News from the Osteopathic Board

Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery − Winter 2020 Newsletter

Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery banner
Silhouette of head with words of behavioral health issues

Seeking Behavioral Health Treatment

When an osteopathic physician seeks mental health care, notification to the board is not necessary. Seeking behavioral health services is important. Don’t delay if mental health issues are affecting your life. Just as with any physical ailment, the sooner you seek treatment, the better. Learn more about seeking behavioral health treatment.

Medical mask with No COVID symbol

Masking and Other Healthcare Service Requirements

The board encourages osteopathic physicians and osteopathic physician assistants to review the statement of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) regarding face coverings:

"Wearing a face covering is a harm-reduction strategy to help limit the spread of COVID-19, especially since physical distancing is not possible in health care settings. When seeing patients during in-person clinical encounters, physicians and physician assistants have a professional responsibility to wear a facial covering for their own protection, as well as that of their patients and society as a whole."

Information and resources about employer mask requirements are available from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. In addition, Governor Inslee recently updated requirements for health care practitioners providing in-person care.

COVID-19 caricature

COVID Complaints

The board receives complaints about osteopathic physicians violating Governor Inslee’s Stay Home Stay Healthy proclamation, 20-25, or another governor-issued proclamation. Read the article to find out how the board may respond to these complaints, and to be sure you stay in compliance.

RCW document with highlighther

Medical Assistant Delegation

A medical assistant may perform authorized tasks only under the delegation and supervision of a health care practitioner. Before delegating any duty to a medical assistant, health care practitioners must determine whether the delegation meets the requirements of RCW 18.360.060. Read more to learn your responsibilities and the requirements for delegation.

Nitrous Oxide stylized molecule

Nitrous Oxide

The board recently adopted a guidance document on the use of nitrous oxide sedation in office-based settings. Under the current office-based anesthesia rules, nitrous oxide sedation falls under moderate sedation, deep sedation or general anesthesia.

If you currently use nitrous oxide sedation or are considering its use in the future, please check out the board’s nitrous oxide sedation guideline.

Telemedicine icon

Telemedicine Workshops

The Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery is working with the Washington Medical Commission (WMC) to consider rulemaking to address physicians engaging in telemedicine with Washington patients. Information regarding past and upcoming workshops is on the WMC Telemedicine Workshop page.

Register online for the December 18, 2020 (3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.) Telemedicine Workshop. After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. 

Heal-WA washington state in circle

Check out HEAL-WA

HEAL-WA is a portal to online resources related to the medical professions in Washington state. It is funded by a portion of your license fees and is free to access anytime. HEAL-WA provides online access to journal articles, databases, and other tools needed for evidence-based practice and research. Link to HEAL-WA

Frequently Visited

Don't Forget!

Completing the Washington State Workforce Survey is required by law at the time of annual license renewal for osteopathic physicians and osteopathic physician assistants. if you haven't already done so this year, complete the Workforce Survey.

Board Members

Roger Ludwig, DO, Chair
Alex Sobel, DO,
Lisa Galbraith, DO
Sharon Gundersen, PhD, Public Member
Tania Hernandez, DO
Trice Konschuh,
Public Member  
Kim Morrissette, DO
Shannon Phipps, DO
Joel Quiroz, PA-C
Yuri Tsirulnikov, DO
Kevin Ware, DO


Board Staff and Contact Information

Renee Fullerton
Executive Director

Tracie Drake
Program Manager

Department of Health
PO Box 47852
Olympia, WA

Customer Service

Board website

Contact the Board

DOH 663-074
Winter 2020