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Retiring Physicians Regarding Licensing and Notification

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Guidelines for Retiring Physicians Regarding Licensing and Notification


This document applies to physicians who close their clinical practice or a portion of their clinical practice.

Please note that non-clinical work, committee service and other activities in which a physician may be called upon to provide a professional opinion, may require a medical licence and liability coverage. Physicians are encouraged to contact the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) in this regard.


  1. Contacting the College before Retirement
    Physicians are responsible for notifying the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia in writing of their intention to retire. Physicians who do not notify the College of their intentions will be sent a renewal on an annual basis (November of each year) and will be expected to apply for licence renewal.The College requests that retiring physicians provide the following information in writing:

    • effective date of retirement;
    • location and/or custodian of patient records; and,
    • current home address (office address will be deleted from the Medical Register).

    Physicians who retire from the practice of medicine and give up their licence:

    • must request in writing that their name be removed from the Medical Register;
    • are placed on the Retired Listing in the Medical Register;
    • do not pay an annual licensing fee;
    • are not eligible to serve on Committees of Council unless permitted by Committee Terms of Reference;
    • cannot practice medicine, diagnose or treat patients or prescribe medications; and,
    • cannot represent themselves as being authorized to practice medicine in Nova Scotia to the public, lawyers, tribunals or the courts.

    Upon retirement, physicians who are directors of medical corporations should contact the College at 902-422-5823 regarding your corporation permit. Physicians are also advised to consult their lawyer, their accountant and the Registry of Joint Stock Companies.

  2. Continuing Care
    Before retiring, physicians are responsible for making arrangements for continuity of patient care, custodianship of patient records, and access by patients to their records and review and action upon outstanding reports and/or test results. Complete information is contained in the College’s Policy Regarding the Content and Maintenance of Medical Records and Guidelines Regarding Advertising and Public Communications by Physicians.
  3. Notification

Retiring physicians should personally ensure that the following organizations and individuals are notified of their upcoming retirement:

  • Patients; (via mail, newspaper ads, direct conversation, etc.)
  • Colleagues and referring physicians; (via mail, internal notice, etc.)
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia (902) 422-5823
  • Canadian Medical Protective Association 1-(800)267-6522
  • Doctors Nova Scotia (902) 468-1866;
  • Medical Services Insurance of Nova Scotia (MSI) (902) 468-9700;
  • Hospitals where they hold privileges; and,
  • Nova Scotia Prescription Monitoring Program (NSPMP). Physicians should contact NSPMP directly at (902) 496-7123 to arrange for the proper disposal of any unused triplicate prescription pads.

Document History

Approved by Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia: May 22, 2015

First Approved by the Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia on: March, 2009

Approximate date of next review: May 2018