The Board was initially created in 1941. Current statutory authority is found in A.R.S.§§32-1800 through 32-1871.
Osteopathic physicians receive similar training to allopathic physicians (M.D.) as well as training in the musculoskeletal system and manipulation. They are qualified for unlimited medical practice in all 50 states. The Board licenses and regulates doctors of osteopathic medicine, including interns and residents receiving post-graduate training in Arizona hospitals and clinics.
The Board is also authorized to develop and publish advisory opinions and standards governing the profession and to make available to academic and research organizations public records regarding statistical information on doctors of osteopathic medicine and applicants for licensure.
The Board sets educational and training standards for licensure and reviews complaints made against osteopathic physicians, interns and residents to ensure their conduct meets the standards of the profession, as outlined in statute. An Executive Director, hired by the Board, is responsible for administering the agency according to state law.
The Board consists of seven members: five osteopathic doctors and two public members. The Governor appoints members to five-year terms. A member may serve a second consecutive five-year term.
Regulation of the practice of osteopathy was established by Laws 1941, Chapter 33. The measure required a license to practice osteopathy, created a three-member State Board of Osteopathic Examiners, and prescribed the powers and duties of the Board. The Governor appointed Board members for a term of six years.
In 1949, the Board was renamed the State Osteopathic Board of Registration and Examination in Medicine and Surgery. In 1970, the name was changed to the Board of Osteopathic Examiners in Medicine and Surgery.
In 1949, the Legislature repealed the 1941 measure and rewrote the laws for the profession. At that time, the Board was increased to five members, including one member of the lay public who had no connection to the profession. Four members were required to be physicians or surgeons, who had been engaged in the practice of osteopathic medicine for at least two years prior to their appointment. The Board was also vested with the power to approve hospitals for intern training and to approve osteopathic schools and colleges for physician training (Laws 1949, Chapter 121). In 1970, the experience requirement to serve on the Board was increased to five years (Laws 1970, Chapter 138).
Laws 1988, Chapter 105 modified qualifications for board membership and prohibited board members from serving more than two consecutive five-year terms.
In 1992, board membership was increased from five members to seven, by adding one public member and one person engaged in the practice of osteopathic medicine who had been in good standing for five years (Laws 1992, Chapter 150).
Laws 1994, Chapter 247 authorized the Governor to remove any board member who failed to attend three or more board meetings within a 12-month period.
Laws 1979, Chapter 46 increased the cost of a license from $75 to $150 and modified Board authority to investigate cases of unprofessional conduct.
Two measures adopted in 1989 related to the Board. The first authorized the Board to license specialists. (Laws 1989, Chapter 110). The second authorized the Board to license assistants and established a jurisdiction arbitration panel to address complaints made against a person with a dual license to practice as a homeopath and an osteopath (Laws 1989, Chapter 275).
In 1990, legislation was adopted that allowed a physician to disclose certain information to the Department of Health Services regarding positive tests for the human immunodeficiency virus. The law did not impose a duty to disclose such information and stated a physician was not civilly or criminally liable for either disclosing or not disclosing information (Laws 1990, Chapter 335).
Laws 2004, Chapter 138 modified the qualifications to serve on the Board by requiring members to practice medicine with actual patient contact.
Laws 2016, Chapter 137 established the Medical Licensure Compact to allow member states to provide a streamlined process for allopathic and osteopathic physicians to become licensed in multiple states, enhance the portability of a medical license and ensure patient safety. (A.R.S. §32-3241, Section 1, Purpose.) The measure authorized member states to create the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission, responsible for administration of the Compact and issuing expedited licenses. Participation by physicians is voluntary.
Laws 2017, Chapter 265 required a person who applies to practice as an osteopathic physician to submit a full set of fingerprints to the Board in order to conduct a state and federal criminal records background check. These requirements also apply to those who apply for an expedited license pursuant to the Medical Licensure Compact. Information from the FBI related to the expedited license background check may not be shared between the Board and the Medical Licensure Compact Commission.
Three measures were adopted in 2019 that addressed Board responsibilities.
Laws 2019, Chapter 182 required the Board to determine if an Arizona licensed physician meets the requirements related to treating and managing opiate-dependent patients and is eligible to obtain an annual registration from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and serve as a U.S. DEA qualifying physician.
A second enactment, Laws 2019, Chapter 195, allowed the Board to authorize its executive director to issue licenses, certifications, registrations, preceptorships, reinstatements and waivers to eligible applicants who meet the requirements identified in the statute. The measure also addressed temporary licenses. Section 32-3124.I states: “This section applies to a health profession regulatory board to the extent that this section does not conflict with the board’s current statutory authority relating to temporary licensure.” The Board may adopt rules to carry out the new provisions. https://www.azleg.gov/legtext/54Leg/1R/laws/0195.pdf
A third enactment in 2019 requires the Board to regulate the unauthorized practice of the profession by investigating complaints and referring verified complaints to the county attorney or attorney general for prosecution. See Laws 2019, Chapter 227.
- A.R.S.§§32-1800 through 32-1871
- Arizona Administrative Code §§R4-22-101 through R4-22-508
- Session Laws
- Laws 1941, Chapter 33
- Laws 1949, Chapter 121
- Laws 1970, Chapter 138
- Laws 1979, Chapter 46
- Laws 1988, Chapter 105
- Laws 1989, Chapter 110 and Chapter 275
- Laws 1990, Chapter 335
- Laws 1992, Chapter 150
- Laws 1994, Chapter 247
- Laws 1998, Chapter 254
- Laws 2004, Chapter 138
- Laws 2016, Chapter 137
- Laws 2017, Chapter 265
- Laws 2019, Chapter 182, Chapter 195, and Chapter 227
Arizona Auditor General Performance Audits:
Arizona Board of Osteopathic Examiners website
related collections at arizona state archives
- Record Group 69 – Arizona Board of Osteopathic Examiners in Medicine