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Offering a Medical Chaperone

The Oregon Medical Board adopted OAR 847-010-0130 requiring all OMB licensees to offer a trained chaperone to be physically present for all genital, rectal, and breast examinations starting July 1, 2023. The OMB compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions to provide information as the rule is implemented.

Medical Chaperone Rule Requirements starting July 1, 2023

An Oregon Medical Board licensee must:

  • Offer to make a trained chaperone available who can be present for any:
    • Genital and rectal examinations regardless of gender; and
    • Breast examinations for patients who identify as female.
  • Ensure that the chaperone:
    • Is not a personal friend or relative of the patient or licensee; and
      • Holds an active Oregon license to practice a health care profession; or
      • Completes a course for medical chaperones reviewed by the Oregon Medical Board (see information on courses below).
    • Does not participate in acts that would obstruct or distract the chaperone from observing the licensee's behavior and actions throughout the exam, procedure, or clinical encounter.
  • Document the presence or absence of a chaperone in the patient chart.

The patient may decline the presence of a chaperone, but if the patient declines, the licensee may:

  • Defer the breast, genital, or rectal examination if, in the provider's judgment, deferring the examination is in the best interest of the patient and the licensee.
  • Perform the examination and document the patient's consent to proceed without the presence of a chaperone.

An OMB licensee is not required under this rule to offer a chaperone:

  • Be present in circumstances in which it is likely that failure to examine the patient would result in significant and imminent harm to the patient, such as during a medical emergency.
  • If a chaperone is already present in the normal course of the examination.

Please review the list of Frequently Asked Questions and email  with additional comments or questions.

Medical Chaperone Training & Training Courses

OMB licensees should ensure that chaperones understand their responsibilities to protect patients' privacy and the confidentiality of health information.

  • No additional training is required if the chaperone holds an active Oregon license to practice a health care profession (physician, physician assistant, registered nurse, etc.).
  • If the chaperone does not hold a health care professional license (medical assistant), the chaperone must complete a course for medical chaperones reviewed by the Oregon Medical Board.

Courses should include the training elements of appropriate observational techniques, documentation of encounters, maintaining boundaries in the workplace, draping techniques, the importance of neutrality, reporting requirements, and other components of a chaperone training program.

List of Reviewed Training Courses (open to public):

The Oregon Medical Board does not maintain training records for individuals completing a chaperone course. The Oregon Medical Board has reviewed the training programs listed above, in consideration of the Board's rule, OAR 847-010-0130. Each course was found to meet the basic criteria for training an individual to serve as a medial chaperone. The trainings may contain content specific to the organization, beyond the requirements of the OMB rule. 

Many health care systems and group practices are developing their own medical chaperone training courses. To request review, entities may send a request form and course outline or slides to the OMB. The information can be emailed to OMB staff aims to review and respond to requests within 10 business days of receipt.

Patient Resources

These resources and posters may be used to support the offer of chaperone and inform patients of their right to ask for a chaperone. However, the OMB rule requires a proactive offer of the chaperone.

Please email with comments or questions about the medical chaperone rule.