Bylaw amendments

Proposed amendments: associate physician and USA certified

On February 23, 2024, the College Board approved proposed amendments to the Bylaws under the Health Professions Act, RSBC 1996, c.183 (HPA) specifically, the below sections related to registration.

  1. Associate physician – acute care (section 2-25) and associate physician – community primary care (section 2-26)

    These are housekeeping amendments. As the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) has ceased delivering the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part II, it is proposed that the Bylaws be amended to provide that applicants to these classes be licentiates of the MCC or have successfully completed a medical licensing examination in the USA, acceptable to the Registration Committee. 
     
  2. Associate physician – surgical assistant (new section 2-XX)

    The proposed amendment includes the addition of a new class of registration namely, the “associate physician – surgical assistant” class. This class provides a route to registration for international medical graduates (IMG) who are not eligible for a full or provisional licence in BC, in order to provide much-needed service in acute care settings.

    Associate physicians will not be licensed for independent practice and must not act as the most responsible physician. Associate physicians will work in teams as employees of a regional health authority under the direction and supervision of an attending physician on the full class of registration. 

    To be registered in this class, an IMG must have a medical degree, at least one year of postgraduate training as a medical or surgical specialist or as a general practitioner (including four weeks of surgical training excluding obstetrics and gynecology), and the LMCC (licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada). Their application for registration must be preceded by a detailed written request from one of the regional health authorities. 
     
  3. USA certified (section 2-27)

    In early 2023, bylaw amendments relating to the new class of registration, the “USA certified” class, were filed with the Ministry. This class enables USA-trained physicians who are not eligible for full or provisional licensure in BC to practise in BC without having to undergo further assessment or additional training. At that time, the College recognized that, in order to be eligible for this class, USA-trained physicians must have completed three years of accredited postgraduate training in a training program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and achieved certification in pediatrics, emergency medicine, or internal medicine with the American Board of Medical Specialties.

    The College has been requested to consider opportunities for USA-trained physicians in the specialty of psychiatry to be registered for independent practice in BC without having to undergo further assessment or training. Currently, USA-trained psychiatrists are not eligible for registration in either the full or provisional class in BC given their inability to access the certification examinations of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (this is due to the length of training—the training program in the USA is four years whereas the training program in Canada is five years). The route towards licensure as a specialist in the USA is completion of the US Medical Licensing Exam post medical school following which the trainee would complete an accredited residency program. In the final year of an American residency, while applicants are eligible to apply to sit the American Board Exams which are run by the American Board of Medical Specialties, completion of these Board Exams is not necessary for clinical practice.

    It is proposed that this section be amended to include USA-trained psychiatrists who have obtained their American Board Exams.

Submit comments by July 4, 2024

In accordance with section 19(6.2)(a)(i) of the HPA, notice of the proposed bylaw amendments will be posted for a three-month notification period, providing registrants and other interested parties the opportunity to review and comment.

Comments can be submitted to the following:

College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia
Registrar and CEO
Email to respond to associate physician: bylaw21@cpsbc.ca
Email to respond to USA certified: bylaw22@cpsbc.ca
Fax: 604-733-3503

Ministry of Health
Director, Regulatory Initiatives
Professional Regulation and Oversight Branch
Email: proregadmin@gov.bc.ca

The legislation that provides a common regulatory framework for health professions in BC
The College Bylaws under the Health Professions Act
Additional resources to help patients understand regulation of medical practice in BC