Doctor Doesn’t Mean MD: Why Dr and MD are Not the Same

Yes, a DMSc is a doctor. So, same as an MD then? No. An MD is one type of doctor. Doctors with an MD or DO are also referred to as physicians. Doctors with a DMSc are Physician Associates.

Doctor Doesn't Mean MD
MDs aren’t the only doctors in healthcare.

3 thoughts on “Doctor Doesn’t Mean MD: Why Dr and MD are Not the Same

  • May 21, 2022 at 9:39 am

    Does this mean PA’s also take on full liability of their license and are required to register and obtain mal-practice insurance as well? I’m assuming a PA doesn’t need to be supervised by an MD? And ALL PA’s can write prescriptions for EVERY medication, including narcautics in EVERY state without an MD or DO?

    • May 21, 2022 at 10:31 am

      While laws vary by state, PAs are licensed, insured, and have prescriptive authority in all US states. Controlled substance prescribing may be limited in some states.

      PAs make hundreds of clinical decisions on a daily basis–there’s no way this can be or ever really has been “supervised”. Collaboration is what does and has always occurred.

    • June 11, 2022 at 11:43 am

      PAs are registered and certified with an NPI number, DEA number, national certification, and state license. PAs are liable for the care they provide. PAs also have mal-practice insurance. Supervision is a loose term and is primarily used as a reference if a PA has a question. PAs usually operate independently and have their own patient panel and can perform procedures independently. PAs also can write prescriptions for EVERY medication, including narcotics, without oversight from a physician. PAs can also bill.


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