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Sexual Misconduct Workgroup

Workgroup Overview

In January 2021, the Oregon Medical Board formed a Workgroup on Sexual Misconduct that was charged with reviewing statutes, rules, and policies regarding the board's approach to sexual misconduct allegations and enforcement. The Workgroup held a series of public meetings in February, March, and April 2021, and was composed of three public Board members and two licensee Board members. During the October 2021 Board meeting, the Board voted to reconvene the Sexual Misconduct Workgroup at a later date to focus on rulemaking details and further development of an informational brochure. The reconvened Workgroup held a second  series of public meetings in November 2021, January and March 2022, and is was comprised of three public Board members and four licensee Board members whose current practice includes conducting sensitive exams. 


   Workgroup Recommendation
Status
  Policy: Institute a zero-tolerance culture.

Complaints of sexual misconduct will be investigated and expedited.

Notices of Proposed Discipline will include the term “sexual misconduct" rather than the non-specific term “unprofessional conduct."

  Rulemaking: Require a universal offering of a medical
  chaperone during all breast, genital, and rectal
  examinations, no matter the medical specialty, performed
  by Board licensees effective July 1, 2023. 

The Board filed a permanent rule on October 6, 2022, see OAR 847-010-0140. See the OMB’s Medical Chaperone webpage for more information and Frequently Asked Questions.

  Rulemaking: Require the OMB monitor the National
  Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) Continuous Query alert
  system for two years from the date of an allegation of
  sexual misconduct.

The Board filed a permanent rule on October 13, 2021, see OAR 847-001-0024(3). This will provide continuous monitoring and ensure the Board receives timely notice of any additional actions and does not reflect on the licensee’s NPDB record.

  Brochure: Physical Examination & Identifying Sexual
  Misconduct, Patient Rights & Resources

The Board published the What to Expect During a Physical Exam brochure in October 2022.

  Communication: Send a letter to law enforcement agencies
  throughout Oregon with information on how to contact the
  Board in the event a licensee is suspected of a sexual (or
  other) crime.

Letter was mailed to letters to law enforcement and district attorneys agencies in January 2022.



The Oregon Medical Board recognizes that the practice of medicine entails a unique relationship between the medical professional and the patient. The patient's trust and confidence in a provider's professional status grants power and influence to the licensee. When there is a violation of that relationship through sexual misconduct, such behavior and actions can have a profound, enduring, and traumatic impact on the individual being exploited, their family, the public at large, and the medical profession as a whole. Therefore, successfully addressing sexual misconduct by Oregon licensees is imperative.
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