The Ontario Physician Registry

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

The Registry is derived substantially from College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) data, demographic and status records from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), information collected from physicians by the OPHRDC dynamic survey, and a number of secondary data sources, including the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), the Canadian College of Family Practice (CFPC) and others.

First, records of licensees of the CPSO are screened for anomalies and duplicates and rules are applied to flag physicians who are on the CPSO list but are known to be inactive. These rules identify the following:

  • Deceased physicians.
  • Licenced physicians who reach the age of 85 in the report year. (As of 2016, PIO Reports will include active physicians 85 years of age and older).
  • Physicians with expired licences.
  • Physicians with educational, short term or academic visitor licence class.
  • Physicians not practicing regularly in Ontario.

The remaining CPSO records are then matched against OHIP demographic data. Duplicates and conflicts are surveyed and explained using other data, or referenced to the owners of the source data.

The next step is a record-by-record reconciliation between the Ontario Postgraduate Registry (also a product of the OPHRDC) and the Active Physician Registry to eliminate postgraduate medical trainees holding a general licence who had not completed training by July 31.

Location and activity level data from the OPHRDC Dynamic Physician Interview is then overlaid on the Registry dataset. Interview data is particularly important in determining physician retirement and out-migration.

The final Registry then includes only licensed physicians verified as actively practicing in Ontario. Data elements regarding geographic location, specialty of practice, age, gender and other variables are then appended so that the PIO reports can be prepared.

For a brief description of how these elements are determined, see Physician Data Elements. For a diagram of how different data sources are combined to produce the Physicians in Ontario reports, please see PIO Data Flow Diagram.