Duties: To the Patient

Collaborating with Patients and Others

Providing the best quality care for the people of Ontario requires physicians to work together effectively—with patients, other doctors and other health professionals—within the organizations, institutions and systems for health care delivery in Ontario.

Collaboration with an individual patient is essential to providing good medical care. The physician must work with the patient in order to understand the patient’s health care needs, to formulate treatment plans that are optimal for the patient, to ensure that the patient remains informed about his or her care, and to address patient questions and concerns. To maximize the effectiveness of collaboration, physicians must have patients’ trust, which is maintained, in part, through effective communication and treating patients with respect.

Collaboration is not only about getting along and treating others with respect—although this is extremely important—it is also about recognizing and accepting the unique roles and contributions of other health professionals. The best interests of patients are served when physicians utilize the skills of others, whether they are physicians or other health professionals.

Good quality health care is often delivered by a team of professionals and individuals who contribute expertise in a variety of ways. To achieve the goal of providing the best possible health care to patients, physicians should also make a commitment to those others who share this goal. Physicians should work respectfully and collaboratively with other members of the health care team to maximize the quality of patients’ care.

Relevant Policies, Publications and Resources

Complementary Medicine

Disruptive Physician Behaviour Initiative

Fostering Collaborative Relationships with Nurse Practitioners

Methadone Maintenance Treatment for Opioid Dependence

Physician Working Relations with Pharmacists

Prescribing Drugs

Telemedicine