News Release June 20, 2023

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of PEI (CPSPEI) serves the Public by regulating the province’s medical profession in accordance with Legislation (Regulated Health Professions Act and the Medical Practitioners Regulations). The regulation of physicians includes licensing qualified and competent physicians to practice in PEI and the investigation and resolution of physician related complaints.

In response to access issues within Health Care, the College has been working closely with the other Atlantic Colleges, the Department of Health and Wellness, Health PEI and the Medical Society to forward changes in physician mobility and licensing that maintains the highest standard of care and allows improved access for Islanders.

The Atlantic Registry is an initiative to assist with physician mobility. As of May 1st, physicians who hold a full general license in any of the Atlantic Provinces, may opt-in to the Registry, allowing them to work in all four Atlantic Provinces. This improves mobility and reduces the administrative burden for physicians. The Atlantic Registry is currently being examined on a national level as a model of multi-jurisdictional licensure with several Provinces from outside our region considering joining the Registry.  

For background, in determining whether an applicant has the necessary credentials for licensure in PEI, the College looks at whether they graduated from an accredited medical school, have successfully completed medical exams, number of years and type of post-graduate training, currency of practice, and whether they hold certification in Family Medicine or a Specialty. For applicants from outside of Canada, we rely on the National Colleges, the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), to evaluate whether the applicant’s training is similar to Canadian training.

New legislation came into effect June 17, 2023, allowing changes in the requirements for licensure and creating new categories of healthcare providers here in PEI.

For Family Medicine, the legislative changes allow a streamlined process for physicians who trained in the US, United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. For non-Canadian trained physicians outside of those four jurisdictions, they will be required to have their training evaluated by the CFPC prior to licensure, as they did previously.

For Specialists, the changes allow American trained Board-certified physicians as well as physicians coming from 29 jurisdictions in 7 countries currently recognized by RCPSC, a streamlined approach. Like Family Medicine, non-Canadian trained physicians from outside the identified jurisdictions, will require their training to be evaluated by the RCPSC prior to licensure.

The legislative changes also permit new categories of healthcare providers to work within our system, Associate Physicians and Physician Assistants. They will work with and be supervised by physicians currently licensed in PEI.

Associate Physicians are physicians who have certification in their home country in Family Medicine or a Specialty and are waiting to have their training assessed by the National Colleges or do not qualify for independent license.

Physician Assistants are healthcare professionals who are not physicians. They have graduated from an accredited Physician Assistant Program and have successfully completed National examinations. They are currently being used in 5 Provinces.  

Access to Health Care is a national problem with solutions being sought in a number of areas including retention of existing physicians, changing practice models (collaborative medical homes), the assessment of Internationally trained physicians and the increase in Canadian medical school seats and Residency positions. The Atlantic Registry and new legislation are significant steps in improving access.  

The College will continue to work closely with the Department of Health and Wellness, Health PEI and the Medical Society in further initiatives and programs to improve Health Care for Islanders.

G Carruthers MD CCFP FCFP
Registrar, College of Physicians and Surgeons of PEI


Medical Practitioners Regulations, (RHPA) – Current to June 17, 2023

Physician Assistants Regulations, (RHPA) – Current to June 17, 2023