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New Medical Act

The new provincial Medical Act came into effect January 1. With the proclamation of this legislation there have been a number of changes in licence categories.The names of certain categories of licence have also changed. Changes to the type of licence physicians hold do not change their scope of practice.

There are now three registers maintained at the College:

  1. Full Medical Register: Only physicians with a full licence, entirely free of restrictions or conditions, are maintained on the Full Medical Register. The only exception is when physicians have a voluntarily restricted their scope of practice.
  2. Conditional Register: The Conditional Register holds all physicians with any condition or restrictions on their licence.
  3. Educational Register: The Educational Register applies to physicians in training such as residents and fellows. As well, we maintain a list of medical students.

The new Medical Act also mandates that all licensed physicians:

  1. have medical liability insurance, such as that provided by CMPA; and
  2. participate in a program of continuing medical education through the CFPC’s MAINPRO or the Royal College’s MOC

The changes within the new Act bring the province in line with emerging pan-Canadian standards and nomenclature for licensure. It is hoped that these changes will facilitate physician mobility within the country.

If you have any questions regarding your licence please contact the College at: .

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Methadone Maintenance Summit

The Methadone Maintenance Support Program (MMSP) is a peer-review initiative of the College and the Atlantic Mentor Network for Pain and Addiction .

The College in partnership with the Department of Health and Wellness (DHW) held the second Nova Scotia Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) Prescribers Summit in November. The Summit goal was to identify opportunities to improve and coordinate opioid dependence treatment (ODT) in Nova Scotia. Most of the 60 attendees were physicians who are MMT prescribers across the province.

The Summit agenda included presentations on:

  • an update on the current state of opioid dependence treatment in the province
  • chronic pain in the context of opioid addiction
  • concurrent disorders in patients with opioid use disorder
  • challenges in implementing the CPSNS Methadone Maintenance Guidelines
  • an expert panel review of case studies

Work on the next edition of the Methadone Maintenance Treatment Handbook including input from the Summit participants, is underway.

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Physician Assessment

In 2015, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia (CPSNS) will transition from its current peer assessment process, the Nova Scotia Physician Achievement Review (NSPAR), to an enhanced peer review program. Dr. Graham Bullock, Medical Director of the College’s Physician Performance Department will be leading the team developing an enhanced assessment program.

Physicians who are in the process of completing an NSPAR review are expected to complete the process to the satisfaction of the program and the College. Any physician that completes their review will receive their final report from Pivotal Research. Upon completion of these reviews, NSPAR will cease to operate.

For the past 10 years, the NSPAR program has provided Nova Scotia physicians with valuable feedback about their practices. The rich source of knowledge and evidence provided by the program will be used to inform the next iteration of peer review at the College.

As we plan our transition to enhanced peer review, the CPSNS has concluded that assessing the complexity of a physician’s practice will be best met through a program that employs multiple assessment modalities, triangulated to provide the richest possible assessment of each practising physician.

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Policy Regarding the Content and Maintenance of Medical Records

The quality of patient care depends on well-maintained patient records. Please review the College policy regarding a physician’s obligations for the content and maintenance of medical records .

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Practising Medicine in Nova Scotia: A Physician Checklist (PDF)
A physician practising medicine in Nova Scotia must ensure that they fulfill all mandatory medical regulatory requirements. This document provides a checklist along with a concise summary of such requirements.

The Opioid Manager
The Opioid Manager is designed to be used as a point of care tool for providers prescribing opioids for chronic non-cancer pain. (McMaster University National Pain Centre)

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