The Best Doctors in Canberra


Whether you only visit a GP when you’re struck down by the flu, or you have an ongoing or chronic medical condition that requires more frequent check-ups, finding a doctor you can trust is important.

A good GP (or general practitioner) does more than diagnose illnesses and write medical certificates. They provide specialist referrals, monitor your progress, keep an eye out for problems that you may not have noticed, and play an important role in your overall health and wellbeing.

But what qualities make a great GP, and where can you find the best in Canberra? Let’s take a closer look.

What makes a good and reliable doctor?

It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a new GP.

  • Accreditation. Your chosen GP should be up-to-date with the latest developments in general practice. Look for a GP that is a fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), which indicates they have completed special training and professional development. A practice accredited against RACGP standards is also ideal.
  • Personality and approach. Look for a GP whose personality is compatible with your own. You might prefer someone who is calm, clear and warm compared to a doctor with a more matter-of-fact, direct approach.
  • Billing options. If you don’t want any out of pocket expenses, find a practice that bulk bills patients. For more in-depth consultations that don’t feel rushed, however, you may be better off choosing a practice where you pay a private fee.
  • Type of practice. A smaller neighbourhood practice might suit you if it’s close to home or work, and you appreciate seeing the same GP at each visit. Larger practices, on the other hand, may offer extra services under one roof (like pathology or x-rays) have extended opening hours and a wider range of appointment times because more doctors are available.
  • Thorough and attentive to detail. Your chosen GP should be well-versed in a range of medical complaints and procedures. They should be happy to work through different tests and treatments until you find what works for you, and they shouldn’t mind explaining symptoms, tests and treatments.

The top doctors in Canberra – according to you

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 19 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.

National Health Co-op

If you have a medical emergency rather than an ongoing situation, you may not be worried about being able to see the same doctor over the long-term.

In this case, the National Health Co-op (formerly West Belconnen Co-op) might be a good choice. Online bookings are available.

Past patients recommend this surgery because it has “amazing doctors”.

User experience tells us that “they usually come over from England for 12 months” at a time, though they are well-trained and cheap to visit.

Palmerston Medical Centre

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.

Garema Place Surgery

Dr Felicity Donaghy is principal of Garema Place Surgery, which is also highly recommended by RiotACT readers.

Dr Donaghy has worked in general practice since 1990 and graduated from Sydney University. She is available for appointments on weekdays.

Here’s what one patient had to say about Dr Donaghy: “I’ve seen many doctors in my long life and Felicity is one of the best in my opinion. She is highly competent and displays compassion for and interest in her patients.”

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.

What's Your Opinion?

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147 Responses to The Best Doctors in Canberra
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johndowney johndowney 12:41 pm 06 Oct 20

Dr Vishal Arya at Queanbeyan GP Super Clinic is our family GP. He is fantastic and very efficient. Highly recommended.

chrisgreen chrisgreen 10:01 am 07 Nov 19

We go to the Marketplace Medical Practice in Gunghalin and have found a very caring and knowledgeable practice after recently moving to Canberra from interstate. As we are seniors with a few health issues Dr. Fowosere has been very helpful and insightful with their management.

Porcupinetree Porcupinetree 4:35 pm 12 Jan 17

We are very happy with Dr Kathleen Calder, our family GP who we have been seeing for several years. She recently move to the Lonsdale Street Medical Practice in Braddon –

I find Dr Calder is thorough and is never in a hurry to get you out the door. She has a genuine interest and and commitment to her patients which is comforting.

As she works with other like-minded Doctors as we can always see someone else at short notice for urgent attention. Thoroughly recommended.

Jurls Jurls 9:41 pm 15 Nov 16

I really like the Co-Op, but you do have to find a Doctor you like. We’ve been known to follow Doctors around to different clinic locations. We particularly like the new Higgins clinic and the 2 Doctors that are there.

JC JC 12:12 pm 15 Nov 16

Dr Laeq at Florey is pretty good. Been seeing her for a number of years now. Non bulk billing.

melsie melsie 7:15 am 15 Nov 16

Dr Antoinette takes new patients and works between Bruce and Casey at Ochre Health. I see her for an ongoing issue and she’s very good.

Ochre health are (like most places in Canberra) a private practice so $80 a visit and then you get the rebate. The pharmacy at Bruce are also very good.

MonarchRepublic MonarchRepublic 10:55 am 02 Nov 16

100% recommend Dr Phil Aubin at Orthopaedics ACT. My mother recently got a hip replacement, and was very happy with Dr Phil.

SidneyReilly SidneyReilly 2:17 pm 03 Jan 16

Jill Browne at the GP superclinic at Queanbeyan is very good even for us elderly males.

ungruntled ungruntled 12:43 am 02 Jan 16

Jo Crookes at Phillip medical & Dental is just brilliant, but good luck getting in to see her.
I followed her to this centre because she was terrific & had seen me through some pretty rough times. But this medical centre is the pits. It’s “cattle class” all the way – no appointments till just recently, so I have waited 4-5 hours to get to see her. Now that one can make appointments, it’s only a couple of days ahead, and no matter what your circumstances, appointments do not get bulk billled – those who can pay, those who can’t wait . . and wait . . .and wait . .
A direction in which I for one, do not appreciate Australian medical services going.
But that’s the company, not the doctor. She’s great and doing the best possible under the circumstances.

    ez_xiu ez_xiu 9:35 am 07 Oct 20

    She is a good doctor but not reliable, she does not stay with one clinic for long (unstable) and can call in sick and not available last minute. When you are very sick or need to see her urgently bad luck!

bronal bronal 11:17 am 12 Dec 15

Dr Ruchi Jyoti at the Yarralumla Surgery.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 10:47 am 12 Dec 15

Garema Place Surgery.

abcde12345 abcde12345 1:20 pm 12 Jun 15

Argonaut said :

I can highly recommend Doctor Melissa Bessell at the ANU Health Service. They take patients from off-campus, so you don’t have to be a student or staff member.

If money is no object, you could try Doctor Jacquie Lowe at Ainslie Family Practice. She always runs late, but that’s because she does take the time to explain things to patients.

Best of luck!

No, this is wrong. ANU health does not accept outsiders.

abcde12345 abcde12345 1:18 pm 12 Jun 15

Argonaut said :

at the ANU Health Service. They take patients from off-campus, so you don’t have to be a student or staff member.

This is wrong. You need to be affiliated in some way with ANU. They won’t accept outsiders.

Argonaut Argonaut 4:10 pm 05 Mar 15

I can highly recommend Doctor Melissa Bessell at the ANU Health Service. They take patients from off-campus, so you don’t have to be a student or staff member.

If money is no object, you could try Doctor Jacquie Lowe at Ainslie Family Practice. She always runs late, but that’s because she does take the time to explain things to patients.

Best of luck!

Wendeborg Wendeborg 4:07 pm 05 Mar 15

If Civic is handy to you, I would recommend Dr Suzanne Begbie at Garema Place Surgery. She has been extremely helpful with my own illness.

Pumba Pumba 3:35 pm 05 Mar 15

I’ve seen a number of GP’s at Waramanga medical centre who I have liked. Only one there who I just found too weird and patronising (a male).

Jurls Jurls 10:31 pm 27 Feb 15

Give Contact Canberra a call. They should be able to tell you what support groups are around. Or SHOUT might be able to suggest some as well.

Magpie Magpie 3:00 pm 26 Feb 15

Fisher Family Practice is very good. Plenty of doctors there, and not too difficult to get appointments most of the time. I’ve been really happy with the clinical advice and chronic disease management strategies from the four or so doctors I’ve seen there.

Bajar Bajar 11:43 am 26 Feb 15

Your GP@Lyneham are absolutely fantastic. Every GP I’ve seen there is fantastic and really take time out to talk to you about treatments and they also let you know of updates to medication and support services.

frg1978 frg1978 11:33 am 26 Feb 15

Re a GP recommendation, what part of Canberra were you looking in ACTgirl35? and did you need a bulk billing practice or happy to pay? As for support groups – contact Carers ACT, they should be able to help you. ACT Health also runs regular courses for those living with a long term condition where you may meet people in a similar situation to you.

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