Physician data contributes to evidence-based planning and management of the health workforce, which is vital to ensuring that Canadians can access health services when and where they need them.
We work closely with ministries of health and other physician stakeholder groups to develop national standards and indicators to understand the various types of services physicians provide. CIHI has information about physicians across Canada going back to 1968.
Explore our annual report and data table release, which contains the most up-to-date information on physicians in Canada.
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Have a data inquiry or research question? Make a custom data request.
- Continuity of Care With Family Medicine Physicians: Why It Matters (Apr 2015)
- Physician Follow-Up After Hospital Discharge: Progress in Meeting Best Practices (Mar 2015)
- Approaches for Calculating Average Clinical Payments per Physician Using Detailed Alternative Payment Data (Mar 2015)
- Putting Away the Stethoscope for Good? Toward a New Perspective on Physician Retirement (Apr 2011)
- What Do We Know About Family Physicians Who Accept New Patients? (Jul 2010)
- Profiling Physicians by Payment Program: A Closer Look at Three Provinces (Mar 2010)
The National Physician Database and Scott’s Medical Database support decision-making and research on physicians in Canada. These are updated and maintained by experts from the provincial/territorial ministries of health and various physician groups. The physician groups include
- Canadian Medical Association
- College of Family Physicians of Canada
- Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
This research community advises us on data quality, methodology and product development.
National Physician Database
The National Physician Database provides information on physicians’ salaries, payments and activities in Canada’s health care systems. Data has been collected since 1989. It comes from provincial and territorial medical health care insurance plans using a standardized set of data elements.
Scott’s Medical Database
Scott’s Medical Database provides information on the number of physicians and their distribution across the country. It also contains demographic, education and migration information. The data has been collected since 1968.
Because physicians can be uniquely identified, we are able to track physician movement between provinces and territories over time. This data also indicates changes in physician type. The data is purchased annually from Scott’s Directories.
Metadata is information about data. It helps users understand and interpret data from a specific source.
Find out more about metadata in the following data sources:
Physician Services Benefit Rate (PSBR)
The PSBR provides interprovincial comparisons of fees paid for physicians’ services. The PSBR compares fees for 10 service groupings, comprising most fee-for-service payments made under Canadian medicare systems. Benefit indices are calculated for family medicine and each of 16 physician specialties.
National Grouping System (NGS)
The NGS organizes fee codes into homogenous categories for each province and territory, which allows for comparisons of physician services and activities across the country. A complete list of categories is located in the appendix of the NPDB Methodology Notes.