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May 12, 2015

Maintaining Physician Competence and Professionalism: Canada’s Fine Balance

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 3Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 4Division of General Internal Medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
JAMA. 2015;313(18):1825-1826. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.3705

In 1776, while fighting for independence from British rule, Americans framed a Constitution that championed “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” To the north, however, 9 decades elapsed before Canada’s provinces persuaded their colonial masters to pass the British North America Act and created a federation with “peace, order, and good government” as the unofficial motto. These deep-seated political differences persist in health care governance, as evidenced by Canada’s more regimented and cautious approach to maintaining competence and professionalism for the approximately 80 000 physicians practicing in Canada.