State medical board regulation of minimally invasive cosmetic procedures

Samreen Choudhry, Natalie A. Kim, Jason Gillum, Sukanya Ambavaram, Ernie Williamson, Simon Yoo, Robert P. Dellavalle, Murad Alam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: There is little information regarding commonalities, differences, and trends in the regulation of minimally invasive cosmetic procedures (MICP) across different state medical boards in the United States. Objective: We sought to assess current state medical board regulations regarding MICP, so as to better understand current and emerging trends in rules regarding delegation, and management of patient complaints. Methods: We conducted structured interviews with officials at US allopathic medical boards, supplemented with information from board World Wide Web sites. Results: A total of 31 (62%) boards participated. Most (20 boards; 63% of total respondents) reported that all MICP can be delegated at the physician's discretion and responsibility to at least one category of nonphysician; 7 states were expecting changes in delegation rules; and 4 states had very specific delegation requirements. Approximately equal numbers of boards required some general supervision of nonphysicians (14, 45%), or required some type of on-site supervision (13, 42%); a small number explicitly permitted off-site supervision (4, 13%). There was variation in the number of physician assistants one physician could supervise. Most boards (15 states) required some type of mandatory reporting, but not necessarily of incidents involving MICP. Very few (4) required reporting of both office- and nonoffice-based MICP incidents. Western states had liberal delegation and supervision requirements; these requirements were more stringent in Southern states. Limitations: Not all boards participated in this study. Conclusion: There is substantial variation in board regulation of MICP. Many boards are promulgating new rules. Medical boards also have limited ability to regulate nonphysicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-91
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • botulinum toxins
  • dermatology
  • formal
  • lasers
  • physician assistants
  • social control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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