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Position Statement: Appropriate Use of Family Medicine Terminology


Approved November 28, 2019

The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) is aware of instances of non-medical professionals misleading the public by employing terms such as family practice, family medicine, and primary care physician. This is a concerning trend where terms are appropriated by those who do not have the medical education and training possessed by family physicians. Also, by calling themselves family medicine practitioners they may confuse the public.

The CFPC is strongly opposed to this misrepresentation. When anyone in Canada goes to a family practice, they must be able to count on receiving high-quality, evidence-based care from family physicians trained to meet the health care needs of their patients and communities in collaboration with their interprofessional team colleagues. For the CFPC and for patients, the CCFP Special Designation is a mark of excellence that recognizes family doctors’ commitment to lifelong learning and to upholding the principles of family medicine.

The CFPC is continuing to work with partners across Canada to protect the use of family medicine terminology. This not only supports family doctors but also protects our patients.

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