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Understanding the Oregon Medical Board’s Database

In the age of readily accessible information, knowing whether the doctor who's performing a major surgery or prescribing other treatments to you has medical malpractice claims against them may be pertinent information to know. The Oregon Medical Board (OMB) makes this information public knowledge by maintaining a database on the government website. Here you can look for specific medical professionals who have claims against them, report a claim of your own, or find support for going through the process.

How Do I Search for My Doctor?

Finding out whether your doctor has a completed malpractice investigation against them or any conduct violations is relatively simple. If you are changing to a new practice or have yet to schedule an appointment, it may be useful to check the OMB database before following through with it. Here is what the process may look like:

  • Search for the physician's license using their name, location, or license number.
  • Once the results show up, take note of the physician's license status and be mindful of whether it is lapsed or expired.
  • Be aware that the physician may be licensed in other states or could have moved their practice; this will also be indicated in the search results.
  • Verify that you have the correct physician by reviewing the address and select "More Info."
  • On this verification page, you will find necessary information outlining the issue date of the license and current status, as well as details regarding the physician's practice and specialty.
  • At the bottom of the outline, you should find a section titled "Board Orders." This is where you'll find information regarding any complaints, corrective actions, and orders on what kind of action was taken.

It's important to note that not all orders that have been issued may be present in the detailed outline, as the database only accounts for those filed on or after January 1, 1998. However, you can contact the OMB to obtain a disciplinary report for the physician that includes all of the public orders they have on file. Be mindful that this may cost an additional fee.

Should I Be Concerned About My Doctor’s Board Orders?

One crucial aspect of reviewing the Board Orders is understanding that each one does not equal a disciplinary action taken. For example, if it shows that a complaint has been filed, this is a preliminary stage and not indicative of further action being taken at the moment. Furthermore, the Board may issue an order modifying or terminating a previous order filed, which may or may not mean that a formal investigation has concluded.

However, should a Final Order be listed, this means that disciplinary action has been taken against the physician. Emergency Suspensions and Stipulated Orders should also be heavily considered, as these may point to a more serious issue.

How Can I File a Medical Malpractice Complaint?

Holding a negligent physician accountable for the injuries they caused can seem like a daunting process. Medical malpractice claims are fairly uncommon, with an estimated 2.9% of victims filing claims. However, hundreds of thousands of individuals may be eligible to file a suit and deserve to seek justice.

Every claims process is going to look different, and Oregon requires the claim to be filed within two years of the injury or reasonable discovery of it. If you are considering filing a complaint against a physician and pursuing a medical malpractice claim, follow these three steps.

1. Know Whether You Have a Malpractice Claim

To establish whether you have a medical malpractice claim, four elements of negligence need to be proven in your complaint. These include:

  1. An existing doctor-patient relationship.
  2. The doctor acted negligently.
  3. This negligence caused your injury.
  4. The patient suffered harm because of this injury.

However, this does not mean that only surgeons are eligible to receive malpractice claims. There are several ways in which a medical professional can act negligently and cause you harm, including:

  • Missed or wrong diagnosis.
  • Improper treatment plans.
  • Not obtaining informed patient consent.

2. Gather Evidence

While filing your complaint, you will also need to provide significant evidence that proves the four above elements were present. This may look different in every case, so consider the following:

  • Videos or photos of the physical damages.
  • Written documentation of the treatment that was performed or a treatment plan given beforehand.
  • Letter from your next treating physician for corrective work that may have needed to be done.
  • Expert testimony from another physician in the same specialty.
  • Letter from a mental health professional or other physician detailing how the injury affected your life.

Ultimately, your medical records will be the most significant evidence in any medical malpractice claim, so ensure you obtain a copy of these files at some point in the process.

3. Contact an Attorney

Depending on the severity of your case, working with an experienced medical malpractice attorney could be essential for ensuring your rights are protected. Not only will they walk you through the process and help assist in understanding what evidence needs to be obtained, but they can also advocate on your behalf in the courtroom or with the OMB.

Angel Law, P.C. has decades of experience both in and out of the courtroom securing the rights of patients in malpractice claims. We pride ourselves in our intense attention to detail and communicative approach to casework. If you want to work one-on-one with the attorney, our firm is for you. Call (503) 862-8666 or fill out this short form to schedule a free consultation today.