Becoming a Patient
How do you decide which doctor I’ll get?
Once you have registered with Health Care Connect, the staff there will work with you and local physician practices to find you a physician who can meet your needs and who has space as quickly as possible. At the QFHT, this decision is based on things like which doctors are accepting new patients – we have many doctors within our family health team – and whether you already have a connection with a particular doctor. (For example, if your spouse or children are already assigned to one doctor, we would try to place you with the same one.) We also try to ensure that each doctor has a mix of patients – for example, a variety of ages, gender, or health conditions. In some cases, some of our doctors specialize in certain conditions, so we might try to match you with a doctor who has a particular interest or background in your health needs. We also look at things like availability; if you have an urgent health need, we might try to place you with the doctor who has the first available appointment. We try to ensure that this process is as fair, equitable and transparent as possible. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
How long will it take to get a new family doctor?
After you register with Health Care Connect, it may be a few months before we call you to book your first appointment. If you have an urgent health need and need to be seen quickly, please mention this to the staff at Health Care Connect.
How do I get my records from my previous doctor?
One of the forms you will complete at your first appointment is a medical records request form. This form allows us to contact your previous doctor(s) to request copies of your records. Once you have an appointment, our medical records clerk will contact your previous doctor’s office to request the records. We accept records in paper format or on a CD. We can accept records on a USB stick, but this is a little more complicated for us so it might take a bit longer to process these records. You can also bring in your own copies of medical information. Please bring them to your receptionist and note on the package if you would like them returned to you. (Otherwise, after we have recorded them electronically, we will shred them to protect your privacy.)
Please note that there may be a charge for obtaining these records. Please speak to your previous physician if you have questions about this.
Can I have a female doctor?
We try to accommodate all patient requests. However, we cannot guarantee that you will only see female resident or faculty physicians, as all of our clinics have a mix of male and female physicians. (For example, if you need an appointment on a particular day, there might not be a female physician with available appointments on that day.) If this is a serious concern, we recommend that you contact Clinic Manager Diane Cross to discuss your needs and to see if we can accommodate them here. Also, please note that for intimate exams, you always have the option of requesting that a female nurse attend the appointment.
I don’t want to see residents. Can I still be a patient here?
The Queen’s Family Health Team is a teaching clinic affiliated with the Department of Family Medicine. While all patients have a family doctor and you will have appointments when you see only that family doctor, in most cases, you will be seeing a resident physician. Residents are medical doctors who must complete two years of residency before they become independent specialists in family medicine. Working with the latest medical information and technologies under the direction and supervision of our family physicians, our resident doctors bring enthusiasm and fresh perspective to patient care.
It is important to note that your family doctor is always involved in your care, even if you are seeing a resident. For example, your doctor will have access to all the notes the resident writes and will typically be in the clinic with the resident during your appointment. Your resident may actually step out of the room to ask your doctor a question or may ask him or her to join you during the appointment if you have questions that the resident cannot answer.
In addition, for the most part you will be seeing “your” resident – all patients are assigned two residents who will be responsible for their care for the duration of their training with us. Like your family doctor, these two residents will have access to all your labwork, notes, medications and consultation reports so they are better able to meet your health needs. Each group of residents is here for one year, so usually patients will have an opportunity to build a relationship with their residents and to see them for multiple visits.