Statement on Physician-Led Emergency Care Teams

September 18, 2020

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) has long been a proponent of physician-led teams in the emergency department, where emergency nurses (RNs), nurse practitioners (NPs), physician assistants (PAs), pharmacists and others play an integral role as part of a multidisciplinary team. With this team approach as our foundation, our mission is to ensure that all patients presenting to emergency departments receive the highest quality care possible.

Since 2000, ACEP has endorsed policies for emergency departments that utilize NPs and PAs regarding education and training, as well as physician supervision. ACEP also has had a policy regarding emergency medicine pharmacists as well-integrated members of the team who actively participate in patient medication decisions.

By joining in a recent shared statement among EM groups, ACEP hoped to reduce potentially confusing terminology where patients may be unsure whether they are being treated by a physician or another team member. The statement was made in an effort to address the patient perspective, and not to diminish the valued role of these health care professionals as part of the emergency care team. Together we all have the same goal, advancing emergency care for our patients.

Related ACEP Policy Statements

Guidelines Regarding the Role of Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners in the Emergency Department (Revised June 2020)

Use of the Title "Doctor" in the Clinical Setting (Revised February 2020)

Advocating for Certified Emergency Nurses (CENs) in Departments of Emergency Medicine (Reaffirmed February 2018)

Clinical Pharmacist Services in the Emergency Department (June 2015)

Staffing Models and the Role of the Emergency Department Medical Director (April 2020)

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