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 physician, physician assistant, or
Licensees are expected to maintain a professional manner
and to avoid behaviors that may be misunderstood by or considered offensive by
the patient. Licensees should take
proactive steps to eliminate misunderstandings through clear, appropriate, and
Recommended proactive practices:
- Provide a professional explanation about each component
of examinations, procedures, tests, and other aspects of patient care.
- Communicate actions in advance, such as physical touch
during an exam.
- Have a chaperone present during sensitive examinations
and procedures and anytime when requested by the patient.
- Be cognizant of sexual or romantic feelings toward a
patient or patient representative, and transfer the patient to another health
- Be alert to a patient’s or patient representative’s
sexual or romantic feelings; the licensee is responsible for ensuring that the
boundaries of the professional relationship are maintained.
- Exercise extreme caution in electronic communications due
to the high potential for misunderstanding.
The Oregon Medical Board’s Statement of Philosophy on Social Media
provides additional guidelines.
Sexual or romantic contact or a suggestion of any sort
within a professional relationship, or any such contact outside of the provider-patient
relationship is unethical and constitutes unprofessional conduct. “Contact”
includes any interaction, whether verbal, physical, or over electronic means.
misconduct' is behavior that exploits the licensee-patient relationship in a
sexual way. The behavior is non-diagnostic and non-therapeutic, may be verbal,
physical or other behavior, and may include expressions of thoughts and
feelings or gestures that are sexual or that reasonably may be construed by a
patient as sexual."
- Oregon Administrative Rule 847-010-0073(3)(b)(G)
Administrative Rule 847-010-0073(3)(b)(G)
- Adopted 1995