Georgia governor signs law protecting patients from embezzlement of medical titles

Newswise-CHICAGO – Today, Georgia Gov. Brian P. Kemp signed Senate Bill 197 into law, an important patient safety measure that will prevent the use of medical and medical specialty terms, including “anesthetist,” by non-physician healthcare professionals. The American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) and Georgia Society of Anaesthesiologists (GSA) welcome this action, which protects Georgia patients from misleading titles such as “nurse-anaesthesiologist” that misrepresent the actual education, license, certification, and expertise of the professional may confuse patients.

“ASA congratulates Gov. Kemp on prioritizing patient safety by ensuring transparency and accuracy in healthcare titles,” said Michael W. Champeau, MD, FAAP, FASA, President of ASA. “This new law makes it clearer for patients to make informed decisions, knowing the qualifications of the professionals caring for them. Every patient deserves to know exactly who is responsible for their care during a procedure or surgery.”

The law, which will go into effect on July 1, 2023, was written by Georgia Senator Chuck Hufstetler, a board-certified anesthesiologist assistant. It prohibits misleading or misleading terms or misrepresentations of the physician’s profession, skill, education, expertise, degree, residency, license or medical specialty.

Under the new law, advertisements for healthcare professionals (any communication, including printed, electronic, or oral communication) must include the name of the medical specialist and disclose only the type of license under which the medical specialist is authorized to provide services. The law also protects patients from the misleading use of the title “physician” in the clinical setting by non-physicians, as it requires registered nurses and physician assistants who hold a doctorate and identify themselves as “physicians” to clearly state that they do so are not a doctor.

“Truth and transparency in informing patients about the level of education physicians have earned enables patients to make better personal health care decisions,” said Keith Johnson, MD, president of the Georgia Society of Anaesthesiologists (GSA). The GSA represents more than 1,400 physicians, anesthesiologist assistants and students in advocacy and education across the state.

About the American Society of Anaesthesiologists
The American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA), founded in 1905, is an educational, research, and scholarly society of more than 56,000 members dedicated to raising and maintaining the standards of medical practice in anaesthesiology. ASA is committed to having Physician Anesthetists assess and monitor patient medical care before, during and after surgery to provide each patient with the highest quality and safest care they deserve.

For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anaesthesiologists online at To learn more about the role of physician anesthesiologists in ensuring patient safety, visit Like ASA on Facebook and follow ASALifeline on Twitter.