To gain a better understanding of physicians across Canada, CIHI has been tracking information about them since the 1970s.

We use data sources such as the National Physician Database and Scott's Medical Database to produce yearly reports and analyses that contain wide-ranging information about physicians, including

  • 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.

We welcome your feedback and questions

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Physician information

 Reports and analyses
 Databases and data sources

Reports and analyses

Annual Releases

Special releases

Databases and data sources

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: