The College responds

All registrants are required under the Health Professions Act to provide a public address and phone number. There is no requirement to provide a fax number. 

Physicians not professionally active (for example, retired life registrants who are not eligible to re­activate licensure) will not appear in future editions of the Medical Directory. Practising physicians are listed in the Medical Directory in their licens­ed specialty. 

Through bylaw changes, we will soon be able to register physicians not practising within the scope of their specialty, such as those physicians doing only surgical assists, in a new “restricted” class of licence. The College does not have the resources or capacity to provide details in its directory as to who is or is not accepting referrals, wait times, etc. 

On a second issue, physicians who refer to consultants do have an obligation to ensure that the consultant is available. Faxing a referral letter mark­­ed “urgent” will hardly accomplish that. The College recommends following up on fax referrals with a telephone call to the consultant’s office.

As previously explained to Dr Ross, his best option is to unplug his fax machine and to delist his fax number.
—Heidi Oetter, MD
Registrar, College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia

Heidi M. Oetter, MD. The College responds. BCMJ, Vol. 53, No. 6, July, August, 2011, Page(s) 262 - Letters.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.

For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

Leave a Reply