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Provider-Patient Relationship

An Oregon provider has medical, legal, and ethical obligations to his or her patients. In light of these obligations, it is the philosophy of the Oregon Medical Board that:

1. Regardless of whether an act or failure to act is determined entirely by a provider, or is the result of a contractual or other relationship with a health care entity, the relationship between a provider and a patient must be based on trust, and must be considered inviolable.  Included among the elements of such a relationship of trust are:

  • Open and honest communication between the provider and patient, including disclosure of all information necessary for the patient to be an informed participant in their care.
  • Commitment of the provider to fundamentally serve as an advocate for the patient's interest, without regard to secondary interests, whether personal, financial, or institutional and in avoidance of any conflict of interest with that of the patient.
  • Provision by the provider of that care which is necessary and appropriate for the condition of the patient, following community standards and best practices.
  • Avoidance of the creation or encouragement of any inappropriate relationships outside that of the therapeutic relationship, whether personal, financial, political, sexual, or other.1
  • Respect for, and careful guardianship of, any intimate details of the patient's life, which may be shared with the provider.
  • Dedication by the provider to continually maintain professional knowledge and skills.
  • Respect for the autonomy of the patient.
  • Respect for the privacy and dignity of the patient.
  • Compassion for the patient and their family.

2. Any act or failure to act by a provider that violates the trust upon which the relationship is based jeopardizes the relationship and may place the provider at risk of being found in violation of the Medical Practice Act (ORS Chapter 677).

3. The philosophies expressed herein apply to all licensees regulated by the Oregon Medical Board, as well as those who make decisions, which affect Oregon consumers, including health plan medical directors and other providers employed by or contracting with such plans.

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 1.1.1 Patient-Physician Relationships; American Association of Physician Assistants' Guidelines for Ethical Conduct for the PA Profession: The PA and Patient; and Oregon Association of Acupuncturists' Code of Ethics: 1.5 Personal Relationships with Patients.

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

- Adopted 1998

- Amended July 10, 2020

1. Additional information is available in the Board's Statement of Philosophy on Sexual Misconduct.