How Referrals Work

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do most of your programs require a family physician’s referral?
Most of our core programs are delivered in partnership between our clinicians and your family physician. That two-way collaboration is an essential part of many of our services. For that reason, a physician referral is necessary. Our programs are integrated with the care that you receive from your doctor, and cannot be delivered without their involvement.

I have a doctor outside of Fort McMurray, can they refer me?
We only accept referrals from family physicians practicing in Fort McMurray who are members of the Wood Buffalo Primary Care Network. Again, as our programs are delivered collaboratively with family physicians, your referring doctor must be a participating member of the Wood Buffalo PCN.

If you do not yet have a local family physician in Fort McMurray, visit Alberta Find A Doctor to find physicians accepting new patients anywhere in Alberta.

Do I have to get a referral for every program that I am interested in?
No, not necessarily. After you have been referred once by your family physician, you have access to a wide array of other services, and can work with us to design your own WB PCN care plan. For example, if you have been referred by your doctor to the Weight Management Program to see a dietitian, but decide that you would also like to meet with our exercise specialist to learn more about how to gain heart health benefits from exercise, you are more than welcome to do just that, no additional referral needed.

When you are first referred to the WB PCN, our team will review your interests and your care needs, and introduce you to all of the additional services that you are eligible for.

We do conduct some programs, however, that require an additional referral even if your doctor has previously referred you to a different program. For example, if you have been referred to us for diabetes management, you cannot book yourself in to see our visiting dermatologist specialist. Visits with specialists generally require an additional referral from your Doctor.

I’m waiting on a referral, how long will it take? Who do I call?
Wait times vary depending on the program that your physician has referred you to. Our core programs can typically book new patients within a week or so. However, some of our specialist programs such as dermatology or chronic pain do have referral times of a couple of months or more.

Once your physician has sent a referral to us, you are welcome to follow up with us directly to inquire about wait times and the status of your referral. Our reception can be reached at 780-714-2193.