Use medical students as you would medical assistants

December 25, 2012

Hiring medical students can help lighten your workload, but liability risks mean that you can only use them in specific scenarios. Discover what tasks you can assign to them.

Q: Can I hire medical students to help out at my practice?

A: Yes. Keep in mind, however, that medical students are authorized to perform only those duties that an unlicensed person may perform, such as the job-related tasks you assign to your medical assistants.

Just because an individual is enrolled in medical school does not give him or her an elevated status and the ability to practice medicine.

Allowing a medical student to practice medicine under your watch would open you up to an enormous amount of liability-putting your license at stake for aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of medicine. Only when medical students obtain their state medical licenses are they allowed to practice medicine.

The author is healthcare department manager for Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC, Garden City, New York. This answer does not constitute legal advice. Send your practice management questions to medec@advanstar.com. Also engage at www.twitter.com/MedEconomics and www.facebook.com/MedicalEconomics.