Consultations and/or Policies on Referrals

"The use of consultation serves as a means of maintaining a high standard of professional care. The American Academy of Family Physicians believes that all members of a medical staff should have access to consultation when necessary, and that such consultation, when requested in a timely and appropriate manner, shall not be arbitrarily refused. In those instances in which consultation or backup is required by the medical staff of a hospital, it is the ethical responsibility of the medical staff of that hospital to provide timely consultation or backup."  Privileges are granted on the basis of documented training and/or experience, demonstrated abilities and current competence.  Therefore, mandatory consultations and/or referrals for groups of physicians based on specialty classification or department membership without reference to individual capabilities are clearly discriminatory. (1986) (2016 September BOD)