To gain a better understanding of physicians across Canada, CIHI has been tracking information about them since the 1970s.
- Services provided
- Physician demographics
- Physician payment data
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.
In addition, we support external research projects by providing data or collaborating with researchers to produce analyses and reports on a range of topics, such as health human resources planning, primary health care and disease management.
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- Physicians in Canada, 2016 (Sept. 2017)
- Supply, Distribution and Migration of Canadian Physicians, 2016: Data tables (Sept. 2017)
- National Physician Database, 2015–2016 Data Release (Sept. 2017)
- Physician Services Benefit Rates Report, Canada, 2015-2016 (Sept. 2017)
- 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)
- International Medical Graduates in Canada: 1972 to 2007 (Aug 2009)
- Evolving Role of Canada’s Fee-for-Service Family Physicians, 1994 to 2003: Provincial Profiles (Aug 2006)
- Geographic Distribution of Physicians in Canada: Beyond How Many and Where (Jan 2006)
- Evolving Role of Canada’s Family Physicians, 1992 to 2001 (Nov 2004)
- From Perceived Surplus to Perceived Shortage: What Happened to Canada’s Physician Workforce in the 1990s? (Jun 2002)
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 (NPDB) provides information on physicians’ salaries, payments and activity within the Canadian health care system. The data ranges from 1989 to 2015 (latest year available). 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 (SMDB) provides information on the number of physicians and their distribution across the country. It also contains demographic, education and migration information.
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—ranging from 1968 to 2015—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: