Twenty-five years ago, a small group of private practice physicians had a bold idea: collaborate to build their own specialty medical practice, run and owned by physicians. The goal was to create a structure where physicians could collaborate on the logistics of running a medical practice, freeing them up individually to focus more on the needs of their patients.
The physicians at these six specialty practices all valued giving their patients individualized care and wanted to retain their independence and autonomy in their work. But they also saw the benefit in collaborating on employee training, medical billing, IT support, marketing, benefits management and more. By joining together to create a large multi-specialty practice, they could reduce the time needed for administrative work and free up more time for patient visits, research work and medical leadership. In 1994, they formed The Oregon Clinic.
“If you had told me that in 25 years The Oregon Clinic would include over 200 providers and 1,000 employees, I wouldn’t have believed it,” said Dr. Michael Phillips, Gastroenterologist, one of The Oregon Clinic’s founding physicians. “No one knew ‘The Oregon Clinic’ name at first, but the strength of our reputation as excellent physicians and the commitment to the patient experience propelled our growth. This structure has been good for patients, and good for physicians – it’s a win-win.”
Over the past 25 years, specialty physicians and practices throughout the Portland metro area have seen the benefits of this unique structure and joined The Oregon Clinic. What started as a group of 40 physicians has grown to more than 270 medical providers in 2019. In the past ten years, 17 new specialty groups have joined, more than doubling the number of employees within the organization. The Oregon Clinic’s locations have spread beyond Portland to include Hillsboro, Newberg, Gresham, and Clackamas, now totaling more than 60 medical office locations. Today, 53 of The Oregon Clinic’s physicians hold Medical Directorships at local hospitals, highlighting the important leadership role The Oregon Clinic’s specialists play in the region.
The Oregon Clinic takes pride in its employees and culture, and has been named to The Oregonian’s list of Top Workplaces in Oregon and Southwest Washington for six years in a row. Employees choose to stay at The Oregon Clinic because of the diverse culture, volunteer opportunities, job stability, work/life balance, learning opportunities, and more. Many of The Oregon Clinic’s providers make Portland Monthly Magazine’s annual “Top Doctors” list each year.
“In the beginning, we did a lot of soul searching and had a lot of conversations about who we wanted to be, what we wanted to do, what type of culture we wanted to have,” explained Dr. Stephen Bader, Radiation Oncologist, one of The Oregon Clinic’s founding physicians. “We’ve faced different types of challenges over the years, but I think one reason we’ve continued to grow and be successful is that we’ve maintained a culture of respect, excellence, and collaboration.”
“I take great pride in our strong reputation as independent specialists who consistently deliver exceptional care,” said Dr. Richard Jamison, General Surgeon, President of The Oregon Clinic. “Hundreds of thousands of patients trust us with their care each year. Their trust in our expertise – that’s why we’re still around and will continue to grow for years to come.”
Key dates in The Oregon Clinic’s history:
- 1994: Six private practice medical specialty groups form The Oregon Clinic
- 2001: A new group of physicians joins The Oregon Clinic, the first of many new private groups to join
- 2006: The Oregon Clinic opened the Gateway Medical Center. The LEED Gold certified medical office houses multiple medical specialties, The Oregon Clinic’s state-of-the-art imaging center, and several administrative offices.
- 2016: The Oregon Clinic hires it’s 1,000th employee
- 2016: The Oregon Clinic registers as an Oregon Benefit Company, publicly declaring its commitment to supporting staff, patients, and community. This corporate status indicates companies that aim to make a positive impact on society and the environment.
- 2017: The Oregonian named The Oregon Clinic the #1 Top Workplace among large businesses in the state.
- 2019: The Oregon Clinic celebrates its 25th anniversary