ACP Underscores the Importance of Physician-Led Team-Based Care in New Policy

WASHINGTON December 25, 2023 – Team-based care is associated with better patient outcomes and lower burnout for physicians, but despite these benefits barriers remain to its adoption, says the American College of Physicians (ACP) in a new policy paper published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine. "Principles for the Physician-Led Patient-Centered Medical Home and Other Approaches to Team-Based Care" makes recommendations on professionalism, payment models, training, licensure, and research to support the expansion of dynamic clinical care teams.

In the new paper ACP recommends that physicians should be the primary leaders for health care professionals working together in a multidisciplinary team-based care model. Physicians have extensive education, skills, and training that make them most qualified to exercise advanced clinical responsibilities within teams and they are not interchangeable with other health care professionals. The paper goes on to recommend that clinical and coordination responsibilities within the team be determined based on what is in the best interest of the patient, with patients being made aware of the unique qualifications of all of the team members.

The paper affirms that the purpose of licensure must be to ensure public health and safety; and state licensing bodies need to recognize the different skills, training, clinical experience, and demonstrated competencies of health care professionals and should only allow the independent practice of medicine to be performed by physicians.  Lastly, the paper states that in order to promote team-based care, payment and delivery models need to be redesigned and continued research must be done to achieve the best outcomes for patients.

“Wider use of physician-led health care teams would be extremely beneficial for patients, physicians, and the rest of the health care team,” said Omar T. Atiq, MD, MACP, president, ACP. “As a practicing physician I have seen how valuable it is to have all different types of my health care colleagues working with our unique skills and training to provide the best possible care for our patients under the leadership of a physician who has the training and experience to lead the team.”


About the American College of Physicians 
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 161,000 internal medicine physicians, related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. 

Contact: Jacquelyn Blaser, (202) 261-4572,