Practice Advice & Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answer to your question below or contact the Practice Advisors for free and anonymous advice.

Practice Advisors College of Physiotherapists of Ontario - Fiona Campbell, Shari Hughes, Kelly Schmitt and Kirsten Pavelich

Anyone can contact the College for confidential practice advice. The College has a team of physiotherapists ready to answer your call or email and you can ask about anything related to physiotherapy.

Not sure what rule applies? Ask the Practice Advisor. Looking for something on the website and can't find it? Dealing with a tough ethical dilemma and need to talk it through? Call 647-484-8800 or 1-800-583-5885 (extension 241) or email

Get in touch with the Practice Advisors

Practice Advice Question


Some patients smell strongly of cigarettes. Can I refuse to treat them?


No, you must continue to treat them.

You cannot discontinue needed treatment just because a patient smells bad, but you can take steps to improve the situation. Have a discussion with the patient. Describe the issue as objectively and respectfully as possible and offer a suggestion. For example, your clothing smells strongly of cigarettes and it is impacting my ability to provide treatment to you. Is it possible for you to bring some freshly washed clothes to change into when you arrive for your appointment?

For further details, the Providing or Refusing Care Standard outlines the criteria for discharging patients.

Providing or Refusing Care Standard