Step by Step Through the Process

The Complaints Committee and the Investigation Committee must take certain steps in dealing with a complaint.  These requirements are set out in the College’s Complaints, Investigations & Appeals Practice Direction .

CPSM is committed to being fair and transparent in addressing complaints against physicians, physician assistants and clinical assistants.  What follows is an explanation of the process that will be followed if you submit a complaint to us about a physician, physician assistant or clinical assistant.

We receive your complaint

Upon receipt of your complaint, the Medical Consultant may contact you requesting further information or suggesting possible options to address your concern to your satisfaction. If no further information is required, your complaint will follow the formal process set out below and will be reviewed by the Complaints Committee. At this time, our Public Support Advisor may contact you to see if you have any questions about the process and/or to discuss community resources if necessary.

Please note that the Public Support Advisor may take notes during your discussions. Her notes and email correspondence are kept separate from the complaint file and only seen by her. Although CPSM would oppose any access to these documents, in rare instances involving legal proceedings it is possible that she may be ordered to share these documents.

We review the complaint

  1. Your written complaint will be sent to the physician.
  2. The physician has 30 days to provide a formal response including providing a copy of your medical record. If your concern relates to care received in another institution, we will obtain a copy of your records directly from that institution.
  3. When we receive the physician’s response, we will send it to you for your information. If you accept the physician’s explanation, you may choose to close your complaint. If not, you will have 30 days to provide your comments.
  4. Once we receive your reply, or after 30 days, a Medical Consultant will present your complaint, including your medical record, to the Complaints Committee at the next scheduled meeting.
  5. After the Complaints Committee reviews your complaint, there are a number of possible outcomes. The Committee may decide:
    • that the doctor’s care or behaviour was appropriate;
    • to remind, advise or criticize the doctor;
    • to refer your complaint to the Investigation Committee for further review.
  1. CPSM will send you a letter by registered mail once a decision has been made. If you move before the complaints process is complete, please make sure you give us your new address.

How long will the process take?

Completing the whole process can take several months.  We strive to be efficient without compromising the thoroughness of the review. If you wish, our Public Support Advisor will keep in touch with you throughout the process to answer any questions and let you know when important steps are completed.

What if I don’t agree with the decision?

If you are not satisfied with the decision, you can ask that your complaint be referred to the Investigation Committee.

Please provide reasons for your request.

This must be done in writing within 30 days of receiving the registered letter that includes the decision. The Regulated Health Professions Act outlines this process in subsection 108(2) and CPSM cannot change the deadline.