Find a family doctor in Canada

Read Canadian Living's guide to finding a physician in your province or territory.

By Frank Bushe

Tips for finding a family doctor

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.

Other sources
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.

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