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CPSO seeking input for Complementary Medicine policy review

July 13, Toronto, ON – The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is seeking input from integrative physicians, natural/manual medicine practitioners and the public at large to assist in reviewing and proposing revisions to its complementary medicine policy.

July 15, 2010  By Massage Therapy Canada

This review is being
conducted as part of the College’s regular policy review process. 

A Working Group, composed
of both physician and public members of Council, has been struck to review the
Complementary Medicine policy and input will also be accepted from non-physicians
practitioners of natural/manual therapies. The Working Group will then evaluate
and propose revisions to the
policy. Final decisions about policy content are made by College Council. 

The Complementary
Medicine policy was originally developed in the mid
1990s. It articulates broad
statements of expectation for the medical profession related to three core components: assessing
patients, treating patients, and advancing knowledge. 


Since the development of
the Complementary Medicine policy, the environment has changed significantly. A
number of new regulatory bodies have been created to govern professions considered
broadly to be ‘complementary’: Naturopathy, Homeopathy and Traditional Chinese
Medicine and Acupuncture, to name a few. As well, since the mid
‐1990s, the popularity and
use of complementary therapies has increased dramatically; many patients access
complementary therapies to address health concerns, or to maintaina healthy lifestyle. 

The Working Group will
consider these new developments, along with the experiences of other medical regulatory
bodies, and feedback from this consultation. Its goal, which is shared by Council, is to
ensure that College policy is responsive to practice issues, embodies the values and duties of
medical professionalism, and is consistent with the College’s mandate to protect the

The policy review process
for the Complementary Medicine policy is in its early stages. To assist with this process,
the CPSO would like to hear your thoughts on our current policy, along with any
suggestions you may have for how the policy can be improved. More specifically:

  • Does the policy provide
    useful guidance?
  • Are there any issues not included in the current
    policy that should be addressed? If so, what are they?
  • How could the policy be

Your comments will be
considered by the Working Group and will help to determine what policy revisions may be
required. You will have a second opportunity to participate later in the policy review
process. Once the Working Group has developed a revised draft policy, all interested parties will
be invited to review that revised document, and provide comments before it is finalized by


If you’re interested in
this topic, the CPSO would like to hear from you.  Review the existing policy  at
and provide your comments in writing
1, 2010


College of Physicians and
Surgeons of Ontario, Policy Department –
Complementary Medicine, 80
College Street, Toronto
, ON
M5G 2E2

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