Finding a doctor will put your mind at ease when you or someone in your family is sick. Thankfully, there are many family doctor offices in Calgary who can help or refer you to specialists. It is recommended to find a family doctor, rather than going to a walk-in-clinic. Having a family doctor gives you someone who will be familiar with your symptoms and conditions. In addition, it can be more comfortable to open up about medical problems with someone familiar.
How do I find a family doctor?
Not all family doctors in Calgary are accepting new patients. To find a doctor, we suggest you use the following websites to look for openings:
- The Primary Care Networks – www.calgaryareadocs.com
- The Alberta College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta – http://www.cpsa.ca
These websites help you search by address, age, and location. They will also give you results only for doctors who are currently accepting patients. You can also ask whether any doctors at the office speak your first language.
Before you go see a family doctor, it is recommended that you call first to make an appointment. Although many family doctor offices in Canada have walk-in schedules, waiting for an opening can take up to 2 hours. When you go to your appointment, be sure to arrive on time. This shows respect to both your family doctor and other patients.
Whenever you go to the doctor’s office, do not forget to bring your Alberta Health Card. You might be asked to provide photo identification the first time you visit a clinic.
You should see a family doctor for:
- regular check-ups
- supervision of chronic illness
- help with mental health issues
- medicine prescriptions
- advice on symptoms or illness
Family doctors are also a gateway to specialists. For example, if you have a very sore hip you may need a major operation. Your family doctor will first refer you to another doctor who is a hip specialist. They will provide you with information on the best course of action to take.
If you have a medical emergency, please dial 911 and go to the nearest hospital. Do not go to a family clinic.
If you have questions on medical services, you can dial 811 to speak to an Alberta Health Services staff member.