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We're in a rural area where you would be the primary care provider at the clinic. The doctor is likely to show up only one or two days a week. Share with us your ideas for how you could collaborate with her.

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Sarah’s Answer

Depends on the laws in your state. The medical board/law usually stipulates what are appropriate ways in which PA and physician are able to contact each other (and must be able to contact each other). Off the top of my head, telecommunication consult options include phone, radio, video conferencing, text, and email--again, check with your state medical board if you're not sure what's acceptable where you are.

In this scenario, it might be wise to arrange for an alternate supervising/collaborating physician to be available if the doctor in this situation cannot be reached, perhaps on a temporary or pre-planned as needed basis. Point being, in all states of which I am aware, the PA MUST be able to communicate with a pre-planned supervising/collaborating physician at all times, legally.

Finally, most states have requirements about face-to-face meetings periodically and what the contents of those meetings must include. Again, check with the medical board to make sure you're meeting those requirements.

The finer details of how often to review charts, when 1-on-1 collaboration on a case is needed, etc. is a very individual thing between the PA and the physician(s). That would be something about which to set expectations ahead of time.

Hope that helps!

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