Retiring or Leaving Practice FAQs

December 05, 2022 |

1. What is the timeline for notifying patients if I am retiring or leaving practice?

Notice to patients in your practice (or their representatives) must be reasonable. A notice should be posted in the common areas of your office, add a pre-recorded message to your phone service, and place the notice on your website and social media platforms.


If your practice has further communication options, such as email lists, they can also be used to send out a general notice. The content requirements for the notice are in the Practice Management Standard of Practice.

Individual notice to patients with appointments booked

Practice Management Standard of Practice requires that individual notice be sent to patients who have an appointment booked or who call to arrange an appointment before you leave the practice.


Individual notice should also go to patients or their primary care provider (e.g., referring physician), where continuity of care will be significantly impacted. For example, long-term patients that rely on your care in the context of an established physician-patient relationship. This would not include sporadic or unanticipated calls.



2. Where/how do I store patient records? Can I store them at home?


You will need to maintain your patient records in accordance with CPSM’s Standard of Practice - Maintenance of Patient Records. Securing patient records in a home office may be reasonable if other requirements are met. You will need to review the Standard of Practice - Maintenance of Patient Records to ensure you are compliant.

CPSM cannot provide legal advice on whether you are compliant, as the provincial government also regulates personal health information (i.e., PHIA). You may seek advice or information from CMPA or Doctors Manitoba.


You are required to inform patients and CPSM about where their records will be. This is so they can access them and obtain copies if necessary or request copies be transferred to another trustee (see part 5 of the Standard of Practice - Maintenance of Patient Records). You are expected to keep original copies of patient records for the applicable retention period under the current Standard of Practice.



3. If I pass away or become unexpectedly unavailable, who should oversee the management of my patient records?

Having another CPSM registrant act as a successor trustee for your patient records is a requirement of the Standard of Practice. You should have the necessary paperwork in place (see section 4.29 of the Standard of Practice for Patient Records).


4. What do I need to provide CPSM with when retiring or leaving practice?

The CPSM Standards of Practice Regulation specifies the information you must be provided to CPSM. There are several reasons why CPSM requires this information, one of which is that it allows us to respond to questions when former patients come to us for information, including where they can find their records.


You can send your notice of retirement or plans to leave your practice to


5. Do I need to provide CPSM with a copy of the letter notifying patients of my leave of practice or retirement?

CPSM requires a copy of your general standardized notice (but not copies of the individualized letters). See Section 13 and Section 14(1)(b) of the CPSM Standards of Practice Regulation for details.

This information can be submitted to


6. What does I am to provide CPSM with information about to whom the notice was sent mean?

CPSM requires a general description of how the notice was sent (e.g., a standard letter to all patients in your system, posting of the notice, etc.). You should also include information you sent in individual notices as required by the CPSM Standards of Practice Regulation; however, CPSM does not require a list of patients.


7. What does CPSM consider “reasonable effort” for finding an appropriate replacement physician to whom I can transfer care?

There are professional expectations beyond the Standard of Practice - Practice Management that always apply regarding continuity of care. For patients with whom you have an established physician-patient relationship, you would be expected to:

a)    Make reasonable efforts to let them know you are leaving practice.

b)    In advance of your leaving practice, provide or arrange for a follow-up on any outstanding investigations you have ordered.

c)    Provide or arrange for care concerning any serious medical conditions or for necessary emergency care up to the date of your leaving practice as appropriate in the context of your current professional practice.

d)    Provide or arrange for any ongoing medications for a reasonable period.

e)    There should, of course, be a system in place to monitor for reports, correspondence, etc., that may come to your practice in the months following your leaving practice.

Alternate care coordination

We understand alternative care may not be immediately available in all cases, but it is helpful, when possible, to help find alternative care providers. If applicable, the notice to patients should include information about alternate care arrangements.   

If you are a specialist

Section 3.2.3. of the Standard of Practice includes, “If the registrant is a specialist, the care of the patient may, by agreement of the specialist and the referring registrant, be returned to the referring registrant.”

The best effort possible should be made to avoid abandonment of ongoing care.

It is prudent to notify to the primary care provider, in writing, indicating you are leaving practice or retiring. It would be for them to act in accordance with good care and professionalism respecting the patient, assuming the patient remains in their practice, which is not always the case (e.g., the referral arose from an episodic encounter).


8. Will my name still appear on the Physician Registry if I retire or leave my practice?

If you leave practice, your membership class will be amended to Regulated Member – Non-Practising and you will be removed from the Physician Profile Website at the end of the certificate of practice year (October 31).

If you retire, your membership class will be amended to Regulated Member – Retired and you will be removed from the Physician Profile Website at the end of the certificate of practice year (October 31), plus one additional year.


9. Are there any fees required from CPSM while my membership is in a non-practicing or retired class?

No fees are required by CPSM for a non-practicing class or retirement class of registration.

While in the non-practicing class or retirement class of registration, your registration never expires, but your certificate of practice (licence) expires on October 31.


10. What is the difference between the retirement class and non-practicing class?

There is no difference between the two classes of registration. See the next question for more details.


11. What if I decide to return to practice?

You must contact CPSM at least three weeks before returning to practice in Manitoba to complete the renewal requirements.

To return to practice, if you are in the retirement class or non-practicing class, you are required to provide:

-       update of information since the last date of practice

-       confirmation of your CMPA coverage

-       fees (if applicable)

If you are Inactive

If you have been out or practice for three or more years, you are considered inactive. Your application will be reviewed under CPSM Qualifications and Registration Practice Direction (see Sections 2.3.1 and 2.3.2).


12. What if I am still providing administrative duties (answering emails, reviewing charts, refilling prescriptions etc.)?

If you are still providing administrative duties requiring your medical degree, you are still practicing and must inform CPSM. Your status as Regulated Member Full Practicing class will need to remain active. 


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