Act of Dec. 9, 2002, P.L. 1344, No. 160              Cl. 63
                             Session of 2002
                               No. 2002-160

     HB 967

                                  AN ACT

     Amending the act of December 20, 1985 (P.L.457, No.112),
        entitled "An act relating to the right to practice medicine
        and surgery and the right to practice medically related acts;
        reestablishing the State Board of Medical Education and
        Licensure as the State Board of Medicine and providing for
        its composition, powers and duties; providing for the
        issuance of licenses and certificates and the suspension and
        revocation of licenses and certificates; providing penalties;
        and making repeals," further providing for physician
        assistant licenses.

        The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     hereby enacts as follows:

        Section 1.  The definitions of "medical training facility"
     and "physician assistant" in section 2 of the act of December
     20, 1985 (P.L.457, No.112), known as the Medical Practice Act of
     1985, are amended to read:
      Section 2.  Definitions.
        The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
     have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
     context clearly indicates otherwise:
        * * *
        "Medical training facility."  A medical college, hospital or
     other institution which provides courses in the art and science
     of medicine and surgery and related subjects for the purpose of
     enabling a matriculant to qualify for a license to practice
     medicine and surgery, graduate medical training, midwife
     certificate or physician assistant [certificate] license.
        * * *
        "Physician assistant."  An individual who is [certified]
     licensed as a physician assistant by the board.
        Section 2.  Section 13.2 of the act, added December 27, 1994
     (P.L.1353, No.157) is amended to read:
      Section 13.2.  Graduate physician assistant.
        (a)  Practice.--Graduates of a physician assistant program
     recognized by the board may register with the board and practice
     only under direct supervision of a physician until [certified]
     licensed by a process recognized by the board. Practice under
     this section shall be limited to the period between graduation
     and receipt of the results of the first examination after
     graduation offered by an examination agency in accordance with
     section 24. If the person applying for [certification] licensure
     fails the examination, the authority to practice under this
     section shall expire.
        (b)  Use of title.--The title "graduate physician assistant"
     or the abbreviation "GPA" shall be used until [certification]
     licensure is obtained.
        (c)  Drugs.--A graduate physician assistant shall not be
     permitted to prescribe or dispense drugs at the direction of a
     physician until [certification] licensure has been completed.
        Section 3.  Sections 22 and 36 of the act are amended to
      Section 22.  Licenses and certificates; general qualification.
        (a)  Types of licenses and certificates.--The board may grant
     the following licenses and certificates:
            (1)  License without restriction.
            (2)  Interim limited license.
            (3)  Graduate license.
            (4)  Institutional license.
            (5)  Temporary license.
            (6)  Extraterritorial license.
            (7)  Midwife license.
            (8)  Physician assistant [certificate] license.
        (b)  Qualifications.--The board shall not issue a license or
     certificate to an applicant unless the applicant establishes
     with evidence, verified by an affidavit or affirmation of the
     applicant, that the applicant is of legal age, is of good moral
     character and is not addicted to the intemperate use of alcohol
     or the habitual use of narcotics or other habit-forming drugs
     and that the applicant has completed the educational
     requirements prescribed by the board and otherwise satisfies the
     qualifications for the license or certificate contained in or
     authorized by this act. The board shall not issue a license or
     certificate to an applicant who has been convicted of a felony
     under the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The
     Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, or of an
     offense under the laws of another jurisdiction which, if
     committed in this Commonwealth, would be a felony under The
     Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, unless:
            (1)  at least ten years have elapsed from the date of
            (2)  the applicant satisfactorily demonstrates to the
        board that he has made significant progress in personal
        rehabilitation since the conviction such that licensure of
        the applicant should not be expected to create a substantial
        risk of harm to the health and safety of his patients or the
        public or a substantial risk of further criminal violations;
            (3)  the applicant otherwise satisfies the qualifications
        contained in or authorized by this act.
     As used in this section the term "convicted" shall include a
     judgment, an admission of guilt or a plea of nolo contendere.
        (c)  Refusal.--The board may refuse to issue a license or
     certificate to an applicant based upon a ground for such action
     contained in section 41.
        (d)  Limitation.--The board shall not refuse to issue a
     license or certificate to an applicant unless the applicant has
     been afforded the procedural protections required by this act.
      Section 36.  Physician assistant [certificate] license.
        (a)  General rule.--A physician assistant [certificate]
     license empowers the holder to assist a medical doctor in the
     provision of medical care and services under the supervision and
     direction of that medical doctor as provided in this act.
        (b)  Requirements.--No physician assistant [certificate]
     license may be issued to the applicant unless the requirements
     set forth by this act and such rules and regulations issued by
     the board are met, including requirements for the physician
     assistant [certificate of] training and educational programs
     which shall be formulated by the board in accordance with such
     national criteria as are established by national organizations
     or societies as the board may accept.
        (c)  Criteria.--The board shall grant physician assistant
     [certificates] licenses to applicants who have fulfilled the
     following criteria:
            (1)  Satisfactory performance on the proficiency
        examination to the extent that a proficiency examination
            (2)  Satisfactory completion of a certified program for
        the training and education of physician assistants.
            (3)  For candidates for initial licensure after January
        1, 2004, obtainment of a baccalaureate or higher degree from
        a college or university and completion of not less than 60
        clock hours of didactic instruction in pharmacology or other
        related courses as the board may approve by regulation.
        (d)  Biennial renewal.--A physician assistant [certificate]
     license shall be subject to biennial renewal by the board.
        (e)  Description of manner of assistance.--The application
     shall include a written request from the applicant's supervising
     medical doctor who shall file with the board a description of
     the manner in which the physician assistant will assist the
     supervising medical doctor, which description shall be subject
     to the approval of the board.
        Section 4.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.

     APPROVED--The 9th day of December, A. D. 2002.