This has been updated in January 2021.
Your general practitioner is more than your mere doctor. They understand the nuances of your medical history, your lifestyle, and your treatment preferences. Over time, this intimate knowledge can make a significant difference to your health.
As well as diagnosing any niggles or sniffles, a great doctor moves you through the continuum of life. They uncover concerns you had not yet noticed and draw attention to those that require more focus. Should the need for a specialised opinion be required, they test and assess then refer to the best.
Great doctors are true professional companions. They ride your highs and your lows, doing whatever they can do improve your wellbeing and prepare you for the road ahead. Anyone who has found their medical match will tell you that it is worth their weight in gold.
But with so many wonderful doctors calling Canberra home, finding the right one for you can be challenging. Limited availability, inconvenient opening hours, and long waiting times may see you flip flop from one GP to the next. Moreover, lack lustre or rushed appointments can leave you feeling like nothing more than a number.
Whether your needs are preventative, routine, or management of a chronic condition, finding a doctor you can trust is a must. The good news is that we have rounded up the best doctors that our region has to offer. Read on below.
What makes a great doctor?
Great doctors are health and wellbeing crusaders armed with years of formal education and extensive experience. The best general practitioners offer more than a string of fancy titles. They are compassionate, professional, and all about providing the highest quality of care. Here are some things to keep in mind when evaluating your next doctor in Canberra:
- Qualified & Accredited. At a minimum, your doctor’s medical degree, internship, and registration with the Medical board of Australia should stand. Beyond all necessary base qualifications look for a doctor who has completed a fellowship. A fellowship is a period of specialised vocational training as a general practitioner. In Australia, fellowships are completed at the Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP) or Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM). Some doctors will have completed one or more fellowships during their time, positioning them amongst the most qualified in their field.
- Recommended & Reputable. Finding a reputable doctor can be as easy as asking around. Word of mouth referrals from family or friends, along with other health care providers is a good place to start. Equally, patient reviews online or on medical search websites such as the Federal Governments Health Direct can be helpful too.
- Quality Care. The best doctors fly the quality care ethos flag with pride. They understand that thoroughness is an investment in their patient’s wellbeing. They are exemplary communicators, wonderful listeners, and question with insight. Quality care means thorough appointments, consistency each – and every time, along with comprehensive planning and follow up. As far as your health is concerned, this should be the number one priority for your doctor.
- Holistic Practice. Great general practitioners can often be found in the company of other care providers. Some practices may offer allied health services such as physiotherapy, counselling, pathology and more. Moreover, specialist services such as paediatrics may also be offered. Finally, the best doctors will be a stone throw away from a well-stocked pharmacy adding to convenience at the time of need.
- Convenient & Available. A final minor, yet important factor is your doctor’s location and availability. Considerations such as travel time, opening hours, and location all should be considered. Moreover, availability for your doctor of choice and short waiting times all help when needed. Finally, consider what after-hours or home care is available, along with any recommended services should these be outsourced.
The best doctors in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Orche Medical Centre Garran is home to a large, diverse team of experienced and highly qualified general practitioners. As a member of nationally based Orche Heath, the practice benefits from the network of forty plus medical centres spanning five states.
Their cornerstone ethos centres on an evidence-based approach, from skin rashes to stomach bugs this team of over twenty doctors are here to help.
Located near Canberra and the National Canberra Hospitals, the centre operates six days a week with inhouse allied health services, a radiology and chemist.
Geoff Ding shared his experience with the practice on Google, “This is a fantastic family general practice. Always strive to find an appointment spot for patients. Great knowledge and communication.”
Recently established in 2019, Kingston Foreshore Medical Centre have built a reputation on their high calibre general practitioners who pride themselves in delivering quality patient care.
Offering a full suite of services from general consultations, chronic disease, and mental health, to skin checks and more; their team of experienced doctors are well equipped to cater to your health needs under the one roof.
Situated on the beautiful Kingston foreshore, they are closely surrounded by complimentary medical services including a pharmacy, medical imaging, and pathology.
Sheldon Satherley had this to say about the centre on Google, “I’ve been living in the ACT for 7 years, and this is the first doctors practice I’ve actually liked. They’re very professional and friendly, and they actually see you at the time of your appointment, not after 45 minutes of sitting in the waiting room. Highly recommend.”
Located in Canberra’s inner north, Watson Medical Practice is a boutique private centre home to six general practitioners and a nurse. Their focus is the delivery of the highest quality patient care underpinned by values of respect, empathy, forthrightness, and thoroughness.
Offering an array of services from general consultations, women’s, men’s and family health, chronic disease management and more, this team of personable doctors have built a reputation on professional and compassionate care.
Mark Lusty shared this glowing review on Google, “Best General Practice in Canberra - by a country mile. WGP are always happy to do that little bit extra which sets them apart from the others.”
Dr Michael Gan, Dr Sandy Vitikos and Dr Prad Southi at Palmerston Medical Centre’s come highly rated from readers.
Dr Southi, for example, is “phenomenal with kids,” as well as “patient, attentive and not afraid to admit that his previous suspicions were wrong.”
Dr Vitikos is “super friendly” while Dr Gan has “a lot of certificates on his wall” thanks to his extensive experience and study.
Palmerston Medical Centre is open Monday to Saturday.
Recently awarded the NSW and ACT General Practice of the year 2020 by They Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Your GP Crace is held in high esteem by professional peers and patients alike.
Boasting a strong contingent of doctors, nurses, allied health, and administrative staff, Your GP Crace strive to make their patients feel welcome. Their practice vision is embedded in the provision of genuine care and clinical excellence, with each general practitioner nurturing long term, whole of family relationships.
Home to a pharmacy, pathology, psychologist, and optometrist Your GP Crace can comfortably handle men’s health to mental health – and everything in between.
Maureen Lawrentin shared her experience with the team on Google, “As always, our visit was a pleasant experience with dedicated doctors and nurses at this practice.”
Your experience with doctors in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the doctors listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a General Practitioner?
A General Practitioner (GP) is a doctor who has completed training in general practice. Their broad knowledge base and skill set enables them to treat a wide range of patients from infants to the elderly. General practitioners coordinate and manage your healthcare needs as you progress through life.
What can your doctor do for you?
Your doctor is generally the first medical contact for any conditions. They provide care specific to your individual needs and may refer to specialists if required. You can see your doctor for health advice, when you are unwell, for minor injuries, health screening, vaccinations, prescriptions, certified documents, care for children and during pregnancy, and for ongoing care.
Where can you find a doctor?
Practicing doctors can be found at a range of locations including private medical practices, family practices, medical centres, in some hospitals, via home visit, over the phone and online.
What does it cost to see a doctor?
In Canberra, and indeed Australia, visits to your doctor or GP may be fully or partially covered by Medicare providing you have a Medicare number. For doctors in which fees are partially covered, the difference or ‘gap’ must be paid by the patient. Always check on the cost of consultations before your visit.
What can doctors see on my health record?
Doctors are privy to details of medical conditions, treatments, medicines, and test or scan results. Specialists and hospital staff may also be able to review these records as required or in the case of accident or emergency. If in doubt, please consult your doctor.