(a) The Board of Medical Examiners shall have and exercise all powers and duties previously granted to it. The board may make specific rules and regulations pertaining to the licensure approval, registration, and regulation of assistants to physicians. The board may also make specific rules and regulations pertaining to approvals, disapprovals, and withdrawing approvals from physicians to utilize assistants to physicians.
(b) The board may recognize, approve, and disapprove new categories and specialties of assistants to physicians as they develop in the delivery of health care.
(c) The board shall issue certificates of approval for programs for the education and training of assistants to physicians which meet board standards.
(d) In developing criteria for program approval, the board shall give consideration to and encourage the utilization of equivalency and proficiency testing and other mechanisms whereby full credit is given to trainees for past education and experience in health fields.
(e) The board shall adopt and publish standards to insure that the programs operate in a manner which does not endanger the health and welfare of patients who receive services within the scope of the program. The board shall review the quality of the curriculum, faculty, and the facilities of the programs and shall issue certificates of approval, and at the other times as it deems necessary to determine that the purposes of this article are being met.
(f) The board shall formulate guidelines for the consideration of applications by a licensed physician or physicians to supervise assistants to physicians. Each application made by a physician or physicians to the board shall include all of the following:
(1) The qualifications, including related experience, possessed by the proposed assistant to a physician.
(2) The professional background and specialty of the physician or physicians.
(3) A description by the physician of his or her, or physicians of their, practice and the way in which the assistant or assistants are to be utilized.
(g) The board shall approve an application by a licensed physician or physicians to supervise an assistant to a physician where the board finds that the proposed assistant is a graduate of an approved program, is licensed by the board, and is fully qualified by reason of experience and education to perform medical services under the supervision of a licensed physician and that the licensed physician or physicians are suitable and competent to exercise such supervision.
(h) The board shall provide for penalties for violation of rules and regulations promulgated by the board, including the revocation or suspension of approval of registration to act as an assistant to a physician and approval of physicians to supervise assistants to physicians.
(i) The board shall prescribe a method by which a candidate for approval, having prior certification, registration, or licensure, may be evaluated and approved. The board shall also prescribe a method by which a candidate for approval may be evaluated and given approval based upon the candidate's past education and work experience.
(j) The board may cooperate and participate in those federal programs affecting or in conjunction with these types of allied health personnel.
(k) For the administration of its duties and power in connection with these new categories of health manpower, the board shall establish a reasonable fee schedule, and receipts from payments of the fees shall be expended by the board in carrying out the purposes of this article.
(l) The board may establish written guidelines which govern the prescription practices of assistants to physicians. The guidelines and any and all additions, deletions, corrections, or changes thereto shall not be considered a rule or regulation requiring publication under the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act. The guidelines shall establish a formulary of legend drugs that may be prescribed by an assistant to physician and establish minimum requirements for review of the prescribing practice of an assistant to a physician by his or her supervising physician.
(m) The board may adopt such other rules and regulations as are reasonably necessary to carry out the intent, purposes, and provisions of this article.