Each year the Oregon Medical Board receives around 750 to 850 written complaints. All complaints are reviewed, and approximately 300-400 of those complaints result in a complete and detailed investigation. Some complaints are referred to other appropriate state or professional organizations for review. Others are resolved quickly by the Board's investigative staff because initial investigation found that the licensee did not violate any state law or regulation. The complaints come from a variety of sources, including other health professionals, hospitals, and patients and their families. 

The Board's Investigations Department reviews all complaints to determine whether state law (The Medical Practice Act) may have been violated. There are 27 separate grounds for discipline or denial of a license in the Medical Practice Act. Most are very specific. They include chemical substance abuse, gross or repeated acts of negligence, and conviction of a criminal offense. "Unprofessional conduct" is also a violation and includes sexual misconduct with a patient. These specific violations are set forth at Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 677.190. Click on this link for examples of the types of complaints the Board may and may not investigate.

When the Board conducts an investigation, it is handled in a confidential and discrete manner as required by state law. Information gathered during an investigation, including the identity of the complainant, is not considered a public record.