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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.

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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145 Responses to The Best Doctors in Canberra
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.

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.

Ecklim Ecklim 8:18 pm 24 Apr 13

Has any one else had any experience with Dr Janine Kelly at either Giralang or Watson medical centres or Dr Felicity Donaghy at Garema?

JazzyJess JazzyJess 11:35 am 23 Apr 13

Dr Felicity Donaghy at Garema Place Surgery is tops. Actually all of the GPs there are terrific. Highly recommended:

Jurls Jurls 9:34 am 23 Apr 13

gentoopenguin said :

Dr Philip Toua at Watson Medical Centre is really lovely. I know he’s not a female doctor but he helped me with post-natal stuff and couldn’t have been more caring or attentive.

There’s also a female doctor there, Dr Kelly I think. Haven’t been to her though so can’t say either way. They bulk bill.

That would be Dr Janine Kelly. Dr Toua and Dr Kelly are both at Giralang Medical Centre also, so I assume they work part time between Watson and Giralang. They are both very good. It appears to be slightly cheaper to see them at Giralang if you look at the Billing policies on both Centre websites 😉

gungsuperstar gungsuperstar 1:00 am 23 Apr 13

If you’re happy with 35 bucks, I recommend Palmerston Medical Centre. The receptionists are friendly, which is a bonus. Dr Southi is a dude, but he’s done a lot of work in pediatrics, and is apparently phenomenal with kids. I’m a regular patient of Prad cos of an ongoing issue – he’s patient, he’s attentive, and he’s not at all afraid to admit that his previous suspicions were wrong, and that we need to try something else. Dr Gan is also a guy, and he has a lot of certificates on his wall. Don’t quote me on it – but I was told by someone who should know that he’s a migrant who was a surgeon in his own country, but “settled” for general practice upon moving here. Dr Sandy (Vitikos, I think) – I haven’t seen her before, but I’ve spoken to her and she’s super friendly. If the other 2 doctors are anything to go by, I wouldn’t have a problem recommending her.

You’ll need 70 bucks in your bank account to go for the full fee – but they’ll process the Medicare rebate in-house, saving the trip (and the friggen line) at Medicare. So you end up paying about 36 bucks.

Paul0075 Paul0075 11:26 pm 22 Apr 13

I just moved to Canberra in the past month (finally), and because of a few existing issues, I decided to go hunting for a new doctor. I had a lot of hit and miss with bulk billing doctors, who all seem to be keen on giving you pills and sending you on your way.

I decided to go back to a normal pay as you go doctor, and chose Gungahlin General Practice – as it’s close to work. They booked me with Dr Thien La. He’s really easy going and friendly and ready to listen and provides easy to understand information on your problems, and able to provide several suggestions for treatment.

He is the first male doctor I have seen where I felt able to talk to him without any apprehension as those I have seen in the past seem to have a bit of a “she’ll be right” attitude.

The consult was $75, but you get about half back from Medicare, and for me, NIB will pay the rest.

He wants me to come back to monitor my condition in a month, and I will be honest, I am looking forward to the consult. I feel as though I have some control again after living with crap doctors in the previous city I lived in for almost 2 years. He also wants to work on a plan to get me off some of the meds I take, which is something I keen to not have to rely on, long term.

Jazmina Jazmina 10:32 pm 22 Apr 13

Dr Nambiar in the Australian Swimming building across from the Belconnen Mall is outstanding. A standard consultation with her will also cost about $35 after the Medicare rebate which they can process at the time of consultation.
I have been seeing Dr Nambiar for about 6 years now and she has always been extraordinarily thorough and very well informed on just about any topic! I couldn’t recommend her highly enough!

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