There is a family doctor shortage crisis across the province. Millions of people do not have a family doctor. Family doctors and their staff are working tirelessly to care for patients. Many are burnt out.

Most patients recognize this and are incredibly appreciative of the care we provide.

Some patients, however, are rude and even abusive. Such behaviours are an enormous contributor to the burnout we are experiencing.

In light of this era of profound burnout and under-appreciation, the health care system desperately needs patient accountability. Medical care requires teamwork and mutual respect. Patients play a role in their own health and behaviour. Doctors and their staff are not servants to be ordered around and obey demands.

Our clinic has always had a “Zero Tolerance Policy” regarding abuse. However, typically patients have been given warnings and lenience.

The time has come, though, to strictly enforce our Zero Tolerance Policy.

If a patient ever acts in a manner that is abusive, disrespectful, threatening, or harassing towards any member of our health care team, that patient will be immediately discharged from my practice.

There will literally be Zero Tolerance. There will be no further warnings nor second chances.

I appreciate that everyone has struggles. Everyone has bad days. However, that does not excuse anyone from misdirecting frustrations towards the very people who are trying to help.


Dr. Adam Stewart

July 9th, 2023