As a physician assistant (PA) in Alabama, one of the first steps you will take to practice medicine is to enter into a collaborative agreement with a licensed physician. This agreement is a legal document that outlines the scope of your practice, your responsibilities, and the duties of your supervising physician.

A collaborative agreement is required by Alabama law to ensure patient safety and quality of care. The agreement must be signed and kept on file at your place of practice, and it must be reviewed and updated annually.

The Alabama Board of Medical Examiners oversees the collaborative agreement process and requires that the agreement be comprehensive in nature. It must include:

1. The scope of the PA`s practice: This includes the duties that the PA is authorized to perform within the practice setting, such as diagnosing, treating, and prescribing medication.

2. The supervision of the PA: The agreement must outline how the supervising physician will oversee the PA`s practice, including how often they will meet and review patient cases.

3. The process for patient referral: The agreement should also outline the process for referring patients to the supervising physician or other healthcare providers, as needed.

4. The responsibilities of the supervising physician: The agreement should clearly outline the responsibilities of the supervising physician, including their availability for consultation and their role in patient care.

5. The duration and review of the agreement: The agreement must be reviewed annually and updated as necessary.

It is important to note that the collaborative agreement must be specific to the practice setting in which the PA is employed. If the PA changes practice settings, a new agreement must be drafted and signed.

In addition to the collaborative agreement, PAs in Alabama must also have liability insurance and must be licensed by the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners.

In conclusion, the collaborative agreement is a critical component of a PA`s practice in Alabama. It ensures patient safety and quality of care while also outlining the scope of the PA`s practice and the responsibilities of the supervising physician. PAs must stay up-to-date on the requirements for these agreements and work closely with their supervising physicians to provide the best possible care for their patients.