Network, network and network
The best way to find a family physician is to ask everyone you know. Approach family, friends and business associates and put out the word that you're looking for a physician. If you belong to a service organization or a social or sports club, check the roster. There are bound to be a few physician members. Ask them for a recommendation.
That's what Chris Madill did. After graduating from Queen's University he found himself in Kingston, Ont., having to manage his asthma without the continuing care of a regular physician. So he asked everyone he knew. On his behalf, a work colleague inquired of a doctor who played in the same recreational soccer league. While this doctor wasn't accepting new patients, he made an exception to help a friend of a friend. As with many things in life, it's who you know that often matters most.
Allied health professionals
Ask your local pharmacist, optician, dentist, audiologist, sports therapist and trainer if they're aware of any family physicians planning to open a clinic or new practice in your area. They may also be able to direct you to an established physician who is "quietly" taking on new patients.
Walk-in clinics, hospital outreach programs and associations or societies that promote research into a specific disease or condition are also good places to begin your search for a physician.
Provincial and Territorial medical associations
Another source of information and guidance on finding a physician is your provincial medical association. The following three have easy-to-use websites with a directory search feature that provides you with the names, specialities and locations of all the doctors in your area who are accepting new patients.
1. College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C.
Tel: (604) 733-7758
Fax: (604) 733-3503
Using the Physician Search feature revealed the names and addresses of 43 doctors in the Vancouver area who were currently accepting new patients.
2. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta
Tel: (780) 423-4764
Fax: (780) 420-0651
On this site, as an example, a quick search provided the names of 27 doctors in the Lethbridge area who were accepting new patients.
3. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
Tel: (416) 967-2626
Fax: (416) 961-3330
With the aid of the sophisticated search tools on this site, a user was quickly referred to physicians accepting new patients. These included 66 physicians in the city of Brampton, seven in the town of Ajax, and three in one central Toronto postal district.
The following six provincial sites feature directories that provide the names, addresses and phone numbers of physicians, but they do not indicate whether they are currently accepting new patients.
1. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba
Tel: (204) 774-4344
Fax: (204) 774-0750
2. Collège des médecins du Québec
Tel: (514) 933-4441
Fax: (514) 933-3112
3. College of Physicians and Surgeons of New Brunswick
Tel: (506) 849-5050
Fax: (506) 849-5069
4. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia
Tel: (902) 422 5823
Fax: (902) 422 5035
This site directs you to the Physician Referral Service of the Nova Scotia Department of Health, which "helps individuals find family health practitioners who are accepting new patients."
5. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador
Tel: (709) 726-8546
Fax: (709) 726-4725
The site features an interactive physician search engine, in which residents can locate a family doctor in their community who is accepting new patients.
The following five sources list government-provided health services and contact numbers but don't offer information on individual physicians.
1. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan
Tel: (306) 244-7355
Fax: (306) 244-0090
2. Nunavut Health and Social Services
3. Yukon Health and Social Services
Tel: (867) 667-3673
Fax: (867) 667-3096
4. Northwest Territories Medical Association
Tel and Fax: (867) 920-4575
5. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of P.E.I.
Tel: (902) 566-3861
Fax: (902) 566-3986
The following website may also be useful:
This site presents readings, writings and research on selected subjects, including astrology, medical marijuana, memes, finding a doctor, and surgical and treatment wait times by province. The cluttered layout and general "busyness" of the site may not appeal to everyone.
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