Performing Patient Care Activities
Student involvement in patient care is permitted when authorized by the College and the assigned clinical faculty member. These activities may include, but are not limited to early clinical experiences and clinical clerkships throughout the 4 years of the medical school curriculum. Supervision by a physician or authorized medical professional (i.e. PA, APN) who are under the supervision of the faculty physician is required. In certain cases such as medication counseling, a pharmacist is an appropriate supervisor. The student’s supervising faculty/preceptor is the faculty member that is responsible for the patient’s care. Students may not perform any medical treatment or procedures without appropriate supervision and that is not appropriate for his or her level of training. The faculty member/preceptor generally should be present for any treatment, procedure, or invasive exam. Students are not to take the place of qualified staff and should identify themselves to patients and others as an osteopathic medical student or “Student Doctor.” Students may not introduce themselves as Doctor regardless of previous degrees as this is a misrepresentation of the student’s position on a healthcare team. Students may not write patient care orders independently and all such orders must be reviewed and approved by the faculty member/preceptor. Students may not accept payment or remuneration for services. Any student delivering unsupervised care is engaging in unauthorized treatment, is not insured by the University malpractice insurance and may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
While some students may be licensed in other healthcare areas (e.g. RN) they may not exercise the rights afforded by that license while simultaneously performing their duties as a medical student on a clinical clerkship or any early clinical experiences.
Note: If you have been assigned a supervising physician with whom you have a therapeutic relationship, please notify the Office of Clinical Rotations.
Assurance of Students Health Prior to Involvement in Patient Care
Upon admission, students are required to obtain and to provide the required documentation indicating that they do not have conditions that would endanger the health and well-being of patients. The documentation includes immunizations and titers for immunity, verification from a physician who has performed a medical history and physical examination as to the health of the student and background checks for a legal history. Students must also sign a document that they are free from contagious disease prior to caring for the patient. When this is in question, the student and college must follow CDC guidelines. The presence of a communicable disease may limit a student’s participation in clinical care. If a student has a communicable disease this must be shared with the appropriate personnel at the clinical site and the clinical site has the final determination in the student’s ability to participate in certain areas of clinical training. A student must be able to demonstrate that his or her health and abilities will enable them to meet the technical standards of the program. A copy of all immunizations and laboratory tests will be obtained and shared with the clinical site
Supervision of Students
A student (including those on clinical rotations) must be supervised in patient care situations. Supervision involves a responsible licensed physician to:
- Be physically located in the facility where patient treatment is rendered;
- Grant authorization of services provided by the student doctor;
- Examine all patients seen by the student doctor;
- Be physically present during and invasive procedure or exam;
- Assure other clinical staff are present during any invasive or sexual organ examinations; and
- Assure that the documentation in the patient’s medical record is appropriate