Duty to Report a Colleague

Under Review: No
Issued by Council: January 1, 2010
Reissued by Council: September 1, 2012

  1. A physician must report another physician to the College when the first physician believes, on reasonable grounds, that the conduct of the other physician places patients at risk or is considered unprofessional conduct under the Health Professions Act.
  2. Knowledge of physician conduct that should be reported in subsection (1) includes, but is not limited to, situations in which a physician:
    1. makes sexual advances to or enters into a sexual relationship with a patient,
    2. suffers from a physical, cognitive, mental or emotional condition* that is negatively impacting the work ** or is reasonably likely to negatively impact the work of the physician;
    3. repeatedly or consistently fails to address his or her behaviour in a manner that interferes with the delivery of care to patients, the ability of other physicians, learners or healthcare workers to provide care to patients; or
    4. is not competent in the care of patients.
  3. When a patient discloses information leading a physician to believe on reasonable grounds that another physician has committed a sexual boundary violation with the patient, the first physician must:
    1. provide the patient with information about how to file a complaint with the College;
    2. offer to file a third person complaint with the patient’s permission, if the patient does not wish to file a complaint personally; or
    3. at a minimum, document the sexual boundary violation indicating that the patient does not wish to report to the College when the patient does not give permission to proceed with a third party complaint; however, the name of the physician may be reported to the College without providing the name of the patient.

    * As in the definition in Self-Reporting to the College
    ** As in the definition in Self-Reporting to the College

The CPSA Standards of Practice are the minimum standards of professional behaviour and ethical conduct expected of all physicians registered in Alberta. Standards of practice are enforceable under the Health Professions Act and will be referenced in the management of complaints and in discipline hearings. About the CPSA Standards of Practice


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