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Ethics and Public Policy
January 1999

The Practice of Medicine and Its Interface With Medical Regulation

Author Affiliations

Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999

Arch Facial Plast Surg. 1999;1(1):58-59. doi:10.1001/archfaci.1.1.58

Practicing physicians are expected to deliver the highest quality of health care. Public demand to establish and implement mechanisms and systems to evaluate the fitness and ability of an individual to safely practice medicine resulted in the creation of medical boards. Their primary responsibility and obligation is to protect the public residing within their jurisdictions from unprofessional, improper, and incompetent medical practitioners. Each state provides laws, more commonly referred to as a Medical Practice Act, that outline the safe practice of medicine within its jurisdiction and set forth the responsibility of the state's medical board to regulate that practice. Individuals who want to practice in any particular jurisdiction must meet the respective jurisdiction's standards, which may include, but are not limited to, educational requirements and clinical training.