Transition to Practice

Transitioning to Practice


Transition to Practice

Transitioning to Practice

Guide to Getting Started as a New Physician

·       Clicking here will bring you to the Online Resource Manual for Physicians, which describes important acts and regulations and how to submit claims to get paid.

·       Check out the Health Force Ontario MRA Transition into Practice Service for helpful modules related to employment and CV development.

·       The Joule Practice Management Curriculum has several practice management resources available online.

·       OMA has information about starting a medical practice available online.

CPSO Number (Certificate for Independent Practice)

·       Needed to engage in independent, unsupervised practice upon graduation.

·       Applications are available for download here in April of your graduating year and can be submitted by mail or online through after verification through the CPSO. The deadline for getting your license by July 1st varies year to year and is usually in mid-May.

·       All applications require a police clearance letter.

·       Repeat hepatitis B and C as well as HIV blood work is required if not completed in the last 12 months.

·       Mailed applications require supporting documentation like a passport photo, MCCQE results, and photocopy of your medical degree.

·       Cost is around $2600 and will vary year to year.

·       Processing time varies (usually around 6 weeks).

CMPA Number (Canadian Medical Protective Association)

·       You can download the application and complete the online membership from the website.

·       Remember to change your CMPA coverage if you already have a CMPA number (can be done online).

·       Cost: Fee is based on practice type.

WSIB Number

·       Apply here.

·       Your CPSO number is required and processing time is about 4–6 weeks.

OHIP – Ontario Billing Number

·       You must have your CPSO number to apply for your OHIP billing number.

·       The good news is that you can start working without your OHIP number and bill retroactively (up to six months), but you will need this number to get paid, regardless of the type of the practice conditions (i.e., locum vs. non-locum).

·       Application (Form 014-3384-83)

·       Cost: Free

·       Processing time: approximately 4-6 weeks

·       Enroll in the Medical Claims Electronic Data Transfer Internet Service (MC EDT) – you will receive an automatic letter with instructions once you get your OHIP billing number.

Memberships, Insurance, and Email

·       Canadian Medical Association (CMA) membership is optional.

·       Ontario Medical Association (OMA) membership is mandatory and will be collected from OHIP billings or direct payment to the OMA.

·       Remember to renew your CFPC and OCFP memberships!

·       Remember to renew your disability insurance, so there is no gap time between end of residency and starting your practice, and consider enrolling in group medical and dental insurance plans.

·       Apply for a OneMail email account if you don’t have one already – provides an encrypted email for secure communication and a database of physician email addresses.

Finding a job

·       Check with your supervisors, department, and university for possible locums and job opportunities.

·       Locum and permanent job postings are available at Health Force Ontario and are updated regularly.

·       Consider doing a locum in rural Ontario through the Rural Family Medicine Locum Program. Accommodation and travel expenses as well as course reimbursement (ATLS and ACLS within 12 months) are usually covered for locum physicians.

·       Check Facebook groups for physicians for possible locum opportunities.

·       OMA Legal Services will review employment contracts for free for OMA members.

Hospital Privileges

·       Call the hospital where you intend to work: ask about their application process (it varies).

·       In general, you will need photocopies of medical licenses, malpractice certificates, immunization records, a CV, Certificate of Good Standing and Certificate of Adult Criminal Convictions.

Other Things to Consider

·       To make the transition to practice as smooth as possible, it is important to build a team of individuals that will help you navigate through the transition – ask around and consider finding an:

·       Accountant

·       Financial planner

·       Lawyer (to review contracts, etc.)

·       Billing agent

CFPC – First Five Years in Family Practice

CFPC – First Five Years in Family Practice

Since 2009, the First Five Years in Family Practice (FFYFP) Committee has been working to address the interests and concerns of residents and new family doctors who, at the end of their training program, experience an “off-the-cliff” feeling. Like many others, you will have lots of questions about starting to practice and being out on your own as an independent practitioner in the ever- changing world of family practice. 

As a new family physician, let us know what you need to help support your career

Last year, we asked the FFYFP Committee members what they needed from us, and where they wanted the committee to dedicate its efforts. They told us that they want more practice management and leadership training in residency, and more support in these areas during the early years of practice. With that information, we are now developing new programs to best meet your needs. We’re excited to be establishing FFYFP provincial chapters that will provide province-specific programs for you at the CFPC’s Annual Scientific Assemblies. 

How can you get involved? 

The full membership of the FFYFP Committee is our most valuable resource. Together, we work to support one another. Our Facebook group has over 1,100 members, including many residents and medical students. We have lots of active discussions on a number of practical topics.

Here are a few examples: 

  • “I am taking over a retiring doctor’s practice in an Ontario FHN with a FHT in 6 months. Does anyone have any advice or any leads on how to do this (i.e., how many patients should I roster, should I do income stabilization, any stipulations I should put on the practice as I start up)? Any advice would be appreciated!” 
  • “I’m planning to start my own practice. What are the things I have to look out for? And how much should I put aside for start-up expenses? Any ideas/suggestions are welcome.” 
  • “Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions/tips on personal health insurance. I’m debating between OMA group (individual) vs. OPIP extended health presently. Any experiences with either of these or other good options out there? Thanks!” 
  • “Quick poll – I’m wondering what the average starting panel size is for family docs around the country. Particularly for salaried practice +/- inpatient coverage.”

Our Facebook page is a great way to get quick answers to your questions from someone who has been through it before.
Search “First 5 Years in Family Practice – Canada” and join the discussion today! 

Great Practice Management Resources

Our webpage includes some great resources for starting up your practice, as well as links to clinical practice tools and guidelines. Think about making First Five Years your browser homepage in clinic for easy access to these tools! 

Find us on Facebook, email and the FFYFP website

We hope to hear from you! 

Scott MacLean, MD, CCFP
Chair, First Five Years in Family Practice Committee