One of the College’s key duties as a medical regulator is to provide guidance to Ontario physicians on professionalism and on specific issues that are relevant to the practice of medicine. This guidance is outlined in the Practice Guide and in College policies. These are developed by the College to assist the profession in providing quality health care and to ensure that the interests of patients – the citizens of Ontario – are protected.
The Practice Guide is the foundational document for all College policies. It outlines the values and principles of the profession; provides assistance to the profession in determining specific duties and the reasons for those duties; and organizes the existing policies of the College within a principled framework and provides a basis for new policy development.
College policies (listed below) outline more specific guidance on issues and are grounded in the values, principles and duties of medical professionalism articulated in the Practice Guide. They also reflect relevant legal requirements found in legislation, regulation and by-laws.
Together, the Practice Guide and College policies reflect the expectations for the professional conduct of physicians practicing in Ontario. In addition to providing guidance to the profession, the Practice Guide and policies serve as a benchmark against which the conduct of individual physicians is measured.
Dr. Barbara Lent, a member of Council, discusses the importance of feedback in shaping our policies and how it informed our position on the abuse and misuse of opioids in our Prescribing Drugs policy.