Letter Urges Joint Commission to Clarify the Definition of “Physician”

The NCMS is a signatory to a letter from the AMA, the American Osteopathic Association, state medical societies and national medical specialty societies urging the Joint Commission to clarify its revised glossary definition of “physician.” In the letter, the organizations “strongly urge that the term ‘physician’ is a descriptor that should be limited to individuals who have received a Doctor of Medicine or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree, or an equivalent degree of medicine following successful completion of a prescribed course of study from an international school of medicine.”  The organizations believe The Joint Commission’s revised glossary definition does not make this distinction. Read the letter here.

Back to Bulletin


Share this Post



  • David Jackson MD

    For Dr Huggins,for practical purposes, allopathic medicine refers to non-osteopathic medical schools. UNC, WFU, ECU, Duke, etc are allopathic medical schools.

  • Brad Huggins, MD

    I am concerned about the initial language “an individual who has successfully completed a
    prescribed course of study from a school of allopathic medicine
    accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education
    (LCME) or a school of osteopathic medicine accredited by the
    American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and . . .”
    I have completed neither, having attended an US college (Davidson College) and US medical school (UNC School of Medicine).
    Is this paragraph out of context or should this definition be reworded to address each of the individual ways of obtaining the necessary education to practice as a “physician”?