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  • Spencer van Vloten

How To Find A Family Doctor In BC

Finding a family doctor in BC is tough these days. Here are some tips to increase your chances of getting the medical attention you need.

​Get Started With 8-1-1

  • For medical questions, consider calling 8-1-1 to speak with a nurse. 8-1-1's a free-of-charge provincial health information and advice phone line available in British Columbia. You can also ask their advice on finding a doctor.

  • TELUS also has a MyCare app that lets you see a doctor, counsellor, or dietician straight from your phone

Use These Search Tools

  • Visit MediMap to locate the nearest walk-in clinics and wait times

Make Your Walk-In Permanent

While I know attending a walk-in clinic can be VERY frustrating, some people have been successful in establishing a regular relationship with a particular provider in these clinics.

  • There’s been a custom that once someone has visited the same clinic 3 times, they will be taken on under this arrangement, and though practices vary by clinic it is generally true that the more you visit the better chance of establishing a relationship that mirrors that of having a family doctor.

  • At certain clinics you can also view a doctor’s schedule and book appointments ahead of time to avoid long waits, which again helps provide more of a family doctor dynamic. And if you find a particular doctor you like, ask them what can be done to become a regular of theirs.

  • In any case, visiting the same doctor at a walk-in clinic multiple times increases your chance of establishing a relationship with this doctor that can function like that you may have with a family doctor. Walk-in clinics often have schedules of their doctors’ shifts available, so you can schedule appointments with them on an ongoing basis.

Ask Around

  • Ask your family or friends to introduce you to their own family doctor. Sometimes a doctor may take you on referral from an existing patient.

  • If you're visiting another health care provider, such as a specialist, ask them if they know of any family doctors that are accepting patients. You can also ask a local pharmacist.

  • If you're visiting a walk-in clinic, ask the doctor if they would be willing to take you on as a patient

Other Options

  • Urgent and primary care centres are available with extended hours for same-day, non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses who are unable to see a family doctor or health care provider

  • For major medical emergencies which must be treated immediately, call 9-1-1 straight away or head to a hospital nearby

  • If you are expecting and have no delivery plan, visit Pregnancy Vancouver or phone 604-569-2010


To find more community resources, click here!

-Spencer van Vloten



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