Ontario docs are leaving – patients have trouble finding good doctors

{May 16, 2013}   LETTER: “Colleges are distorting patient care in Canada”




LETTER: Colleges are distorting patient care in Canada

on May 10, 2013 for The Medical Post

Re: “Are the colleges ballooning out of control?” (April 23)


I read with interest the article about the colleges “ballooning out of control.” I have long been intending to write my own opinion piece on the subject (though anonymously, as I too live in fear of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario).

This hypermoralistic and bloated bureaucracy has gone too far in the direction of harsh punitiveness. For example, if there were some 20,000 complaints as indicated in the story between 2004 and 2011 and there are only about 25,000 MDs in Ontario, it implies that within a decade every single doctor will receive a complaint.

Are most doctors bad apples? How could the college maintain that the process is mostly valid given these numbers?

Everything in our society indicates that complaints are abused and people use them as vindictive tools; over-publicizing of the process has essentially made it easy for an angry individual to punish a doctor. Distortion is caused by the media hyper-informing the public of the same old news-selling story that bad doctors harm the public unregulated, when the opposite is true.

If there were some spirit of balance in the CPSO, this state of affairs would be tolerable and we doctors could work with confidence. But for colleges to take immaterial complaints seriously perpetuates a degradation of the profession. In the courts people are considered innocent until proven guilty; why the college’s harsh standard?

A frequently seen example in daily practice is the “threat of complaint” in which angry patients—for example, those demanding antibiotics—threaten to complain to the college if they don’t get their prescriptions. Most doctors cave in to save themselves the headache of a complaint. Does the college feel MDs giving in to such patients are innocent or rather lapsing in ethics, when they themselves are creating such a “reign of terror” in engendering the situation? Would they not agree they are distorting patient care for many of us in the same way over-litigiousness distorts health care in the United States?

Perhaps the CPSO doesn’t understand the distortions it is causing, in which case an open discussion with all Ontario MDs should be started.—Anonymous, MD, Toronto




It’s a shame this physician feels he/she has to remain anonymous in this very reasonable, polite letter, too fearful to openly stand behind his/her opinions which are no doubt shared by many others. If a child were as fearful of a parent or a dog of its owner as physicians are of the College, there would be every reason to suspect “abuse”.

A physician who fears the College cannot be the “best” physician for his patients. He/she might fear to use initiative or simply comply with patients’ wishes – even if they are not in the patients’ best interest  –  only to avoid complaints. The result is the mediocre medical care Ontario has offered for years now as those who refuse to be intimidated leave for the U.S. or other locations.


Perhaps the doctor who wrote this “Letter” would feel less diffident if he/she had a peek at the following posts to see who/what the CPSO actually is and who/what his/her hard-earned money (no benefits, pension or other perks) is funding.  When analyzing “the College” and its “Employees”, “Respect” is not a word most would use in connection with many College Employees, Council Members and various others on CPSO’s generous payroll. :




It’s not unthinkable that DoctorsOntario –  after dealing with the OMA, will direct its full attention to the CPSO  (see link).



Actually the College appears frightened to meet physicians one-on-one. It is said that Registrar Rocco Gerace once refused to see a certain disgruntled female pysician regarding a disagreement.  She had come to the College and wished to see him personally to have a rational, adult conversation instead of relying on “correspondence” between herself and the College.  Rocco was available, however, he became frightened and panicked when it became evident he was meeting with a woman who clearly wasn’t in the least intimidated or impressed by him. Not used to being confronted so directly, he went into his office and closed the door, not coming out until the coast was clear. The physician’s resolve was to be admired. Women don’t want to wait for Committees to settle disputes or disagreements; they want to identify what’s wrong and settle the matter …..   fast!  How on earth would we raise our children if we couldn’t settle simple disputes on the spot ?! 

Some male physicians have requested personal interviews to discuss minor problems with College Employees or its Registrar in the past. They have been rebuffed. Heaven forbid a simple problem should be resolved easily and cheaply when it could be done expensively, taking ample time and manpower. The College much prefers to communicate via “formal”correspondence, intended to intimidate  –   not solve anything  –  while ensuring the proper Committees and its Members continue to be fed a steady stream of “work”,  justifying the existence of the CPSO and its many hangers-on. See link below for just one example:





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