Evert Tuyp raises some interesting points in his letter about nonrecognized qualifications (BCMJ 2018;60:240). I appreciated the frank and honest editorial comment attesting that the BCMJ doesn’t have a robust policy on the topic. I wonder whether the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, or for that matter governing bodies such as the College of Family Physicians of Canada, have robust policies either. As this issue clearly affects patient safety, public trust, and physician accountability, one would expect them to.
Any policy should provide evidence that nonrecognized training being used in Canada is validated, ethical, and indeed appropriate for patient needs. I have seen many patients who tell me that they have “already seen the specialist” in a particular town, while I am aware that there is no such specialist there. What they had actually seen were proudly displayed certificates of training that is not recognized in Canada, and patients are often completely unaware that this is the case. Perhaps part of any College policy should be a requirement for such physicians to obtain informed written consent from patients acknowledging that they understand when a certificate and training is not recognized in Canada.
—Chris Sladden, FRCPC
This letter was submitted in response to “Nonrecognized qualifications.”
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