Allied Health Overview

​The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure has authority over the following allied health professions: acupuncturists, athletic trainers, genetic counselors, physician assistants and surgical assistants.

Each of these professio​ns has their own advisory/council that provides recommendations to the Board on matters relating to applicants and their profession. Meetings of these groups are held on a quarterly basis in order to provide their recommendations to the full Board.


Individuals practicing acupuncture in the Commonwealth must be licensed by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure. In Kentucky, the practice of acupuncture is defined as the insertion of acupuncture needles, with or without accompanying electrical or thermal stimulations, at certain acupuncture points or meridians on the surface of the human body for purposes of changing the flow of energy to the body and may include acupressure, cupping, moxibustion, or dermal friction. The practice of acupuncture shall not include laser acupuncture, osteopathic manipulative treatment, chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, or surgery. Licensed physicians incorporating acupuncture into their practice are not required to receive this additional license.

Athletic Trainers

Athletic Trainers in Kentucky are individuals licensed to practice athletic training and who, upon the supervision of a physician licensed under KRS Chapter 311, carries out the practice of preventing, recognizing, evaluating, managing, disposing, treating, reconditioning, or rehabilitating athletic injuries. In carrying out these functions, the licensed athletic trainer may use physical modalities, such as heat, light, sound, cold, or electricity, or mechanical devices. A licensed athletic trainer shall practice only in those areas in which he or she is competent by reason of his or her training or experience.

Genetic Counselors

Genetic Counselor means an individual licensed by the Board to engage in the competent practice of genetic counseling.  Many certified genetic counselors work in medical settings. They work with people seeking a diagnosis, who have just received a diagnosis or who have questions about their chances of developing an inherited condition.

Physician Assistants

Physician Assistants are licensed practitioners in Kentucky working under the supervision of a licensed medical or osteopathic physician. These individuals may perform medical services and procedures within the scope of medical services and procedures in the initial or supplemental application approved by the Board. Physician Assistants cannot practice medicine or osteopathy independently and must practice under supervision as defined in KRS 311.840.

Surgical Assistants

Surgical Assistants in Kentucky are individuals certified to practice surgical assisting, which is defined as providing aid under direct supervision in exposure, hemostasis, closures, and other intraoperative technical functions that assist a physician in performing a safe operation with optimal results for the patient.