Although the APRN bill (SB 145 / AB 154) did not include truth-in-advertising language sought after by the Wisconsin physician community, Sen. Rachel Cabral-Guevara – a sponsor of the APRN bill and Chair of the Senate Health Committee – has introduced a separate physician title protection bill (SB 143).
While the WAO, the Medical Society, and most other physician groups support SB 143, it is concerning that the language was not included as part of the APRP bill. The fear is that the Legislature could pass the APRN bill first and ultimately fail to approve SB 143. However, Sen. Cabral-Guevara has said she would hold a public hearing on the Truth-In-Advertising and the APRN bill at the same time.
Please find below an analysis of the Truth-in-Advertising legislation:
- Under current Wisconsin law, no individual can use or assume the title “doctor of medicine" or append to the person's name the letters “M.D." unless one of the following applies:
- The individual possesses the degree of doctor of medicine; or
- The individual is licensed as a physician in Wisconsin to practice medicine and surgery because they hold a medical degree from a medical school recognized by the World Health Organization.
In addition, only an individual holding the degree of doctor of osteopathy may use or assume the title “doctor of osteopathy" or append to the person's name the letters “D.O.".
- Senate Bill 143 would make the following change to current law:
- No person, except a licensed physician, may use or assume the following words, letters, or terms in the person's title, advertising, or description of services:
- osteopathic physician
- osteopathic surgeon
- medical doctor
- orthopedic surgeon
- primary care physician
- any other words, letters, or abbreviations, alone or in combination with other titles or words, that represent that the person is a physician.