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Mental Health and Wellness

The Oregon Medical Board is obligated to regulate physicians, physician associates, and acupuncturists in their practice of medicine or acupuncture and to protect the public from practice by an impaired licensee. The Board also supports licensees to remain in safe practice.

Medical providers suffer physical and mental health conditions just as their patients do, and the stigmatization of mental illness has harmed many. The Board supports de-stigmatization of mental illness in its approach on application and renewal materials and recognizes that the presence of mental illness, or the seeking of care, does not constitute impairment.

In seeking to protect and support, the Board focuses on current impairment, not on the potential of future impairment or disability. When mental illness does not impair a licensee's practice, the Board does not restrict it.

When mental illness does impair a licensee's ability to safely or competently practice, the Board is compelled to act. When having reasonable cause to believe a licensee is impaired, the Board may direct or order an investigation which may include medical, physical, or mental evaluation. Mental examination is performed by impartial psychiatrists retained by the Board.

When presence of impairment is found, it is addressed individually, with discipline that may include practice limitation, probation, suspension, revocation, or denial of license. These disciplinary actions by the Board are reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB).

The Oregon Wellness Program (OWP) and the Health Professionals' Services Program (HPSP) are two additional ways in which the Board offers support for licensees with mental illness, whether impaired or not. Additional information regarding HPSP can be found in Board's Statement of Philosophy on Supporting Licensees with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders.

-Revised July 2005
-Amended October 5, 2023

The Oregon Medical Board holds licensees to recognized standards of ethics of the medical profession, specifically for this philosophy: American Medical Association's Code of Medical Ethics: Opinion 9.3.1 Physician Health & Wellness; American Association of Physician Associates' Guidelines for Ethical Conduct for the PA Profession: The PA and Individual Professionalism; and Oregon Association of Acupuncturists' Code of Ethics: 1.1 Competence.

- ORS 677.190(1)(a) and ORS 677.188(4)(a)