Expectations and Outcomes

What you should know about your involvement in the process if you complain about a physician to the College:

  • Where your complaint concerns a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of a physician’s actions, you may be encouraged to communicate with the physician directly or play an active role in our attempts to resolve your concern.
  • If you wish your concern to be addressed through our complaints process, you will be asked to submit your complaint in writing before it will be investigated.
  • The physician who is the subject of the complaint will be provided with a copy of your written complaint.
  • It is unlikely that your relationship with the physician who is the subject of your complaint will continue.
  • The College has authority to access your medical information to investigate your complaint, but it is our general practice to ask for your consent to release the information to the College;
  • You may be asked to meet with a medical consultant, investigator or the College’s legal counsel to review your complaint and/or describe any further involvement on your part.

What the College can do to address concerns:

  • In some cases, the College may be able to facilitate an acknowledgement and/or an apology from a physician who recognizes the validity of a concern raised in the complaint against him/her.
  • Most physicians take the advice or criticism provided by the College seriously and take steps to improve.
  • The College believes that in many circumstances remediation is an effective way for doctors to improve.
  • Where a complaint highlights the need for a physician to change his/her behavior or to improve some aspect of his/her practice, the College may facilitate assessment and re-training if required.
  • In circumstances where the conduct on the part of a physician represents a serious error, omission or transgression that the physician is not prepared to acknowledge, the College may pursue formal disciplinary action against that physician in order to adequately protect the public.  In circumstances where a physician is unwilling to consider a behavioral change, assessment or re-training or where a physician is a repeat offender and/or has failed to act on the College’s direction regarding re-training or behavioral change, disciplinary action may be the only recourse.
  • The College has the authority to restrict or take away a physician’s right to practice where it has determined that a physician is not fit to practice medicine for reasons such as he/she is too ill to practice safely, is not competent or has committed a serious act of professional misconduct and his/her continued practice puts the public at risk.

What the College can’t do to address concerns:

  • The College does not handle general complaints regarding medical matters or concerns about other health care professionals.  We can only take action where concerns relate to individual physicians who are practicing in Manitoba.  Concerns or complaints about other healthcare professionals should be directed to the appropriate professional regulatory body;
  • The College does not have the authority to:
    • obtain financial compensation for complainants;
    • compel a physician to provide the treatment a complainant wants;
    • arrange for alternative medical care or a referral to a specialist;
    • make a doctor apologize to a complainant.