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FSMB Statement on Wearing Face Coverings During Patient Care

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 6, 2020) – The Federation of State Medical Boards’ Board of Directors released the following statement in response to reports from a number of state medical boards of complaints they are receiving about physicians and physician assistants failing to wear face coverings during patient care: 

“Wearing a face covering is a harm-reduction strategy to help limit the spread of COVID-19, especially since physical distancing is not possible in health care settings. When seeing patients during in-person clinical encounters, physicians and physician assistants have a professional responsibility to wear a facial covering for their own protection, as well as that of their patients and society as a whole.” 

For more information about how state medical boards and the FSMB are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit FSMB’s webpage dedicated to providing resources and information to states and the public about COVID-19. 

About the Federation of State Medical Boards: 

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) is a national non-profit organization representing the 71 medical boards within the United States and its territories that license and discipline allopathic and osteopathic physicians and, in some jurisdictions, other health care professionals. The FSMB serves as the voice for state medical boards, supporting them through education, assessment, research and advocacy while providing services and initiatives that promote patient safety, quality health care and regulatory best practices. The FSMB serves the public through Docinfo.org, a free physician search tool which provides background information on the nearly 1 million doctors in the United States. To learn more about FSMB, visit www.fsmb.org. and  follow FSMB on Twitter (@theFSMB).

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