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College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario


The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) is the governing body for medical doctors in Ontario, Canada.

The college issues certificates of registration for all doctors to allow them to practise medicine as well as:

  • Monitors and maintains standards of practice via assessment and remediation
  • Investigates complaints against doctors
  • Disciplines those found guilty of professional misconduct and/or incompetence.

The CPSO's power is derived from Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA), Health Professions Procedural Code under RHPA and the Medicine Act. The college is based in Toronto.

Additional recommended knowledge



Physician complaints process

The Toronto Star has revealed that a number of complaints have been passed over,[1] and raised questions about whether physicians in Ontario can effectively self-regulate. Also, a CBC The Fifth Estate investigative report, which examined Dr. Errol Wai-Ping,[2] questioned whether the CPSO takes complaints seriously and adequately protects the public from harmful physicians.

Licensure of foreign-trained physicians

With a significant shortage of family physicians, the College has been criticized for the rigorous demands it places on foreign-trained physicians (also known as international medical graduates), who seek a license to practise medicine.

Michael Urbanski, in a piece in the Toronto Star, stated that Canada already has a hidden reserve of foreign-trained MDs eager to begin medical practice "... what's crucial to understanding the issue of doctor shortage in Ontario is that while the Liberal government is planning to go "poaching" for other countries' doctors, there are an estimated 4,000 internationally trained doctors right here in Ontario working at low-wage jobs... often with many years' medical experience abroad and many have virtually no hope of practising in Canada."[3]

Some have suggested that CPSO policy has arisen out of physician self-interest because the most commonly used fee-for-service compensation model may lead to reduced salaries with more licensed physicians,[citation needed] rather than the goal of assuring a high quality of patient care.

Statistics released by the CPSO and from Statistics Canada suggest foreign-trained physicians in Ontario are gaining licensure in record numbers and have always been a large part of the Canadian physician workforce. In 2006, 42% (or 1247 of 2961) of physicians licenced by the CPSO were international medical graduates.[4] In the past three years, the CPSO has licensed more international medical graduates than graduates of Ontario medical schools.

Overall, the number of foreign-trained physicians is slightly higher than the percentage of workers born outside of Canada; in Ontario, according to the Romanow Report, 24.5% of licenced physician are foreign-trained,[5] this is higher than the percentage of foreign born workers according to Statistics Canada (approximately 20%).[6]

See also


  1. ^ Medical Secrets (The Toronto Star). Michener Award Finalists for 2001. URL: Accessed on: September 1, 2007.
  2. ^ First, Do No Harm. Fifth Estate. CBC. URL: Accessed on: April 29, 2007.
  3. ^ Urbanski M. What doctor shortage? Canada already has a hidden reserve of foreign-trained MDs eager to begin medical practice, says Michael Urbanski. Toronto Star. August 19, 2004. Available at: Accessed on: April 29, 2007.
  4. ^ 2006 Physician Survey Report. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Available at: Accessed on: April 29, 2007.
  5. ^ Romanow RJ. Building on Values: The Future of Health Care in Canada (known as the Romanow Report). ISBN 0-662-33043-9. Chapter 4. Page 103. Available at: Accessed on: April 29, 2007.
  6. ^ Munroe S. Statistics on the Canadian Workforce From the 2001 Canada Census. URL: Accessed on: April 29, 2007.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "College_of_Physicians_and_Surgeons_of_Ontario". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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