Collaborator | Medical Council of Canada
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As Collaborators, physicians work in partnership with others to achieve optimal patient care.*


Physicians work in partnership with others who are involved in the care of individual patients or specific groups of patients. This is increasingly important in a modern multi-professional environment where patient-centered care is a widely shared goal. Modern health care teams include not only a group of professionals working closely together at one site, such as a ward team, but also extended teams with a variety of perspectives and skills in multiple locations. It is therefore essential for physicians to be able to collaborate effectively with patients, families, and an inter-professional team of expert health professionals for education, scholarship, and the provision of optimal patient care.


  1. Collaborate effectively within the health care system
    1. Work effectively within the health care system, both in an institutional environment and in the community
    2. Explain how the organization, policies, and financing of the health care system impact collaborative patient care
    3. Discuss the role of, and work collaboratively with, community and social service agencies (e.g., schools, municipalities and non-governmental organizations) and local, provincial and national agencies/governments as appropriate to address the concerns at a population level.
    4. Participate effectively in and with health organizations, ranging from individual clinical practices to provincial organizations, exerting a positive influence on clinical practice and policy-making.
    5. Discuss the roles and services provided by government, social agencies, or community organizations in providing services to special populations.
  2. Consult effectively with physicians and other health care professionals to provide care for individuals, communities, and populations
    1. Explain how personal values, biases, and professional limitations impact the consultation process
    2. Recognize that the clinical situation requires expertise beyond one’s own, and determine the urgency
    3. Identify an individual or service with the required skill or expertise
    4. Communicate well in writing and/or orally with the consultant
    5. Ensure that the consultation takes place at an appropriate time and place
    6. Ensure that the consultant’s oral or written report is received
    7. Carry out recommendations as appropriate and/or ensure that transfer of care takes place
    8. Act responsibly and expeditiously when other health professionals request assistance
  3. Participate effectively on health care teams
    1. Explain the scope of practice and demonstrate respect for the expertise of each member of the team
    2. Describe and adapt to differences in team organization and function
      1. Agree on and implement team members’ responsibilities and roles, including leadership
      2. Implement protocols to ensure effective communication and accountabilities among team members, especially at times of patient care transition
    3. Demonstrate respect for team members without bias (e.g., bias related to gender, ethnicity, cultural background or health care role)
    4. Include the patient and family as part of the care team with the goal of appropriate degrees of shared decision-making
    5. Share patient information appropriately, while respecting confidentiality
    6. Contribute to intra- and inter-disciplinary teams related to institutional or other activities (e.g., quality assurance, educational committees)
  4. Manage conflict effectively
    1. Recognize and prevent tensions that may lead to conflict
    2. Use strategies to deal with conflict through negotiation and collaboration, while respecting the views and positions of others
    3. Seek help and advice when necessary, recognizing personal limitations in conflict resolution


* Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada