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Purpose of the Medical Commission

The Commission

It is the purpose and responsibility of the Medical Quality Assurance Commission (MQAC) to protect the public by assuring quality healthcare is provided by physicians and physician assistants. The commission establishes, monitors, and enforces qualifications for licensure, consistent standards of practice, and continuing competency. The commission currently regulates about 30,000 licenses, more than 2,500 of which are PAs. Rules, policies, and procedures developed by the commission promote the delivery of quality healthcare to the people in Washington.

The Governor appoints members to four-year staggered terms:

The commission is composed of 21 governor-appointed members. There are opportunities each year for new commission member candidates to be considered.

  • Thirteen physicians; one from each congressional district and four at-large positions.
  • Six public members.
  • Two physician assistants.

The Department of Health Secretary appoints physicians, physician assistants and public members to serve as pro tempore members. Their purpose is to ensure there are sufficient case reviewers, panel members for hearings, and adequate representation on special committees. Commissioners are compensated at the rate of $250 per day for their work.

Code of Ethics

Commissioners shall:

  • Make fair and objective decisions.
  • Strictly maintain confidentiality.
  • Avoid improper ex parte contacts.
  • Recuse themselves when there is a real or potential conflict of interest, or the appearance of such a conflict.
  • Protect the integrity of those who appear before the commission.
  • Support the decisions of the commission in public.

Strategic Plan (PDF)


Promoting patient safety and enhancing the integrity of the profession through licensing, discipline, rule making, and education.


Advancing the optimal level of medical care for the people of Washington State.


  • We make fair, objective, and informed decisions in licensing and disciplinary actions.
  • We earn the public’s trust by being transparent and accountable.
  • We rely on evidence-based data and we look to health-based outcomes to determine our effectiveness.
  • We encourage collaboration through mutual respect and direct, effective communication.
  • We strive for innovation and continuous improvement in all our processes.
  • We promote a rewarding and supportive work environment.