Scott’s Medical Database (formerly Southam Medical Database)

The Scott’s Medical Database (formerly Southam Medical Database) (SMDB) provides information on the supply, distribution and migration (between Canadian jurisdictions and international) patterns of Canadian physicians.


CIHI purchases data annually from the Scott’s Directories (

Data Elements

The database contains information about physician:

  • demographics (e.g. age, gender, etc.)
  • specialty (most recent certified medical specialty)
  • primary medical interest (self-reported area of medical interest)
  • activity status (e.g. active, abroad, etc.)
  • registration status
  • hospital affiliation and appointment
  • country, school and year of M.D. graduation

Download SMDB data elements (PDF) 86 KB


The purpose of SMDB is to:

  • to support CIHI's mandate
  • to collect, process and analyze summary data on physician demographic and practice information
  • to provide up-to-date information on the supply, distribution and migration patterns of Canadian physicians
  • to support related approved analysis and research

Data Quality

Through our Data Quality Enhancement Program, CIHI strives to ensure that the quality of the information in our data holdings is suited to its intended uses, and that data users are provided good information about data quality.

Privacy Restrictions

Data disclosure is determined by CIHI's privacy principles and policies


  • Most recent year - 2012
  • Next release - 2013 (Fall 2014)
  • Historical series - 1978-2012


Data Request

Expert/Advisory Groups

The Expert Group on Physician Databases advises CIHI on data quality, methodology and product development of the National Physician Database (NPDB) and the Scott’s Medical Database (formerly Southam Medical Database) (SMDB). The group is composed of individuals with experience or interest in physician resource planning, medical care utilization data or database management. Members are from the provincial/territorial ministries of health, medical associations/organizations and the research community.