Resources for Family Physicians

Ontario has a range of practice models available to family physicians who wish to practise in Ontario. The information provided below is designed to help family physicians better understand these models, entry requirements, and supports to assist physicians with a smooth transition into practice in Ontario.

The term “patient enrolment model” (PEM) describes different types of models that have been created to offer physicians flexibility in both their practice requirements and compensation options. Detailed information about the different PEMs is available here. As many new physicians are interested in practising in Family Health Organization (FHO) and Family Health Network (FHN) models, the information provided below focuses on options to join these models.

Joining a FHO or FHN

The FHO and FHN models are based on comprehensive care, group practice, and patient enrolment; they are available for three or more physicians by signing a contract with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC). There are three main ways to join one of these groups: practise in an area of high physician need; replace an existing physician in a non high-need area; or participate in the New Graduate Entry Program. These three options are described below.

Practise in an area of high physician need

The easiest way to join a FHO or FHN is to practise in an area of high need. The Areas of High Physician Need list is available on the MOHLTC website and is based on rurality, physician-to-population ratios, and input from the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). In a process referred to as Managed Entry, up to 20 new physicians per month may join a FHO or FHN on this list, and are also eligible to participate in the ministry’s Income Stabilization program.

For a list of all physician groups in Ontario, including those located in areas eligible to participate in physician managed entry, click here.

Physicians who are interested in forming a new FHN or FHO in an eligible area should also visit the ministry’s Areas of High Physician Need page for information on how to contact the ministry to determine the requirements and obligations of starting a new physician group.

Become a replacement physician at an existing FHN or FHO

By replacing a FHN or FHO physician in a non-high-need area, a new physician can assume another physician’s practice without going through the managed entry process. A common example of a physician joining a FHN or FHO as a replacement physician is a new family physician graduate taking over the practice of a retiring physician.

Participate in the New Graduate Entry Program (NGEP) in a non-high-need area

The MOHLTC also offers the New Graduate Entry Program (NGEP) to new family medicine graduate physicians who wish to join a FHN or FHO that is not located in an identified area of high physician need.
Eligible physicians who accept the terms of the NGEP are compensated at a graduated annual fixed rate of payment for a minimum of three years upon commencement with the FHN/FHO group.
For more information, contact the ministry at 416-325-3575 or toll-free at 1-866-766-0266.

Exploring Other Options

The province of Ontario offers a number of other attractive family medicine practice models that new physicians may be interested in exploring. These include practice opportunities at: Community Health Centres (CHCs) and Aboriginal Health Access Centres (AHACs) that support high-need populations, Rural and Northern Physician Group Agreements (RNPGAs) that provide physician services throughout regions in Northern Ontario, and Family Health Group (FHG) and Comprehensive Care Models (CCM), which can be established anywhere in the province.

To find an opportunity that is right for you, visit

For additional questions or help connecting to a practice opportunity in a high-need area, please contact your local HealthForceOntario Regional Advisor by e-mailing