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Active Physician Registry Methodology

Physicians in Ontario (PIO) Annual Reports are prepared from the Active Physician Registry which is renewed annually from original source data. The following describes the methodology used to flag physicians as active or inactive.

The Active Physician Registry is derived from physician registration data provided by The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, demographic and status records from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, information collected from physician practices by the OPRC survey, and a number of secondary data sources, including the Ontario Medical Association, Scott’s Medical Database and the Physician Hospital Appointments Listing prepared by OPRC.

First, rules are applied to flag physicians who are in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario data but are known to be inactive.  These rules identify the following:

  • Deceased physicians.
  • Physicians with expired or non-renewed licenses.
  • Physicians who register after November 1.
  • Physicians with educational, short term or academic visitor licenses.
  • Physicians not practicing regularly in Ontario.

The remaining records are then matched against Ontario Health Insurance Plan demographic data. Duplicate records and conflicts are identified for further investigation before a decision on inclusion or exclusion is made.

The next step is a reconciliation between the Ontario Postgraduate Registry (also a product of the OPRC) and the Active Physician Registry to exclude postgraduate medical trainees holding an independent practice license who had not completed postgraduate training by July 31.

The OPRC physician survey information, supplemented by estimates of full-time equivalence from ICES, is then used. Confirmation of inclusion or exclusion may be reinforced by further investigation if necessary.

The final Active Physician Registry includes only licensed physicians verified as being in active practice in Ontario. Data elements regarding geographic location, specialty of practice, age, gender and other variables are added to each record prior to preparation of the PIO annual reports.