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Common Questions: Naturopathic Physicians
Patient Relations
patient
 
INJECTIONS:
 
Q: Can a ND give intramuscular (IM) or subcutaneous (SC) injections to patients?
A: Yes, all schools of Naturopathic medicine teach IM and SC injections.
 
Q: Is a ND required to have additional training to administer intravenously (IV) vitamins and minerals?
A: Yes, according to OAR 850-060-0212 a licensee must submit proof of a one-time 12 hour education in this protocol.
 
Q: What about doing IV injections for preventive purposes?
A: Please refer to OAR 850-060-0212 to ascertain what education is required prior to using preventive injections.
 
 
PATIENT/DOCTOR RELATIONSHIP:
 
Q: Is there a specific length of time a ND must wait after terminating a doctor-patient relationship before starting an intimate relationship?
A: A ND must wait at least six months after terminating a doctor/patient relationship before starting an intimate relationship.
 
Q; What if the ND had an intimate relationship with a person before there was a doctor/patient relationship established?
A: As long as the patient and ND are in agreement, the ND can see a person professionally if they already have an intimate relationship established.
 
 
PATIENT RECORDS:
 
Q: Is it legal for me, as a Naturopathic physician, to tell a patient that I will not see him/her anymore?
A: Yes, A doctor is free to end a doctor/patient relationship at any time, just as a patient is free to end the relationship.
 
Q: Do I have to give notice of termination? Must I refer them to another doctor?
A: You are not required to give notice of termination although you should make certain you have documented the decision to terminate. You are not required to refer the patient to another doctor, but a suggestion of where they may find another doctor is appropriate. A referral to the professional association, the college clinic or suggesting that they use the yellow pages is a good idea.
 
Q: Does a patient have a right to look at his or her records?
A: Yes, with very few exceptions a patient has a right to access their records. The records belong to the doctor, and a written request should be presented before providing the patient with a copy or summary of his/her medical record. You should provide these requests within a reasonable time, not later than 30 days, unless you notify the patient why you will not provide such documents. The practitioner may charge a reasonable fee for copies.
 
Q: Do I have to release records to anyone that requests the records of a patient?
A: No, see ORS 192.525 for specifics on this matter.
 
Q: Is there a specific request form that should be used when a patient asks to have his or her record be sent to another practitioner?
A: Oregon Revised Statutes ORS 192.525 requires a written request with the specific information to be included in the request.
 
Q: How long must I keep patient records?
A: In accordance with Oregon’s statute of limitation, it is recommended that a physician keep patient records of deceased patients, for a minimum of ten years after the last contact with the patient. It is a good idea, if space allows, that records for all living patients be maintained indefinitely.
 
Q: What do I do with patient records when I leave my practice?
A: If you are selling your practice to another practitioner you should notify your patients of this, and send their records to the practitioner of their choosing. Unfortunately there is no “super warehouse” where patient records are kept, and you must decide how you will store these records if you are not turning your practice over to another ND.
 
 
PRACTICE PROTOCOLS:
 
Q: Are there guidelines for counseling patients with alcohol related depression?
A: There are no guidelines established by the Board for such counseling, but the Board cautions NDs not to practice in any area that there is not proper education and training and recommends referral when this is the case.
 
Q: Can the personnel in the office of a ND be referred to as a “Naturopathic Physician Assistant”?
A: No. Although office personnel can assist a practitioner when properly trained and there is a ND in office, there is no designation specific to this. It would be misleading to use the term “ND assistant”, as it implies specialized training.

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