The Ontario Physician Registry Methodology

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 from the physician registration data collected by The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), data, demographic and status records from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), information collected from physician practices by the OPHRDC dynamic survey, and a number of secondary data sources, including the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), Scott’s Medical Database (SMDB) and the Physician Hospital Appointments Listing (PHAL) prepared by OPHRDC.

First, rules are applied to flag physicians who are in the CSO data but are known to be inactive.  These rules identify the following:

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

The remaining CPSO records are then matched against OHIP demographic data. Duplicates 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 OPHRDC) and the Active Physician Registry to exclude postgraduate medical trainees holding an independent practice licence who had not completed postgraduate training by July 31.

The OPHRDC dynamic survey information, supplemented by estimates of full-time equivalence from ICES, are then used, supplemented by further investigation if necessary, to confirm inclusion or exclusion.

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 PIO reports.

Physician Data Elements has a brief description of how these elements referred to above are determined.  PIO Data Flow Diagram visually shows how different data sources are combined to produce the Physicians in Ontario reports.