Finding a Familiy Physician in Canada

geriatricIf you’ve recently relocated to a new area, you might find yourself in a bit of a bind when it comes to finding a family doctor. There is no secret that in Ontario, and other areas across Canada, there is a shortage of General Practitioners accepting new patients. A family doctor can make a huge difference when it comes to managing common illnesses that many seniors face; while going to a walk-in clinic or an emergency room is fine for treating a common cold or other ailment, it’s not enough for ongoing care. Seniors who are diagnosed with heart conditions, diabetes, or even something that seems as minor as high blood pressure that is controlled should receive regular care from one doctor who’s aware of their history. Finding a family doctor is easier said than done, but here are some guidelines for how to find one and what to expect from the process:

  •  Go to the College of Physicians and Ontario website (or similar resources if you are in another Province) to find a list of doctor’s offices listing as accepting new patients
  • Check lists provided by local hospitals, either online or through newsletters
  • When calling doctor’s offices, if they aren’t accepting patients, ask if they know anyone locally who is
  • Expect that just because a doctor says that they’re accepting patients doesn’t mean that they will take you
  • Doctors might request you to take a survey that will help them assess if they have time to treat a patient with your health background – often they will select patients that don’t seem to have any pre-existing health conditions because they anticipate treatment and care will take less time

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