Feedback can be hard to hear—but we need to hear it.

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta CPSA, Latest News, Medical Matters, Messenger 6 Comments

A great deal has happened since the April Messenger. The College—and the profession in general—has had to manage some complex problems. As a result, we have received an incredible amount of feedback from just about everyone.

First, I want to say I have been very impressed with the profession for stepping up to help patients after we had to suspend a physician’s practice. I’ve also been impressed with how passionate people are about the role of the CPSA in protecting the public.

We appreciate all the feedback we’ve received, both good and bad.

We have heard from disgruntled and happy patients and physicians alike. We’ve heard from the media and we’ve heard from Government. People have reached out over Twitter and Facebook, and in emails, letters and phone calls. We have also just started going through the responses to the Physician Feedback Survey—there are already very clear messages coming through.

Messages from the public have varied dramatically. Some patients were upset we would suspend their doctor’s practice. Others responding to another decision felt allowing a physician with a criminal conviction to ever practise medicine again is completely unreasonable. Many physicians also told us they believe we need to be harder on those behaving in ways that diminish trust in our profession.

I can certainly appreciate all these points of view. While there is no action or decision that will make everyone happy, part of the problem is we’re unable to disclose all the facts in these cases. And without the full story, it’s easy to make assumptions that are not based on fact.

We know trust is essential for us to do our job properly and we earn that trust through transparency. Enhancing transparency is part of our work plan, but won’t happen overnight. I ask for your patience and understanding as we work through what can be shared and what must be protected under privacy laws.

We have heard and learned a lot over the past several weeks and I want to encourage everyone to continue sharing their views. All of it will help us become a better regulator.

I look forward to your comments,


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6 Comments on "Feedback can be hard to hear—but we need to hear it."

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continued… 5. The time delay in posting TPP Atlas really undercuts the value and utility of Atlas especially w/ opioid crisis & related policies being in continuous flux. Since Atlas is merely compiled data, plz release each sooner. 2016 is not meaningful in 2018. 6. Why list dextropropoxyphene (zero Rx in 2016) or remifentanil (one Rx in 2016) at all, let alone under Type 1? Makes list unjustifiably diluted / convoluted 7. where is amphetamine? It didn’t even make Type 2? I promise you “Dex” and “Addy” are a bigger deal on CAN black mkt than “Biphentin” & “Concerta”. I… Read more »
greetings CPSA. Wanted to pass along several quickfire concerns/feedback re: tpp program: 1. The name is nonsensical b/c “not all TPP drugs need triplicates” and for those that do, the CPSA copy serves no practical function in most cases. Conducive to impression of TPP as “farce” per se. 2. The grammatical layout of the “Prescribers w/ restrictions” listing on the tpp front page is unnecessarily atrocious (= “farce” per above) 3. Why have “Type 2”? Vast majority of forgeries in AB are Cotridin, Zop, BZD. Not to mention, all 3 are irrefutably overprescribed at large. Everything Type 1 = helps… Read more »

Re: Shd a physician who acquires a criminal record never be allowed to practice again”… There is an enduring principle that the punishment should fit the crime, so should not each case be decided individually? A physician’s risk of harming patients seems quite different if their crime was financial, as opposed to a crime against the integrity of another human.

Hi Dave. Thanks for taking the time to write in. You’re correct that not all criminal conviction should lead to someone losing their ability to practice medicine. In the cases that brought on this discussion, the criminal conviction was for sexual assault and therefore there were some very strong feeling. You are correct that every case needs to be decided individually. The other question that needs to be addressed is, should the public and more specifically patients of a physician convicted of any criminal act be aware of that history? Transparency is essential for trust and we believe we need… Read more »

Disciplinary issues will remain a focus of the profession-and the public.As you point out it may not always be possible for us to have all the facts.In principle, once a disciplinary committee reaches a decision is this something that can then be unilaterally modified by the executive branch?

Good morning Tony, Thanks for writing and asking this question. Once a disciplinary decision is made, the executive must follow that decision. That being said, there are times when there are future concerns raised about the same doctor and therefore decision then need to be made about how best to protect the public taking this new information into account. In rare circumstances there are some things the executive can do to protect the public without a formal hearing, but these are very limited.