Dialogue Volume 14 Issue 1 2018 - Page 25

POLICY MATTERS Are you considering changing your scope of practice? Make sure you are familiar with College's updated expectations Y ou have been practising emer- gency medicine for three years when you decide to make your dream of focusing solely on sports medicine a reality. Well, before hanging out a new shingle, you will need to familiarize yourself with the expectations in the College’s recently updated policy that addresses intentions to change scope. If you plan on changing your scope of practice, the College needs to be assured that you will be able to practise safely. The recently approved policy, entitled Ensuring Competence: Changing Scope of Practice and/or Re-entering Practice, states that all physicians who wish to change their scope of practice and/or re-enter practice must report to the College their intent and must partici- pate in a College review process to demon- strate their competence in the area in which they intend to practise. After the review, the College will decide whether the physician, in fact, requires supervision and/or training. Decisions regarding training and/or supervision will be informed by a number of factors, including physician’s prior experience, training already taken, and continuing professional develop- ment already taken. A physician’s scope of practice is deter- mined by a number of factors, including: • education, training, and certification; • the patients the physician cares for; • the procedures performed; • the treatments provided; • the practice environment. The policy defines a change of scope as oc- curring when there is a significant change to any of these specified factors or when physi- cians wish to return to a scope of practice in which they have not practised for two consecutive years or more. Significant changes in scope of practice are all determined on a case-by-case basis. A change in scope of practice has been consid- ered by the College to be “significant” in the following circumstances: i.  Physicians completely change their type of practice (e.g., a surgeon wants to practise in family medicine); or ii.  Physicians are adding something to their practice that: a) t  hey have not done before, and b) i  s not something that is considered a usual part of the discipline (e.g., a pe- diatrician who wants to start working in an emergency department caring for adult patients); or iii. P  hysicians begin to practise in a location where the health-care system is sig- nificantly different from where they had been practising previously (e.g., an urban setting versus a rural setting) This policy does not apply to physicians who intend to change their scope of practice or intend to re-enter practice in positions focused on teaching, research, or administra- tion, where there is no assessment or treat- ment of patients. ISSUE 1, 2018 DIALOGUE 25