Privileges in Family Medicine Departments

Hospitals departmentalized by specialty should establish departments of family medicine. The department of family medicine should have all the rights, duties, and responsibilities comparable to other specialty departments of the medical staff. It should have the right to recommend directly to the appropriate committee, typically the credentials committee, those privileges that fall within the scope of family medicine. The assent or approval of any other department should not be required. The ultimate responsibility for the granting of privileges remains with the hospital governing body or board of trustees.

Family medicine encompasses continuous, comprehensive, quality care, emphasizing patient advocacy. Family physicians should have access to their patients in all areas of a healthcare facility, including special/critical care units through appropriate privileging. All medical staff members should recognize that overlap occurs between many specialties and that no one department "owns" or has exclusive rights to any particular privileges.

Privileges for family physicians must be recommended by the department of family medicine in departmentalized hospitals.

Core privileges within the department of family medicine should reflect the core curriculum and training offered in accredited family medicine residency programs. Criteria for privileges outside of the core should be pre-established by the department of family medicine in consultation with other appropriate clinical departments. Recommendations for privileges outside the family medicine core may then be considered by the department of family medicine per the criteria jointly established by the relevant clinical departments. In all cases, clinical review of a physician should be done in the department where the privilege originated.

As with any specialty department, individual members of the department of family medicine may have different degrees of experience, and clinical interests, and would not all be eligible, per se, for the same privileges just by virtue of being members of the family medicine department. Privileges in the department of family medicine should be based on documented current licensure, training and/or experience, demonstrated abilities, current competence, and whenever possible, be evidence based. (1997) (2017 September BOD)