Fundamental differences in physician and nurse educational curricula are reflected in traditional standards and regulations for medical decision-making and prescribing authority. During the last two decades, legislation and regulation governing medical care have shifted increasingly from Washington, D.C. to state capitols. In some states, relaxation of medical care standards has been posited as a solution for spiraling costs and physician shortages. In essence, such proposals would substitute new regulations in place of a medical education. Unfortunately, these debates have generated proposals for changes in scope of practice that pose threats to patient safety. As a result, ASA’s state component societies are evolving into primary public advocacy organizations. Accordingly, ASA has designated advocacy resources to support this essential evolution for our component societies.

Since its appointment in 2012 by then-ASA President Jerry Cohen, M.D., our Task Force on State Advocacy has operated as a working group of individuals selected from the...

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