Biological Monitoring

Urine Toxicology while Traveling

Approved: June 25, 2008
Revised: June, 2014

Physicians often are required to travel outside of Alberta for professional reasons or for vacation but are still required to participate in urine toxicology screening. Prior to 9/11, it was relatively easy for physicians to courier their sample back to Alberta. Since 9/11, this has become much more difficult particularly when travelling in the USA.

Travel to conferences, meetings and vacation can present an increased relapse risk to physicians. Program participants are encouraged to discuss travel plans with the Physician Health Program Coordinator to determine what a viable option is regarding specimen collections while travelling. In doing so, there are several options that can usually be accommodated continued specimen collections. These may include:

  1. Attempt to send the screen by courier and document if it is not accepted by the courier.
  2. Freeze the sample and submit it upon immediate return to Canada.
  3. If alcohol is the substance of choice; have an Ethylglucuronide (EtG) sample drawn within 24 hours of return to Canada.
  4. For lengthy out-of-country travel, work with the Physician Health Program Coordinator to arrange for collection and evaluation in the country visited. Results can then be forwarded to the PHMC through the Medical Advisor.


Dr. Jeremy Beach, Assistant Registrar
780-969-4940 or 1-800-561-3899 ext. 4940 (in Canada)

Leanne Minckler, Physician Health Advisor
780-969-4943 or 1-800-561-3899 ext. 4943 (in Canada)