Back to All News & Events

New Advice to the Profession: Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination

Back to Messenger
Advice to the Profession, December Messenger 2023, Physician Assistants, Physicians | Posted December 14, 2023
Read time: 3 minutes

Racism and discrimination continue to be common in healthcare settings. This undeniable and unacceptable reality leads to adverse patient outcomes and decreased well-being of healthcare providers, which impacts physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

CPSA stands firmly against racism and discrimination in all forms. Racism and discrimination violate CPSA’s Code of Ethics and Professionalism, constitute unprofessional conduct and are prohibited by law. Just as we are working towards becoming an anti-racism and anti-discrimination organization, CPSA expects regulated members to educate themselves on anti-racism and anti-discrimination, reflect on their personal actions or behaviours, and ensure their practices are safe and respectful for patients and colleagues.

After much research, thought and collaboration with our partners, CPSA has published a new advice document for regulated members on anti-racism and anti-discrimination. Read on for highlights from this important resource.

Anti-racism and anti-discrimination practices

There are many practices and actions regulated members can take related to anti-racism and anti-discrimination, such as:

  • Accessing training and education on topics such as cultural humility, cultural safety, unconscious bias, trauma-informed practice, racism and micro-aggressions.
  • Self-reflecting on how your actions impact patients, care teams and facility staff.
  • Identifying and addressing racist and discriminatory practices, actions and behaviours.
  • Taking a holistic approach to patients: when providing care, consider cultural and traditional practices, social determinants of health, institutional and social structures, historical context and environmental factors.
Did you know CPSA, the Alberta Medical Association and Alberta Health Services partnered to create an online training course for physicians on micro-aggressions? Find out more about the course and how to access it.

Working in healthcare teams

Regulated members must act respectfully towards every member of their healthcare team. While sometimes difficult to hear, feedback from colleagues about racism and discrimination is an opportunity to learn. We encourage all regulated members to be open-minded about how their actions may affect others.

If you are subject to or witness discrimination, racism, or related practices or behaviours from another regulated healthcare professional, we encourage you to address this in your workplace, in accordance with workplace policies.

If it feels safe to do so, consider speaking up while knowing people learn best in a respectful conversation. If it does not feel safe, remove yourself from the situation and speak to a leader within your workplace. You can also reach out to CPSA or another regulatory body as appropriate.

Racism or discrimination from patients

Everyone is entitled to safe workplaces and interactions. Regulated members are not expected to tolerate racist or discriminatory practices, behaviours or attitudes from patients, or their families or caregivers. If needed, refer to CPSA’s Terminating the Physician-Patient Relationship standard of practice, along with your workplace policies where applicable.


The consequences of racism and discrimination in healthcare are wide-ranging: inadequate provision of care, reduced access to care, poorer health outcomes, toxic work environments, healthcare provider burnout and distrust in the healthcare system. It is important for regulated members to educate themselves in these areas and act in ways that are safe for patients and colleagues.

CPSA will act within our role as the regulator when concerns of racism or discrimination are brought forward, using the appropriate tools in the context of each situation. Actions may include education and training, professional development, investigation, discipline, updates to standards of practice or policy development.

If you have any questions, please contact

CPSA would like to thank the members of the Anti-Racism Anti-Discrimination Action Advisory Committee (ARADAAC) for their guidance and support on the development of this Advice to the Profession document. We are honoured and humbled by their dedication and support of CPSA as we work towards becoming an anti-racism and anti-discrimination organization. To learn more about ARADAAC and CPSA’s commitment to equity in health care, please visit our website.

Comments for this post are now closed. If you would like to share your feedback on this topic, please email