The Ethics of Shadowing And Practicing Medicine

You don’t need to be a licensed PA to begin practicing ethically. I recently received a letter from a woman (I will call her Joan) who found Inside PA Training while researching the ethics of shadowing.  Her letter brought forth all kinds of feelings for me, and I think it’s a great way to discuss ethical practice in medicine. Dear Paul, I recently had an appointment with an orthopedic doctor for knee issues. After I had my vitals checked and was wearing paper “shorts,” the PA came in and introduced herself and the very young lady with her as her assistant.  I had to ask what this “assistant” had to do with my care and it was only then that the truth came out.  She did not ask me if I was okay with a shadowing student in the room.   Joan requested the student to leave.  She told me that she had already been a patient in a similar situation once before.  She felt that these episodes demonstrated a lack of professional conduct and common courtesy, and that they ruined the sense of trust that she had with her provider. […]