How to Identify a Physician Organization
A physician organization is defined by the Royal College as a not-for-profit group of health professionals with a formal governance structure, accountable to and serving, among others, its physician members through
- continuing professional development,
- provision of health care, and/or
The physician organization is accountable to and serving, among others, its physician members through a governance structure that enables the membership to vote on strategic directions and initiatives of the organization as a whole.
Examples of physician organizations:
- faculties of medicine
- hospital departments or divisions
- medical societies, associations and academies
- physician research organizations
- health authorities not linked to government agencies
- Canadian provincial/territorial medical regulatory authorities (MRAs)
This definition excludes:
- pharmaceutical companies and their advisory groups;
- medical and surgical supply companies;
- medical device companies;
- communication companies: and,
- other for-profit organizations and ventures/activities.
Examples of other groups that are not considered physician organizations:
- disease-oriented patient advocacy organizations
- government departments or agencies (e.g. Health Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada)
- medical education or communications (MEC) companies
- for-profit online educators, publishing companies or simulation companies
- small groups of physicians working together to develop educational programming
If you are able to check each criterion, the organization meets the definition of a physician organization.
Name of Organization:
- ☐ The organization is not-for-profit.
Refer to the Canadian government website for federal corporations
- ☐ The organization has a governance structure such as a Board of Directors.
Refer to the “About Us” section on their website.
- ☐ The organization has a membership comprised of individual specialist physicians?
Refer to the “Membership” section on their website.
- ☐ Membership goes beyond receiving a newsletter.
- ☐ There is a membership that is not solely comprised of the Board of Directors.
- ☐ There is defined criteria on who is eligible to be a member.
- ☐ There are defined expectations of members such as payment of dues.
- ☐ The organization is accountable to a membership comprised of individual physicians.
Refer to their website to determine if they have an annual general meeting for their membership.
- ☐ The membership can vote at regularly scheduled meetings, such as annual general meetings, regarding strategic direction of the organization as a whole.
- Conferences and workshops
- Rounds, journal clubs and small groups
- Self-assessment programs
- Simulation activities
- List of accredited CPD activities
- Accredited CPD provider tools and resources
- CPD activity toolkit
CPD Accreditation Coordinator
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
774 Echo Drive
Ottawa ON K1S 5N8
Telephone: 613-730-2587; toll-free 1-800-668-3740, ext. 587