Guidance for Family Members
Unfortunately, there are times when a physician experiences an unexpected illness which causes them to cease seeing patients or a sudden death. When either of these situations occur, there are practical and emotional things to consider:
- Staff and patients need to be informed immediately as alternate care is needed. If another physician can care for patients (even for a temporary period), indicate this in the communication. Also include information on the Manitoba Family Doctor Finder.
- To ensure your wishes are carried out, make a contingency plan while you are well and healthy. Connect with CMPA for support and consult with your financial advisor or MDFinancial for more information.
- A family member should contact CPSM to provide the date of death and information on where the medical records will be kept, if applicable, and how to retrieve them. It is an expectation that if a physician is in a solo practice that they would have something in place as to how the office/records will be managed. With a death of a physician the responsibility of the “trustee” of the patient records (if the physician is in a solo practice) will fall to the Executor.
- If possible, preplan as much as possible so family members are not left struggling or needing to make an excessive amount if decisions without your input. Some things to preplan for include:
- Ensuring you are adequately insured to care for your family
- Having an up to date will and estate plan
- Pre-planning your funeral and end of life wishes
- Ensuring your finances are in order and a trusted adult has access to your accounts and any relevant information. This could include making a detailed list with corresponding passwords.