Council Update

September 4-5, 2014

Dr. Duncan Bull, Council Award Recipient; Have Your Say on New Consultations; New CPSO Policy; Release of CPSO Data; Other Initiatives

Sep 11, 2014

Dr. Duncan Bull, Council Award Recipient

Community nominates their dedicated FP

Dr. Duncan Bull, who has been a family physician in Erin, Ontario, for 33 years, was presented with the Council Award at the September meeting.

It was the town council that nominated Dr. Bull for the Award to recognize his three decades of devoted service. He has deep roots in the community, volunteering with the Optimists Club to raise funds for youth projects and spearheading local blood donor clinics.

Ms. Michelle Karker, executive director of the East Wellington Family Health Team - of which Dr. Bull is the lead physician - said he is particularly caring of palliative patients.

"He doesn't think twice about making house calls, whether it's in the middle of the day or the middle of the night," Ms. Karker said.

Please read our interview with Dr. Bull in the next issue of Dialogue.

Have Your Say on New Consultations

Marijuana for Medical Purposes Draft Policy

Council reviewed the draft policy Marijuana for Medical Purposes and voted to release it for external consultation. Now, we want to know what you think.

New federal regulations, entitled Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), are reflected in the draft. The new regulations mark a significant change from the previous legislative regime. Notably, the regulations give physicians primary responsibility for the decision to authorize patient use of dried marijuana for medical purposes.

Among other expectations, the draft policy articulates the College's position that the medical document authorizing patients' access to dried marijuana is equivalent to a prescription, with all the requirements associated with prescribing.

Please read the draft policy and provide your feedback. And don't miss our cover story on the draft policy in the upcoming issue of Dialogue.

Transparency Initiative - A Proposal to Add Information to the Public Register

As part of the College's transparency initiative, Council approved consulting on proposed by-laws that would make available on the public register members' criminal findings, findings of offences under the Health Insurance Act and certain bail conditions.

In a related decision on the same initiative, Council directed that information about non-members who are practising illegally in Ontario be posted on the College website.

The proposed by-law requiring that we post findings of Criminal Code offences and findings of offences under the Ontario Health Insurance Act would apply to findings of guilt made against a person after he or she has become a member, and then, only those findings that are made after June 1, 2015. The by-law requires posting a brief summary of the finding; the sentence; a notation where the matter is under appeal; and the pertinent dates, where known to the College.

The bail conditions that the draft by-law addresses are current conditions which would affect a physician's right to practise medicine in an unrestricted way.

An additional step in posting certain bail conditions is developing a mechanism for gathering the information. If the by-law is passed, the College will add a question to the annual renewal form that asks whether the member currently has any terms of release relating to any criminal or Health Insurance Act charges, or appeal therefrom, that relate to the member's practice.

In addition, it was proposed that the general by-law be amended to require members to notify the College as soon as possible after any bail restrictions that relate to the member's practice are imposed or varied.

A proposed by-law amendment to the General By-law to protect information that is under a publication ban was also considered prudent.

In the case of non-members practising illegally, Council directed that the College post court orders obtained against non-members as well as some of the documentation that has been filed in court applications. Agreements with non-members who agree to cease using the title "Dr." will also be posted.

Please read the proposed by-laws and provide your feedback.

Proposed Fee for Applications to Modify Practice Restrictions

Council is consulting on a proposal to charge a fee to those members who apply to modify the terms, conditions or limitations of their certificate of registration imposed as a result of a registration proceeding.

In 2013, the Registration Committee reviewed more than 450 applications from physicians seeking to modify the restrictions on their certificates of registration - nearly double 2012's total. Reviewing these applications takes almost as much Registration Committee and staff time as processing a new application.

Council is proposing that a fee equivalent to 25% of the annual membership fee be charged.

Please participate in the consultation.

Postgraduate Education Application Change

Council reviewed the finalized 'PGE Application Form for Renewal', and approved a consultation on a proposed amendment.

The proposed by-law amendment is intended to provide greater clarity to the membership with respect to postgraduates' annual application process. A fee change is not being contemplated.

Please read more.

New CPSO Policy

Physicians' Relationships with Industry: Practice, Education and Research

Council has approved the Physicians' Relationships with Industry: Practice, Education and Research policy. Much feedback was received during the consultation and it was all carefully considered. Stakeholder feedback contributed to a number of revisions reflected in the final policy.

The policy acknowledges that while industry has a valuable and legitimate role to play in the provision of health care, its interests and responsibilities may diverge from the legal and professional obligations of physicians. As a result, physicians may find themselves facing ethical dilemmas or conflicts of interest stemming from their relationship with industry. The policy sets out expectations for physicians to assist them in understanding and managing their relationships with industry appropriately.

The policy is now online and will be included in the next issue of Dialogue.

Release of CPSO Data

New Data-Sharing Strategy

The College regularly receives requests for College data from researchers, health organizations and individuals. The College's information is much sought after; it is a repository for a rich, unique set of data about such matters as physician demographics and trends in complaints, for example.

At its meeting, Council approved a strategy that will ensure that we only share data in ways that align with the College's priorities and mandate, while always fulfilling our privacy and confidentiality obligations.

The data-sharing strategy includes a vision, a governance structure and a new decision-making tool. The vision will serve as a principled foundation on which data sharing will be based. There are two key components to the vision: knowledge contribution and responsible data stewardship.

In approving the new strategy, two additional decisions w ere made. The Release of Physician Information in Batch Form policy was rescinded; the data strategy will be used to analyze all data requests received by the CPSO, so the policy is no longer required. Minor amendments were also made to the College's Privacy Code to ensure that the document is consistent with the Data Strategy. The strategy will take effect on January 1, 2015.

An article about the new data-sharing strategy is in the upcoming issue of Dialogue and more information is available online.

Other Initiatives

Strategic Plan 2015-2018

Council has set the direction for the College over the next three years with its approval of four initiatives that will be a primary area of focus.

As part of this new stage of the strategic plan, the initiatives will be used to strengthen our core regulatory functions and achieve our vision of Quality Professionals, Healthy System and Public Trust.

The four strategic initiatives are: the Quality Management Partnership; the Transparency Initiative; Education; and Data Management.

"As the health-care system evolves and expectations change, we will focus on those initiatives that will position us well for the future," said Dr. Marc Gabel, College President.

We also have an article about the strategic plan in the upcoming issue of Dialogue.

Competency by Design and CanMeds 2015

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) is leading two related projects that are designed to enhance undergraduate medical education, postgraduate training and ongoing professional development for physicians in Canada.

At the Council meeting Dr. Jason Frank, Director of Specialty Education, Strategy and Standards in the Office of Specialty Education at the RCPSC, provided an overview of both projects - CanMEDS 2015 and Competency by Design.

Dr. Frank told Council that the initiatives will foster a system that better supports lifelong learning and assessments and will reduce gaps in readiness for independent practice by providing frequent, formative assessments.

"The Canadian medical education system is arguably one of the best in the world, but we can and will continue to raise the bar," said Dr. Frank.

The two projects involve:

  • refreshing the CanMEDs competency framework (CanMEDS 2015) originally developed in 1996, and;
  • establishing milestones in physician competence from the first day of training throughout a specialist's professional career (part of Competency By Design).

Don't miss our article about these important initiatives in the next issue of Dialogue.

Quality Management Partnership Consultation - Coming Soon

The mandate of the QMP is to establish provincial quality management programs in three health services: mammography, colonoscopy and pathology.

Over the past five months, Expert Advisory Panels have been reviewing best practices and current standards, conducting literature reviews and consulting with stakeholders to develop recommendations for quality management programs that will ensure consistent, high-quality care is provided wherever it is accessed by patients.

Physicians will have an opportunity to provide input on the work that has been underway as part of this phase of the initiative. You can participate in the online consultation by completing a survey and/or providing comments in our online forum which will be hosted on the CPSO website beginning in early November.

Concurrent with the online consultation, we will also be conducting a limited number of in-person consultations with health-system stakeholders. All feedback received will help shape the Phase 2 report targeted for submission to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care by next March.

To learn more about the Quality Management Partnership, please visit