Patient-physician relationship

A helpful checklist outlining what patients can expect when visiting a BC physician.

What to expect

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia is committed to your protection and safety.  This is a summary of what you can expect when you visit a physician.


You can expect your physician to:

  • Treat you with dignity, courtesy and respect, and without discrimination
  • Always maintain a professional and respectful relationship
  • Always act with your best interest in mind
  • Not refuse to treat based on your race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, religion or creed, sex, sexual orientation, sexual preference, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status, disability or medical condition
  • Communicate clearly, openly and honestly
  • Clearly explain the rationale for an examination or procedure
  • Give you information about treatment options, even if those options may be contrary to the physician’s personal beliefs
  • Always get your consent to start or stop an examination or procedure, unless it is an emergency


You can expect your physician to:

  • Allow someone else of your choice to be present during the examination or procedure
  • Give you privacy to dress or undress for physical examinations or procedures
  • Provide you with a gown and/or cloth to drape yourself if you have to undress and only expose the areas that need to be examined or treated
  • Stop the examination or procedure if you don’t want to continue

Medical records

You can expect your physician to:

  • Protect the privacy and confidentiality of your personal health information
  • Maintain an accurate record that documents your medical history and care