of an attending or supervising osteopathic physician.
  7. Clinical clerks shall learn and perform procedures under appropriate and proper supervision in those areas where the training site regulations permit such instruction. In addition to the general regulations, clinical clerks shall abide by all specific departmental regulations of the training site.
  8. PCOM is committed to ensuring that any health professional providing health services through a therapeutic relationship will recuse him/herself from the academic assessment or promotion of the student. If you have been assigned to a supervising physician with whom you have a therapeutic relationship, please notify your Office of Clinical Education, so you can be reassigned.