PAs and Ionizing Radiation

Physician assistants have been performing diagnostic and interventional procedures that use ionizing radiation since the early days of the profession. Most state PA practice acts authorize supervising physicians to delegate any medical service to a PA if the service is within the scope of practice of the supervising physician and the PA has adequate training and experience to provide the service.

However, confusion may arise when a state's laws governing PA practice and its laws governing the use of ionizing radiation are in conflict with one another. AAPA has worked with several state chapters in recent years to clarify PAs' ability to use ionizing radiation as delegated by a supervising physician. In 2009 alone, both Connecticut and California passed legislation authorizing qualified PAs to use fluoroscopy, and several other states are exploring solutions to this issue.

In addition to legislative activity in individual states, AAPA worked with the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) to develop a national educational framework for PAs who use fluoroscopy. In December 2009, AAPA and ASRT reached a consensus on the curriculum of such an educational program, which is available in full on this page.



  • View the entire Fluoroscopy Educational Framework for the Physician Assistant 

  • Read ASRT's talking points regarding this curriculum.
  • For more info about PAs and ionizing radiation, read AAPA's in depth backgrounder: PAs and Ionizing Radiation 
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