For new doctors, graduating from medical school and finishing their residencies are key milestones that launch them further into their professional careers — but after residency, primary care providers face a number of hurdles to the next milestone: opening a practice.
Imagine if office workers had to pay rent for their office space and pay for their laptops, pens, notebooks and anything else they might need to do their job. This is the reality for primary care providers who, in addition to looking after their patients, essentially become small business owners by managing payroll, equipment, supplies and more.
This burden new primary care doctors face may be contributing to some of the problems Canada is seeing with a lack of family doctors. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 4.6 million people (or 14.5% of those older than 12 years) in Canada did not have a regular family doctor. It’s likely that the pandemic only added more complications for people trying to find a regular family doctor. Further exasperating the problem is the declining number of medical school graduates picking family medicine as their top choice, with the Canadian Resident Matching Service reporting a decline from 40.2% in 2015 to 33.3% in 2022.
To address some of these barriers, experts have recommended expanding the use of team-based care which sees physicians and inter-professional care providers such as nurses, dieticians, pharmacists and occupational therapists provide patient care. There is evidence that indicates this care model supports some of the best healthcare outcomes. Despite these benefits to patients and care sharing, there are barriers that prevent healthcare workers from working together.
Medline Canada understands the issues facing new family doctors and believes it’s important to help them tackle their challenges. Medline offers a 0% financing program on all large clinical equipment purchases over $5,000 that allows healthcare providers to avoid large upfront payments to free up cash flow. Medline also provides clinic design support to help remove some of the uncertainty from establishing a new clinic, or retrofitting an existing one, so it is well-designed for practical efficiency and better patient care.
"Starting up a new medical practice is neither cheap nor easy. Medline’s 0% financing helped me afford medical equipment for my practice without added burden,” said Dr. Abbas Adam, Burlington Medical Aesthetics. “Rather than paying thousands of dollars upfront to buy 2 procedure chairs that I required, Medline’s financing made it easy and possible for me to procure them immediately.”
With Canadian medical students graduating with an average debt of $84,172 from medical school expenses, taking on more costs can be daunting. That’s why Medline’s 0% financing options are available — to help new family doctors get on their feet and start caring for patients.
Health Fact Sheets: Primary health care providers, 2019. Ottawa: Statistics Canada; 2020. Cat no 82-625-X. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/82-625-x/2020001/article/00004-eng.htm
 Brief on Primary Care Part 2: Factors affecting primary care capacity in Ontario for pandemic response and recovery. Science Table Covid-19 Advisory for Ontario; 2022. https://covid19-sciencetable.ca/sciencebrief/brief-on-primary-care-part-2-factors-affecting-primary-care-capacity-in-ontario-for-pandemic-response-and-recovery/
 Best advice: Team-based care in the patient’s medical home. The College of Family Physicians of Canada; 2017:22. http://patientsmedicalhome.ca/files/uploads/BAG_TeamBasedCare_ENG-1.pdf