Scott’s Medical Database (SMDB), formerly Southam Medical Database, provides information on the number of physicians and their distribution across Canada. It also contains demographic, education and migration information.
Because physicians can be uniquely identified in this database, changes in physician type as well as physician movement among provinces and territories can be tracked over time. The data is purchased annually from Scott’s Directories.
Find out more about physicians, including reports and analyses based on SMDB data.
CIHI purchases data annually from the Scott’s Directories (www.mdselect.ca). The data is collected from a number of organizations and institutions, such as
- Jurisdictional registrars
- Medical schools
- The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
- The College of Family Physicians of Canada
- The Collège des médecins du Québec
- Canadian hospitals
The SMDB contains the following information on physicians in Canada:
- Year of birth
- Postal code
- Activity status
- Place and year of graduation from medical school
SMDB data is available for the following fiscal years:
- Most recent year: 2016
- Next release: 2017 (February 2019)
- Historical data: 1978 to 2016
For data from 1978 to 2016, please complete a data request form.
No official classification standards are used in the capture of SMDB data.
The database contains the following information about physicians:
- Demographics (age, gender, etc.)
- Specialty (most recent certified medical specialty)
- Activity status (active, abroad, etc.)
- Country, school and year of MD graduation
Data definitions can be found in Appendix C of the annual report:
CIHI ensures that the quality of information in our data holdings is suited to its intended uses and that data users are provided with accurate information about data quality. Read more about our Data and Information Quality Program.
SMDB data quality documentation can be found in the Methodological Notes section of the annual report: