Family Life


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How to find a family doctor in Canada

mother holds her toddler while on the phone wondering how to find a family doctor in canada

How to find a family doctor in Canada? It can feel like the eternal question. It can be extra challenging depending on your location and the availability of physicians in your area. Whether you’re moving to a new city or trying to find a new doctor for your growing family, try these helpful strategies for finding a family physician that meets your needs.

Online directories: Begin your search with provincial directories that provide information about doctors’ specialties, contact information and sometimes, whether they’re accepting new patients.

Community health centres: Community health centres often have family doctors on staff. You can ask to be added to a waiting list if they’re not currently accepting new patients.

Ask for referrals: Just as when looking for a job, ask friends, family members, colleagues or local Facebook groups if they have a family doctor they would recommend. Personal recommendations can help you find a doctor who fits your needs. Other medical professionals such as your pharmacist, dentist or midwife may know of a family doctor accepting new patients as well. It never hurts to ask.

Visit your provincial Ministry of Health: Some provincial ministries have programs to
match residents with family physicians accepting new patients. In Ontario, Health Care Connect ( invites Ontarians with a valid health card to register online to
be matched with a family doctor or nurse practitioner in their area.

When contacting potential family doctors, ask whether they are accepting new patients and confirm any specific preferences or requirements you have to ensure they are a good fit for you and your family before scheduling an appointment.

Published in March 2024.

a man carrying two children

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