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New Patient Exam Process

Where does the responsibility lie? I work in a practice where the Dr is habitually late in the morning. When we have New patients scheduled he has told the assistants to start X-rays and expects me to perio chart. It specifically states that new patients cannot he seen without Dr on site. I’ve declined to be a part of this process as I don’t feel comfortable with the fact that the decision to prescribe radiographs is left to the assistants. Is there anything the put myself and license at risk by being in the office seeing my own patients when this happens?

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1 Answer

If your state’s Dental Practice Act states a doctor must be on site (direct supervision), then not abiding to this law could put you at risk for practicing beyond the scope of your practice (allowable duties). That’s not a position you want to put yourself in! Whether you can be fined, have your license put on probation, or if you can lose your license, is something you’d have to ask your state’s Dental Board about (I’m licensed in Oregon and state laws differ).
I would show the Dental Practice Act to your doctor and if you decide to contact the Board, let the doctor know what they say too. Simply put, I wouldn’t recommend doing anything that is beyond your allowable duties or goes against your Dental Practice Act.

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