Oregon Medical Licensure & Liability


In order to volunteer as a physician at Volunteers in Medicine, you must have a current Oregon Medical License, and be credentialed through the Central Oregon Independent Practice Association (COIPA). There are several ways to meet the licensing requirements.

If you hold a current Oregon Medical License:

If you are a physician with a license in good standing, please call our Medical Director to discuss volunteer opportunities at VIM. VIM’s Medical Director, John Letovsky, MD, can be reached at (541) 585-9017. 

If you are not currently practicing, are moving here from out of state, or about to retire:

There are two emeritus licensing options for volunteer physicians that do not require the full active licensure requirements.

Emeritus licensure is available for Oregon physicians who have retired from active practice and wish to do only volunteer practice. The physician cannot be paid for the work done under this license.

  • If you are considering retirement, you can change your license to Emeritus status immediately, or when your license is up for renewal. There is no charge for changing your status from Active to Emeritus, and the process will take approximately one week.
  • If you are an Oregon physician who has already retired, the application fee for Emeritus status is $50, and the average time to process the application is two months.
  • License applications are online here.

Volunteer Emeritus licensure is available for a physician who has a current license to practice medicine in another state and wishes to volunteer at a health clinic in Oregon. Physicians using this type of licensure may only practice in public health clinics or clinics like Volunteers in Medicine, which are operated by a charitable corporation that primarily provides health care to low-income patients without charge, or by using a sliding fee scale.

  • There is no charge for a Volunteer Emeritus license. The average time to process the application is two months.
  • More information specific to Volunteer Emeritus licensure is available here.

If you’ve been out of practice for any length of time, or your license has lapsed, a Special Purpose Examination (SPEX) may be required:

The Oregon Medical Board (OMB) considers the length of time out of practice, specialty board recertification, and current CME documentation in determining if SPEX is required. If you need more information about this requirement, please contact the OMB at (971) 673-2667. (Free CME is available through St. Charles Health System through their Grand Rounds that are offered every Friday 7:00 – 8:00 a.m. Click here for more info.)

Note: All OMB licensees are subject to the Medical Practice Act and to the administrative rules of the Oregon Medical Board. Emeritus and Volunteer Emeritus licensees have the same duties and responsibilities and are subject to the same penalties and sanctions as all other licensees.


VIM patients agree to be seen and treated under the Oregon Liability Waiver (ORS 676.340), which limits the liability of Oregon-licensed physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and certain other health professionals for injury, death, or other loss that may arise from services they provide without compensation, except in cases of gross negligence. As a VIM provider, you will need to register with the state for the liability waiver. And, if you are seeing patients in your own office, you must also have them fill out a consent form. Here are the links:

In addition to the Limited Liability Law, VIM has a standard liability policy to cover practitioners for work done on-site at the VIM clinic.

Still have questions? 

For more information, please visit the OMB website or contact the OMB by phone: (971) 673-2700 or (877) 254-6263 (tollfree in Oregon).