Regulation of Medicine, Podiatry and Acupuncture

ORS 677.190
Grounds for suspending, revoking or refusing to grant license, registration or certification

  • alternative medicine not unprofessional conduct

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


(a) Unprofessional or dishonorable conduct.


For purposes of this subsection, the use of an alternative medical treatment shall not by itself constitute unprofessional conduct. For purposes of this paragraph:


“Alternative medical treatment” means:


A treatment that the treating physician, based on the physician’s professional experience, has an objective basis to believe has a reasonable probability for effectiveness in its intended use even if the treatment is outside recognized scientific guidelines, is unproven, is no longer used as a generally recognized or standard treatment or lacks the approval of the United States Food and Drug Administration;


A treatment that is supported for specific usages or outcomes by at least one other physician licensed by the Oregon Medical Board; and
(iii) A treatment that poses no greater risk to a patient than the generally recognized or standard treatment.


“Alternative medical treatment” does not include use by a physician of controlled substances in the treatment of a person for chemical dependency resulting from the use of controlled substances.


Employing any person to solicit patients for the licensee. However, a managed care organization, independent practice association, preferred provider organization or other medical service provider organization may contract for patients on behalf of physicians.


Representing to a patient that a manifestly incurable condition of sickness, disease or injury can be cured.


Obtaining any fee by fraud or misrepresentation.


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 (Denial, suspension or revocation of license based on criminal conviction). A copy of the record of conviction, certified to by the clerk of the court entering the conviction, shall be conclusive evidence of the conviction.


Impairment as defined in ORS 676.303 (Purposes of health professional regulatory boards).


Fraud or misrepresentation in applying for or procuring a license to practice in this state, or in connection with applying for or procuring registration.


Making statements that the licensee knows, or with the exercise of reasonable care should know, are false or misleading, regarding skill or the efficacy or value of the medicine, treatment or remedy prescribed or administered by the licensee or at the direction of the licensee in the treatment of any disease or other condition of the human body or mind.


Impersonating another licensee licensed under this chapter or permitting or allowing any person to use the license.


Aiding or abetting the practice of medicine or podiatry by a person not licensed by the board, when the licensee knows, or with the exercise of reasonable care should know, that the person is not licensed.


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. If the board has evidence indicating incapacity, the board may order a licensee to submit to a standardized competency examination. The licensee shall have access to the result of the examination and to the criteria used for grading and evaluating the examination. If the examination is given orally, the licensee shall have the right to have the examination recorded.


Disciplinary action by another state of a license to practice, based upon acts by the licensee similar to acts described in this section. A certified copy of the record of the disciplinary action of the state is conclusive evidence thereof.


Failing to designate the degree appearing on the license under circumstances described in ORS 677.184 (License to show degree held) (3).


Willfully violating any provision of this chapter or any rule adopted by the board, board order, or failing to comply with a board request pursuant to ORS 677.320 (Investigation of complaints and suspected violations).


Failing to report the change of the location of practice of the licensee as required by ORS 677.172 (Change of location of practice).


Imprisonment as provided in ORS 677.225 (Automatic suspension of license for mental illness or imprisonment).


Making a fraudulent claim.


(a) Performing psychosurgery.


For purposes of this subsection and ORS 426.385 (Rights of committed persons), “psychosurgery” means any operation designed to produce an irreversible lesion or destroy brain tissue for the primary purpose of altering the thoughts, emotions or behavior of a human being. “Psychosurgery” does not include procedures which may produce an irreversible lesion or destroy brain tissues when undertaken to cure well-defined disease states such as brain tumor, epileptic foci and certain chronic pain syndromes.


Refusing an invitation for an informal interview with the board requested under ORS 677.415 (Investigation of incompetence).


Violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act.


Prescribing controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose, or prescribing controlled substances without following accepted procedures for examination of patients, or prescribing controlled substances without following accepted procedures for record keeping.


Providing written documentation for purposes of ORS 475B.797 (Registry identification cardholders) without having legitimately diagnosed a debilitating medical condition, as defined in ORS 475B.791 (Definitions for ORS 475B.785 to 475B.949), or without having followed accepted procedures for the examination of patients or for keeping records.


Failure by the licensee to report to the board any adverse action taken against the licensee by another licensing jurisdiction or any peer review body, health care institution, professional or medical society or association, governmental agency, law enforcement agency or court for acts or conduct similar to acts or conduct that would constitute grounds for disciplinary action as described in this section.


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. [Amended by 1957 c.681 §5; 1961 c.400 §5; 1967 c.470 §30; 1969 c.684 §15; 1973 c.616 §16; 1975 c.776 §8; 1975 c.796 §2a; 1979 c.744 §50; 1981 c.372 §4; 1983 c.470 §4; 1983 c.486 §22; 1987 c.320 §244; 1989 c.830 §10; 1991 c.485 §5; 1995 s.s. c.2 §1; 1997 c.792 §20; 2007 c.351 §4; 2009 c.756 §23; 2017 c.21 §71]

Notes of Decisions

As "wilful and consistent utilization of medical service or treatment which is or may be considered inappropriate or unnecessary" (grounds for suspension of physician's license) is part of definition of unprofessional or dishonorable conduct under this section, it is not conduct which must be defined by administrative rule, but is rather conduct which must be determined on individual case basis through testimony of qualified physicians as to prevailing norm in medical community. Spray v. Bd. of Medical Examiners, 50 Or App 311, 624 P2d 125 (1981), modified 51 Or App 773, 627 P2d 25 (1981)

Prohibition against willfully or negligently divulging professional secret establishes duty of secrecy in medical relationship, and breach of duty in confidential relationship is actionable wrong. Humphers v. First Interstate Bank, 298 Or 706, 696 P2d 527 (1985)

ORS 677.415 does not limit Board of Medical Examiners to one investigatory interview and where petitioner's license to practice medicine was revoked by Board for failure to comply with investigatory interview, absent evidence in form of record that interview would actually have been non-investigatory and would have required contested case procedures, petitioner's refusal to participate was grounds for revocation of license. Anderson v. Board of Medical Examiners, 95 Or App 676, 770 P2d 947 (1989), Sup Ct review denied

Defendant hospital's duty of confidentiality did not extend beyond patient to patient's family where facts disclosed did not concern family and did not arise out of any family involvement in patient's treatment. Doe v. Portland Health Centers, Inc., 99 Or App 423, 782 P2d 446 (1989)

Where petitioner had his license suspended or revoked in another state based upon acts constituting unprofessional conduct within meaning of this section, it was not necessary for Board of Medical Examiners to evaluate sufficiency of other state's proof of underlying conduct, nor was it required to engage in prior rulemaking defining "unprofessional conduct" or "recognized standards of ethics." McKay v. Board of Medical Examiners, 100 Or App 685, 788 P2d 476 (1990)

Law Review Citations

51 OLR 504-508 (1972)

Chapter 677

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Extent of grandfather right under 1969 Act amending barbers law, (1972) Vol 36, p 23; licensing requirements for hospital technicians employed by state correctional facilities, (1987) Vol 45, p 188


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021