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Update on CPSBC Bylaw Amendments - Associate Physician

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We wish to express our sincere thanks to the more than 600 BC physicians who signed the group response letter in less than 48 hours. The overwhelming response with more than 150 comments expressed strong concerns about the precedent-setting CPSBC Bylaw amendments and the potential detrimental effect on patient safety and the quality of care delivered in BC. Please see our update letter sharing what we have learned and what can be done to help uphold the integrity of physician practice in BC, keeping our patients, communities, and families safe.

2020-04-21 Update Letter

2020-04-15 Submission to CPSBC and Ministry of Health with copy to DoBC
1)  Cover letter submitted to the CPSBC
2)  Response letter submitted to the CPSBC
3)  Physician comments submitted to the CPSBC
4)  Cover letter sent to Dr Kathleen Ross, DoBC President


Dr. Caroline Wang, MD, MPA
Dr. Raj Paul Bhui, MD, CCFP, DABFM, DWSS


CPSBC Bylaw Associate Physician Class will confuse patients and

BC Health Minister Adrian Dix should stop CPSBC Bylaw Associate Physician Class, not fully licensed physicians, will confuse patients and the public.

Commonly we think of physician associates as working in the same office, clinic, or call group and all being fully licensed. Meanwhile, the proposed Associate Physician class has even less requirements for qualification than phyisican assistants.

The word Associate has a long history in professional use

The proposed CPSBC Bylaw change adding "Associate Physician Class" will cause confusion for patients and the public because the word "associate" has a long established professional context of referring to peers.

Consider dental offices; Dr Tooth and Associates.

Or you may be a physician who has a clinical appointment with the University Medical school and even though you don't work there you are considered a clinical associate.

In addition to those mentioned before as physician associates; working in the same office, clinic or call group.

The thing they all have in common is they refer to peers, in this case fully licensed physicians that can practise independently.

Also, at least until recently the annual CPSBC annual renewal asked if you are an office based physician do you have physician associates you work with and asked they be named.

To take the word "associate" with such a long established professional context and use it in a different context for a category that are not peers is most likely going to cause confusion for patients, family and supporting caregivers and possibly even amongst other healthcare professionals and staff.

To prevent this risk of confusion the BC Health Minister Adrian Dix should stop this CPSBC Bylaw.