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PE Protocols: Strict Protocols

Protocols that are used to allow nonphysicians to do tasks that are generally reserved for licensed physicians must be much more rigid and specific than physician protocols or teaching protocols. No judgment or discretion is allowed to the PE; the judgment remains with the physician who authorized the protocols. The extender must follow the protocol to the letter, without deviation or the exercise of independent judgment. If state law allows PEs to practice medicine without supervision, strict protocols are not necessary, but even in such a state, strict protocols are desirable for risk management, quality assurance, and compliance with federal laws.


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