Licensee health and wellness is a critical component in achieving the Oregon Medical Board's mission of protecting patients while promoting access to quality care. As stated in the American Medical Association's policy on Physician Health and Wellness, "When health or wellness is compromised, so may the safety and effectiveness of the medical care provided."
Federal Bill Passes Intended To Reduce Stigma Faced By Health Care Professionals When Seeking Mental Health Services
The President signed into law an Act that establishes grants and requires other activities to improve mental and behavioral health among health care providers. Public Law 117-105, called the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, named for an ED physician who took her own life in April 2020 after treating patients with COVID-19. Section 3(a) specifically notes "(1) to encourage health care professionals to seek support and care for their mental health or substance use concerns, to help such professionals identify risk factors associated with suicide and mental health conditions, and to help such professionals learn how best to respond to such risks, with the goal of preventing suicide, mental health conditions, and substance use disorders; and (2) to address stigma associated with seeking mental health and substance use disorder services.
The Oregon Wellness Program (OWP)
The Board supports a proactive, broad approach to licensee wellness. The Board's prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation efforts have led to the inception of a statewide initiative known as the Oregon Wellness Program. This program "promotes the wellness of health care professionals through education, coordinated regional counseling services, telemedicine services, and research." Services are currently available statewide for both in-person and telehealth visits.
More information on the Oregon Wellness Program is available at oregonwellnessprogram.org.
Other Available Wellness Programs
Medical Society of Metropolitan Portland Physician Wellness Program
Lane County Medical Society Provider Wellness Program
Oregon Health and Science University Wellness Program
Hazelden Treatment Program for Health Care Professionals (Newberg, OR)
If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Safe+Strong provides behavioral health resources for health care professionals, including crisis helplines and self-care tips.
- The Oregon Medical Association has a list of wellness resources for physicians, PAs and students available on their website.
The American Medical Association Opinion 9.3.1 and 9.3.2 on Physician Health and Wellness directs physicians to maintain personal health and wellness and to seek help when health and wellness are compromised.
The International Conference on Physician Health is a conference held every other year that is hosted by the American Medical Association (AMA), Canadian Medical Association (CMA), or British Medical Association (BMA) on a rotating basis.
- IBH stress, anxiety, resiliency, and self-care tip sheets:
AA Oregon helps indivuduals struggling with alcoholism find the help they need on a local basis. Meeting information and 24/7 addiction help are available
online here or by calling 800-839-1686.
Stress Management Resources for Medical and Health Care Students
Stress is a normal part of the college experience. For some students, especially those in demanding health care and medical fields, it can become debilitating. If it's not dealt with in a healthy manner, stress can eventually lead to more serious mental health issues.
EduMed's Stress Management Guide
shows why health care and medical students are likely to feel stressed, provides a collection of helpful stress management tips and apps, and helps students recognize when it may be time to seek professional help (and where to find it on and off campus).
Continuing Education on Suicide Risk
Suicide is a major public health issue and among the leading causes of death in Oregon. There are more than 650 suicides in Oregon each year, and more than 2,000 hospitalizations due to suicide attempts. Individuals who attempt suicide, when not fatal, can have lasting health problems that may include brain damage, organ failure, depression and other mental health problems. Suicide also affects survivors and communities. In addition, suicide and other self-inflicted injuries result in an estimated $41.2 billion in combined medical and work loss costs in the United States annually.
In 2018, all health professional licensing boards in Oregon began reporting on whether licensees are taking continuing education on suicide risk assessment, treatment, and management. Senate Bill 48 (2017) requires licensees to report any such continuing education when renewing their state license to practice. The Oregon Medical Board encourages your participation in continuing education on this important public health issue. All continuing education on this topic is considered relevant to the practice of all licensees, regardless of specialty. These continuing education hours may be used to fulfill your required ongoing education to maintain your license.
Depression, substance abuse, and even suicide are real and present factors among health care professionals.
If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
or your local crisis services
. You may also text '273TALK' to 839-863
. The following resources are also available for medical professionals and students: