Since the very start in 1868, the College has maintained a register of all physicians in the province. At that time, the register comprised of handwritten pages bound together as a softcover booklet. Now the register exists as an electronic database, and much of the information about College registrants is pushed in real time from the database to the website, making it available to the public in accordance with the Health Professions Act.
The online register (or directory) is the most popular feature of the College website. On any given day, more than 20,000 searches are conducted. This includes patients searching for a family physician, MOAs looking for specialists for referrals, or transcriptionists seeking contact information. Up until now, the College has displayed business contact addresses and phone numbers only, and those registrants who only provided the College with a home address have not appeared in the online register.
Starting in January 2014, in order to be compliant with current legislation, the College will be displaying home addresses in the online register—if that is the only address that has been provided. College registrants affected by this change have been communicated with directly advising them to update their profile by adding a business address and telephone number. A post office box is considered acceptable.
Additionally, to enable more efficient referrals, registrants should also be aware that starting in January 2014, the College will be displaying business fax numbers and MSP billing numbers on the public view of the online register. Previously, this information was only viewable by registrants who were logged in to the website. After contacting many other regulatory organizations, and conducting random searches of BC physician websites, it became clear that fax numbers are readily available in most circumstances, and hiding them behind a login process appeared unnecessary and cumbersome for those users, i.e. MOAs and other health professionals, who require them to do their business.
Note: Please ensure that the fax number you have provided to the College is a business fax number and not a home fax number. You can update your contact information at any time by logging in to the College website and clicking into your profile.
H.M. Oetter, MD
We hope registrants and other readers enjoy this new method of receiving College news. We welcome your feedback.