Job prospects Medical Doctor in Ontario

Job opportunities for General practitioners and family physicians (NOC 3112) are good in Ontario over the next 3 years. These job prospects are also applicable to people working as a medical doctor.

Note that these employment prospects were published in December 2019 based on information available at that time. You can read our new special report to learn about the impact of COVID-19 on some occupations in your province or territory. You can also visit the Canadian Online Job Posting Dashboard to find the latest data on the demand and work requirements for this occupation.

Job opportunities in Ontario

medical doctor
Prospects over the next 3 years

The employment outlook will be good for General practitioners and family physicians (NOC 3112) in Ontario for the 2019-2021 period.

The following factors contributed to this outlook:

  • Employment growth will lead to several new positions.
  • A moderate number of positions will become available due to retirements.
  • There are a small number of unemployed workers with recent experience in this occupation.

In Ontario, the majority of general practitioners and family physicians work in private or group practice and hospitals. There were 37,000 MDs (Doctors of Medicine) in active practice among a total college membership of 42,800 for 2018 in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, with 13,500 of these members having the family physician designation.

The growing and aging population in Ontario is expected to generate job opportunities for general practitioners and family physicians in the coming years. The need for these services will be further amplified as the medical community responds to the increasing prevalence of new and existing diseases and attempts to better the quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses. Although the number of people with access to a medical doctor has increased over time, there are indications that some areas of the province may still be underserviced. In addition, potentially high rates of physician retirement in some areas in the province may create demand for this occupation over the forecast period.

The negotiations between the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), which represents 34,000 doctors, medical residents and medical students, with the provincial government concluded in February 2019, after years of negotiations. Previously, physicians in Ontario had been without a contract for over four years, with the OMA looking for a 4.25% fee increase and a removal of a cap on physician-services budget increases. The negotiations concluded with an arbitrator awarding an average of 1% in fee increases for Ontario doctors up to March 2021.

Moreover, the latest 2019 provincial budget spelled out a decrease in hospital infrastructure expenditures for 2019/20, falling by more than 10% to $2.4 billion, while the provincial health sector as a whole will see a 2.2% increase in funding to $63.5 billion, lower than the 4.9% increase from the previous year. In addition, the Ontario health sector as a whole will see significant changes in the medium-term. Specifically, there will be a consolidation process of the 14 regionally based Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), which manage various aspects of health sector employment in Ontario, and six provincial agencies, into one single provincial health agency known as Ontario Health. As well, the provincial government has announced plans to reorganize health care providers into various coordinated teams focusing on patients and specific local needs in a new type of unit called Ontario Health Teams, with each Team to fall under a new funding structure.

The labour supply of general practitioners and family physicians may be restricted over the forecast period by the number of training positions and potential migration of these professionals to areas outside of Ontario. Supply is more limited in northern and rural and remote communities due to challenges with recruitment, retention, and lack of infrastructure. More job opportunities may be available to family physicians who can work across a variety of settings and practice models including clinics, emergency departments and family health organizations. Depending on the setting, some flexibility in working hours may be required including longer/irregular hours, shift work and on call requirements.

In order to practice family medicine, medical school graduates must complete an additional two years of postgraduate training and successfully complete the Certification Examination in Family Medicine to receive the Certification in The College of Family Physicians (CCFP) designation. In Ontario, general practitioners and family physicians are regulated by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

Here are some key facts about General practitioners and family physicians in the Ontario region:

Labour Market Information Survey
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