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New research shows family doctors are changing how they work to care for patients in response to COVID-19


(Mississauga, ON) New data from the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) reveal how family doctors are working differently to provide high-quality care to patients during the COVID-19 pandemic while also experiencing a significant impact on both their personal and professional lives.

With more than 4,300 survey responses, the findings show that family doctors across Canada have rapidly changed how they practise and are most concerned about the health of their patients:
  • 73% are screening patients in COVID-19 assessment centres in hospitals, clinics, hockey arenas, and parking lots
  • 22% of family doctors have started working in new settings where COVID-19 care is most needed: long-term care homes, hospital in-patient units, and emergency rooms
  • Virtual care has become the norm, with four out of five patient visits happening on the phone or via video connections
  • 79% of family physicians are taking steps to ensure patients with chronic conditions continue to receive timely care
  • 80% are highly concerned about the mental and emotional stress their patients are experiencing
  • 56% of family physicians are highly concerned about getting COVID-19 themselves
“COVID-19 has created an unprecedented demand on our health care system. Despite the personal risks and clinical impact, family doctors are adapting where and how they work and remaining dedicated to delivering high-quality care for their patients,” says CFPC President Shirley Schipper, MD, CCFP, FCFP. “It’s important to learn from this experience and ensure that family physicians are properly supported to provide everyone in Canada the care they need.”

Please see the full survey results for additional details.

About the College of Family Physicians of Canada
The CFPC is the professional organization that represents more than 39,000 members across the country. The College establishes the standards for and accredits postgraduate family medicine training in Canada’s 17 medical schools. It reviews and certifies continuing professional development programs and materials that enable family physicians to meet certification and licensing requirements. The CFPC provides high-quality services, supports family medicine teaching and research, and advocates on behalf of the specialty of family medicine, family physicians, and the patients they serve.
Jayne Johnston
Director, Communications
College of Family Physicians of Canada
[email protected]
905-629-0900 ext. 303

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