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What is the Oregon Board of Naturopathic Medicine?

Written by Portland Clinic of Natural Health on November 22, 2023

The Oregon Board of Naturopathic Medicine (OBNM) plays a pivotal role in the practice of naturopathic medicine in the state of Oregon. As a state agency, its primary responsibilities encompass overseeing the practice of naturopathic medicine, ensuring that it adheres to the highest standards of quality and safety. This involves a multifaceted approach that includes providing education, licensing, and disciplinary services for practitioners​​.

Composition and Governance

The Board is composed of seven members, appointed by the governor for three-year terms. This group includes five licensed naturopathic physicians and two public members, reflecting a mix of professional expertise and public representation​​. The composition of the board ensures that it can effectively govern and oversee the naturopathic medicine sector from both a professional and public perspective.

Regulatory Framework

OBNM operates under a set of statutes and rules that govern the practice of naturopathic medicine in Oregon. These are outlined in the Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 685 and the Oregon Administrative Rules Chapter 850. These legal frameworks are essential in defining the scope of practice, ethical guidelines, and professional standards for naturopathic physicians in Oregon​​.

Disciplinary Actions

An essential function of the OBNM is to regulate naturopathic physicians through disciplinary actions when necessary. This aspect of their work is critical to maintaining the integrity and trustworthiness of the profession. The board keeps a record of disciplinary actions, ensuring transparency and accountability within the profession​​.

Continuing Education

Continuing education is another critical area overseen by the OBNM. The Board sets annual continuing education requirements for licensed naturopathic doctors in Oregon. These requirements are crucial for ensuring that practitioners stay updated with the latest developments in their field, thereby enhancing the overall quality of care provided to patients​​.

Importance to the Profession

The OBNM is vital to the naturopathic medicine profession in several ways:

Quality Assurance: By setting and enforcing standards, the Board assures patients of the quality and safety of naturopathic care in Oregon.

Professional Development: Through continuing education requirements, the OBNM ensures that naturopathic physicians continually advance their knowledge and skills.

Public Trust: The Board's regulatory and disciplinary functions help build public trust in the profession. By holding practitioners accountable, the OBNM plays a crucial role in maintaining the profession's integrity.

Legal Framework: The statutes and rules established by the OBNM provide a clear legal framework within which naturopathic physicians operate, giving them guidelines for practice and ensuring legal compliance.

OBNM as a Cornerstone of Naturopathic Medicine

In conclusion, the Oregon Board of Naturopathic Medicine is a cornerstone of the naturopathic medicine profession in Oregon. Its comprehensive approach to regulation, education, and enforcement not only safeguards the interests of patients but also significantly contributes to the professional development and credibility of naturopathic physicians in the state.

Resources:

1. Oregon Board of Naturopathic Medicine: Oregon Board of Naturopathic Medicine​​.

2. National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM): NUNM​​.

3. Bastyr University: Bastyr University​​.

4. American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP): American Association of Naturopathic Physicians​​.

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