If you are currently a CMPA member, and plan to take an extended leave from your practice (e.g., sabbatical, parental leave, or training outside the country), you may interrupt or end your membership by contacting the CMPA. You will not be eligible for assistance for any medico-legal difficulties arising from medical care provided during your membership interruption.
If you interrupt your membership for less than 12 calendar months and want to reactivate your membership, you do not have to complete a membership reactivation form. Simply notify the CMPA via webmail or phone.
If you interrupt your membership for more than 12 months and want to reactivate your membership, you must complete and submit a membership reactivation form before your reactivation date as described in the Reactivate membership section.
You must notify the CMPA in the following circumstances:
- Your medical licence expires
- Your medical licence is suspended
- You completed your training program
- You are leaving Canada for an extended period
Important information about licensure
You must advise your regulatory authority (College) when you interrupt or end your CMPA membership. Contact your respective medical regulatory authority (College) if you have any questions about maintaining medical liability protection as a condition of licensure.
Keep your contact and banking information up to date
It is imperative that you keep the CMPA advised of any changes to your contact information in the event of a medico-legal difficulty arising years after you have ended your membership. If you are leaving Canada, please make sure you provide a forwarding address.
Similarly, you must keep your banking information up to date in case the CMPA needs to refund you or collect funds.
A word of caution:
Maintain your CMPA membership during your absence in the following circumstances:
- You want to maintain your medical licence.
- You may be required to maintain professional liability protection as a condition of licensure or employment. You should contact your medical regulatory authority (College or licensing body) or regional health authority to ascertain whether or not you need to maintain professional liability protection in your circumstances.
- You do any medical work, including reviewing laboratory results or prescribe any medication.
- If you are practising in a non-surgical capacity, choose type of work code 35 —Family medicine or general practice (excluding anesthesia, obstetrics (labour and delivery), shifts in the emergency department, and surgery).
- If you are in a specialty type of work code, contact the CMPA.
- You continue to use your provincial billing number for such things as laboratory work or other procedures.
- You should maintain membership in at least type of work code 20 — Administrative medicine (Medical executive or advisor)—no prescriptions, no clinical or patient contact.
- You are an owner or part-owner of a medical clinic or medical corporation, you should maintain CMPA membership during your absence in order that both you as an individual and your clinic or corporation remain eligible for assistance.
- Each owner or part-owner of the clinic is required to be a CMPA member in order for the entity (clinic or corporation) to be eligible for CMPA protection. This protection generally also extends to eligible staff employed at the clinic provided they do not see patients independently. For further details, see Assistance to clinics and facilities.
- If you engage in any medical work, you should select the appropriate type of work code, usually defined as your practising code.
- If you are not engaging in any medical work or clinical activity, you should select the lowest fee code suitable. This may be type of work code 20 Administrative medicine (Medical executive or advisor)—no prescriptions, no clinical or patient contact.
You do not require medical liability protection if you are no longer practising any medical work or do not have an active licence, and do not own in whole or in part, a medical clinic or corporation.
Contact your respective medical regulatory authority (College) if you have any questions about maintaining medical liability protection as a condition of licensure.
If your professional work consists entirely of locum tenens appointments and you anticipate regular interruptions in membership, contact the CMPA to make the necessary adjustments. Refer to Flexible date membership option.
Medico-legal difficulties can arise years after you have interrupted your membership. As such, it is imperative that the CMPA be able to contact you even after your membership has ended. Please remember to advise CMPA of any changes to your contact information.
If you believe you are entitled to a refund, please contact the CMPA. Membership fees can only be prorated to a full month. If you participate in a provincial reimbursement program, you are responsible for notifying the appropriate reimbursement organization of any CMPA refund you receive.
The CMPA's occurrence-based protection means that even after you retire, you will continue to be eligible for CMPA assistance at no additional cost. If medico-legal difficulties arise from medical professional activities performed while you were a CMPA member, you and your estate remain eligible for assistance.
Clinics and medical corporations
Clinics and medical corporations can be named as defendants in litigation. For a clinic to be eligible for assistance in medico-legal difficulties, all of its physician owners must be CMPA members. Active licensure is a requirement of CMPA membership. If you are a physician owner (or part-owner) of a clinic or facility and you retire from medical practice, you must dispose of all ownership shares or proprietary interest, as well as that of any family member, within three years from the date of your retirement in order for the clinic or facility to remain eligible for assistance. However, while you retain ownership, you must remain a member of the CMPA in the type of work code with the lowest fee suitable for that purpose, even if you no longer practise. Refer to the most current principles regarding CMPA assistance to clinics and facilities.
What happens if, as a retired physician, you act as a good Samaritan to assist a sick or injured person?
In the CMPA's view, you need not retain a CMPA membership solely for this possibility. To the best of the CMPA's knowledge, no lawsuit has ever been brought in Canada against a physician acting purely as a good Samaritan.
If you have questions, please contact us by phone:
Within Canada: 1-800-267-6522
Ottawa area: 613-725-2000