Supervising Physicians

Application and Approval

Effective January 1, 2012, prior to using the services of a physician assistant (PA) as detailed in a practice agreement, a supervising physician or primary supervising physician of a supervising physician organization (SPO) must be approved as a supervising physician by the Board. This applies to all physicians who are supervising a PA under a practice agreement for the first time, even if the physician previously supervised a PA under a practice description.  There is a $100 fee for this one-time application.  (See OAR 847-050-0027)

Supervising Physician Organization (SPO)
“Supervising Physician Organization” (SPO) means a group of supervising physicians who collectively supervises a physician assistant.  When a physician assistant is supervised by a SPO, any of the supervising physicians in the SPO may supervise the physician assistant.  A SPO must provide the Board with a list of the supervising physicians in the SPO.  The SPO must ensure that the list is continually updated and must notify the Board of any changes.

Designation of primary supervising physician

One physician within the SPO must be designated as the primary supervising physician, who must be approved by the Board as a supervising physician.  As part of the supervising physician application, the primary supervising physician of a SPO must attest that each physician in the SPO has reviewed statutes and rules relating to the practice of physician assistants and the role of a supervising physician.  The other physician members of the SPO may apply to become Board-approved supervising physicians.

If the Board is conducting an investigation of any of the supervising physicians in a SPO for violations of the Medical Practice Act, the Board may defer taking action on the supervising physician application pending the outcome of the investigation.
A SPO may supervise any number of physician assistants. A physician assistant who is supervised by a SPO may be supervised by any of the supervising physicians in the SPO.

Establishing a SPO

A letter should be sent to the Board, preferably on the organization's letterhead, providing the name of the SPO, the name of the primary supervising physician, and the names of all member physicians who will be supervising physician assistants as part of the SPO.

An agent is a physician designated in writing to supervise a physician assistant when the supervising physician is unavailable for short periods of time, such as but not limited to when the supervising physician is on vacation.  The agent must be competent to perform all duties delegated to the physician assistant.  In the absence of the supervising physician, the agent assumes the same responsibilities as the supervising physician.  (See OAR 847-050-0038)


An Agent Acknowledgment Form memorializing this agreement should be kept at the primary practice site (not filed with the Board).

Note: Agents may not be used by Supervising Physician Organizations.

Personal Responsibility
When the supervising physician is a member or an employee of a professional corporation or partnership, the primary supervising physician and any acting supervising physician are in all cases individually responsible for the direction and supervision of the physician assistant's work. Such responsibility for supervision cannot be transferred to the corporation or partnership.  (See OAR 847-050-0055) ​