CHRISSY CLARK: Oregon doctors face losing their license for 'microaggressions' under proposed medical board rule

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  • 06/22/2024

Doctors in Oregon could soon lose their licenses for “microaggressions” under a proposed new medical board rule, according to a report from the Free Beacon

Under a soon-to-be-approved ethics rule from the Oregon Medical Board, medical staffers who engage in “microaggressions” may lose their medical licenses. The news law tells doctors they must report “unprofessional conduct” from themselves or a colleague within 10 business days or face severe penalties. The state medical board is attempting to make “microaggressions” a form of “unprofessional conduct.” 

The term “microaggressions” was coined in the era of diversity, equity, and inclusion. “Microaggressions” are considered innocent behavior with subliminal tones of bias. An example of a microaggression would be a white colleague inviting a black colleague to join a sports league. While the intent was to be inclusive, the black colleague could hypothetically believe he was asked to join the league because of stereotypes about his race. 

The new Oregon rule expands the definition of discrimination to include “discrimination through unfair treatment characterized by implicit and explicit bias, including microaggressions, or indirect or subtle behaviors that reflect negative attitudes or beliefs about a non-majority group.”  

Oregon Medical Board policy analyst Elizabeth Ross said the board will consider adopting the microaggression policy on July 11. Ross claims that the board does not anticipate that the rule will “change the way physicians, PAs, or acupuncturists practice because discrimination in the practice of medicine/acupuncture is already considered unethical and prohibited by federal laws and facility bylaws.” 

Ross confirmed to the Free Beacon that if the board received a complaint of a microaggression the board would “review the evidence and facts gathered to determine whether the physician, PA, or acupuncturist was unprofessional in their practice of medicine/acupuncture.” 

Adopting this broad definition of “unprofessional conduct” is part of the state medical board’s “DEI Action Plan” released in 2023. The plan specifically calls for a “new definition for unprofessional conduct.”

This piece first appeared at TPUSA.

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