Sample bylaws language on medical staff categories

Medical staff categories reflect the type and/or level of practice/activity that a hospital’s or healthcare system’s medical staff members carry out within the facility (e.g., based on the kind/number of admissions, patient contacts, or consultations) and help define their roles in medical staff governance. The organized medical staff has long defined such categories for its board-approved, MD degree–holding medical staff members. Over time and to various extents, other disciplines were added to the formal medical staff, including podiatrists, oral surgeons, and osteopathic physicians (who previously practiced in different hospitals than MDs). Today, more and more clinicians whose hospital affiliations have historically been restricted to clinical privileges, including clinical psychologists, physician assistants (PA), and advanced practice registered nurses (APRN), are also gaining membership.

Medical staff bylaws should contain a well-defined section on medical staff membership categories and a separate, equally clear article on clinical privileges. Each of these provisions should define the relevant concept, establish general requirements surrounding its grant/receipt, and reference any other governance materials that provide additional detail. This sample bylaws language is from Standford Health Care. While the specific designations, and their respective descriptions, will vary by organization, this sample document’s clean format and level of detail can inform category delineation in your facility.