Senate advances bill to help team doctors

Team doctors visiting Alaska from the Lower 48 may still be able to legally treat their teams under a new bill approved 19-0 by the Alaska Senate on Monday.

Senate Bill 126, sponsored by Sen. Anna MacKinnon, R-Eagle River, corrects an oversight in Alaska’s medical licensing laws and must be approved by both the House and Gov. Bill Walker before becoming law.

Under existing law, doctors who travel with sports teams to Alaska must be licensed in Alaska before beginning work. SB 126 would exempt team doctors from Alaska’s medical licensing laws if they are licensed in another state, and only for the purposes of treating people on the teams under their care.

The exemption would allow them to treat the team members and write prescriptions for them.

The Alaska State Medical Association supports the legislation, which was suggested by Dr. Jeffrey Moore, an orthopedic surgeon who works in Anchorage.

Moore is Alaska’s state representative to the National Council of Delegates for the Association of Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine and said in public testimony that 35 other states have similar legislation, and the council of delegates is attempting to spread the legislation nationally.


• Contact reporter James Brooks at james.k.brooks@juneauempire.com or call 523-2258.


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