Accepting employment to supervise a nonphysician employer’s clinical practice can create ethical dilemmas for physicians. If maintaining an employment relationship with a midlevel practitioner contributes significantly to the physician’s livelihood, the personal and financial influence that employer status confers creates an inherent conflict for a physician who is simultaneously an employee and a clinical supervisor of his or her employer.
Physicians who are simultaneously employees and clinical supervisors of nonphysician practitioners must:
- Give precedence to their ethical obligation to act in the patient’s best interest.
- Exercise independent professional judgment, even if that puts the physician at odds with the employer-supervisee.