April 29, 2011

Panellist Profile: Dr. Mary Watterson, Registrar, College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia

Administrative Law
News and Events
Professional Regulation

We continue profiling speakers on the regulatory panel for our conference. This week we introduce Mary Watterson, Dr. TCM.

TOPIC: PROTECTING THE PUBLIC – Challenges of Unauthorized Practice and Use of Title

Dr. Mary Watterson is the Registrar of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia (“CTCMA”).  The CTCMA is the regulatory body for the self-governing profession of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture. The College currently governs 1,500 registrants and 400 students, and continues to grow in membership each year.

A past and continuing challenge for this quickly growing College is the issue of unauthorized practice and use of title.  The College has responded to unauthorized practice and use of title infringements through voluntary agreements, and injunction and contempt applications to the Supreme Court under s. 52 of the Health Professions Act.  In the extraordinary case of CTCMABC v. Council of Natural Medicine College of Canada, 2009 FC 1110, the College brought an action in Federal Court and succeeded in obtaining an injunction, disgorgement of profits, and damages against an agency, and the expunging of that agency’s registered but invalid TCM-related trade-marks.

Dr. Watterson will speak about the College’s approach to unauthorized practice and balancing its work on this issue alongside with registration, inquiry and disciplinary matters, and address decision-making points in deciding whether to expend financial resources to obtain injunctions and engage in major title litigation.  She will also discuss how the College has controlled the costs of bringing multiple injunction applications, and taken action to stem unauthorized practice.

All self-governing regulatory bodies face the problem of unauthorized practice and use of title.  Come listen and participate in a discussion with Dr. Watterson and other panellists about how to manage this often prolific and potentially expensive problem.