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.
NOTE: 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.
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
- Clinical clerks shall be under the supervision of a physician designated for this
- Clinical clerks shall assume responsibility for and perform their assigned duties
in conformance with the training site regulations.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.