The College requests that retiring physicians send a letter advising them of:
the date your retirement becomes effective
how to contact you once retired (address, phone number)
the location of your patient’s medical records and arrangements you have made for continuing access to information in your patient records
The College specifies, under Bylaw 46, Section 6, the requirements for storage of medical records upon retirement. The CMPA recommends that medical records be retained for 15 years after the last date of service, or 15 years after reaching the age of majority, whichever is later.
As of May 1, 2005, The Limitations Act extended to 15 years, from the previous two years, the limitation period for launching legal action against a physician. For patients who are minors, the 15-year limitation period begins upon reaching the age of majority, currently 18, which means that the limitation period for any child born after May 1, 2005 will be 33 years.
Upon retirement a physician may continue membership with the College of Physicians and Surgeons on an “inactive” basis. Inactive membership does not convey any practice privileges.
Notification of Patients
It is important to notify your patients 2-3 months in advance of your planned departure. Outlining your date of departure and the procedure whereby patients might obtain a copy of their medical record or transfer a copy of the records to a new attending physician is important. This notification may be made by way of one or more of the following:
an individual letter to each patient
a clearly visible notice in the office, waiting room or examination rooms
a statement on the voicemail of the office or clinic
a notice in the local newspaper