Oregon Regulation of Physicians

A physician or podiatric physician and surgeon licensed to practice medicine or podiatry by the Oregon Medical Board has the duty to use that degree of care, skill and diligence that is used by ordinarily careful physicians or podiatric physicians and surgeons in the same or similar circumstances[i].  An applicant must have graduated from a school of medicine.  In addition, the applicant must have completed the following post-graduate requirements:

  • Satisfactory completion of an approved rotating internship if a graduate of an approved school of medicine;
  • One year of training in an approved program if a graduate of an approved school of medicine; or
  • Three years of training in an approved program if a graduate of an unapproved school of medicine.

The applicant must be of good moral character[ii].  Applicants who satisfy the above requirements shall be admitted to an examination in subjects covered in schools of medicine that grant degrees of Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy.  The applicant must secure an average score of not less than 75  and in addition, the  board may require the applicant to take and pass the Federation Licensing Examination, also known as FLEX.  The board may accept a certificate issued by the National Board of Medical Examiners of the United States or the National Board of Examiners for Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons or the Medical Council of Canada or successful completion of the United States Medical Licensing Examination in lieu of its own examination[iii].  The applicant may be given a second chance in case of failure.  A license by endorsement may be provided if a physician:

  • has practiced the physician’s specialty, if any, for at least one year immediately preceding the date of the physician’s application for licensure by endorsement; or
  • If the physician is retired, must have been retired for one year or less;
  • was not subject to discipline by a health professional regulatory board in any state in which the physician has been licensed; and
  • was not held liable for a significant malpractice claim as defined by the board by rule[iv].

In an appropriate case, the board may issue a limited license for a specified period to an applicant who possesses the qualifications prescribed by the rules of the board.  Each person holding a limited license must obtain an unlimited license at the earliest time possible[v].  “The practice of medicine across state lines” means rendering of medical treatment or medical opinion by electronic or other means to a person in Oregon by a physician located outside the state of Oregon[vi].  A license is required to practice medicine across state lines in accordance with ORS 677.139.  However, there are exceptions and the provisions relating to physicians practicing across state lines shall not apply to a licensed physician located outside Oregon who consults with another physician licensed to practice medicine in Oregon and who does not undertake the primary responsibility for diagnosing or rendering treatment to a patient within the state of Oregon.  These provisions do not apply to a physician engaging in the practice of medicine across state lines in an emergency as well as to a licensed physician located outside this state who has an established physician-patient relationship with a person who is in Oregon temporarily and who requires the direct medical treatment by that physician[vii].

A physician issued a license under ORS 677.139 has the same duties and responsibilities and is subject to the same penalties and sanctions as any other physician.  Hence, a physician licensed to practice across state lines shall not act as a dispensing physician as defined in ORS 677.010; administer controlled substances for the treatment of intractable pain to a person located within this state; employ a physician assistant as defined in ORS 677.495 to treat a person located within this state; claim the tax deduction provided by ORS 316.076; participate in the Rural Health Services Program under ORS 442.550 to 442.570; or assert a lien for services under ORS 87.555[viii].

The board may refuse to grant, or may suspend or revoke a license to practice for any of the following reasons:

  • Unprofessional or dishonorable conduct.
  • Employing any person to solicit patients for the licensee.
  • Representing to a patient that a manifestly incurable condition of sickness, disease or injury can be cured.
  • Willfully or negligently divulging a professional secret without the written consent of the patient.
  • Conviction of any offense punishable by incarceration in a Department of Corrections institution or in a federal prison, subject to ORS 670.280.
  • Impairment as defined in ORS 676.303.
  • Fraud or misrepresentation in applying for or procuring a license to practice in this state, or in connection with applying for or procuring registration or making misleading statements as to skill or efficacy.
  • Impersonating another licensee or permitting or allowing any person to use the license as well as knowingly aiding or abetting the practice of medicine or podiatry by a person not licensed by the board.
  • Using the name of the licensee under the designation “doctor,” “Dr.,” “D.O.” or “M.D.,” “D.P.M.,” “Acupuncturist,” “P.A.” or any similar designation in any form of advertising that is untruthful or is intended to deceive or mislead the public.
  • Gross negligence or repeated negligence in the practice of medicine or podiatry.
  • Incapacity to practice medicine or podiatry.
  • Disciplinary action by another state of a license to practice.
  • Failing to designate the degree appearing on the license under circumstances described in ORS 677.184 (3) or willfully violating any any rule adopted by the board or Failing to report the change of the location of practice of the licensee as required by ORS 677.172.
  • Imprisonment as provided in ORS 677.225.
  • Performing psychosurgery.
  • Violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act.
  • Failure by the licensee to notify the board of the licensee’s voluntary resignation from the staff of a health care institution or voluntary limitation of a licensee’s staff privileges at the institution if that action occurs while the licensee is under investigation by the institution or a committee thereof for any reason related to medical incompetence, unprofessional conduct, physical incapacity or impairment[ix].

A licensee shall be accorded an opportunity of hearing[x].  The board may impose penalties including suspension, revocation, placing the licensee on probation, imposing limitations on the license, etc.  The board may also temporarily suspend a license without a hearing, simultaneously with the commencement of proceedings under ORS 677.200 if the board finds that evidence in its possession indicates that a continuation in practice of the licensee constitutes an immediate danger to the public[xi].  The licensee has an option for judicial review and if the final order of the court on review reverses the board’s order of suspension or revocation, the board shall issue the license and reinstate appellant not later than the 30th day after the decision of the court[xii].

Whenever a license issued is denied or revoked for any cause, the Oregon Medical Board may, after the lapse of two years from the date of such revocation, upon written application by the person formerly licensed, issue or restore the license[xiii].  The license of a person may be suspended automatically if such person suffers from a mental illness or imprisonment.

A suspension under this section may be terminated by the board when the board receives evidence satisfactory to the board that the licensee is not mentally ill; or s/he is no longer incarcerated; and the board is satisfied, with due regard for the public interest, that the licensee’s privilege to practice may be restored[xiv].

[i] ORS § 677.095.

[ii] ORS § 677.100.

[iii] Id.

[iv] ORS § 677.115.

[v] ORS § 677.132.

[vi] ORS § 677.132.

[vii] ORS § 677.137.

[viii] ORS § 677.141.

[ix] ORS § 677.190

[x] ORS § 677.200.

[xi] ORS § 677.205.

[xii] ORS § 677.208.

[xiii] ORS § 677.220.

[xiv] ORS § 677.225.


Inside Oregon Regulation of Physicians