What is a dermatologist?
A Dermatologist is a medical doctor (M.D.) who completes another 5 years of training after medical school in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions that affect the skin, hair, and nails at a recognized dermatology residency program.
Dermatologists are the only trained medical doctors to be experts in skin, hair, and nail health, disease, and treatments and are Fellows of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada (FRCPC) in Dermatology.
There are ~275 licensed dermatologists in Ontario. This translates into less than 1 dermatologist for every 50,000 Ontarians.
Do I need a referral to see a dermatologist?
In Ontario, a referral is obtained for medically necessary dermatology, as per the stipulations of the OHIP (Ontario health insurance plan).
Your family doctor or nurse practitioner may request a consultation with dermatology if there is a skin condition that has arisen where the diagnosis may be uncertain, or treatment has been used but has not improved the condition
Please note, when referrals are received from outside of DermAtelier on Avenue’s Home and Community Support Services Catchment Area (formerly known as LHIN – Local Health Integrated Network), referrals for suspected skin cancer are prioritized for appointment booking. Most other referrals originating outside of this catchment area are redirected to the referring provider for consideration of care closer to the patient’s home address.
Can’t I just book with a dermatologist directly?
For some uninsured services, direct booking is permitted:
Cosmetic services/ non medically necessary services (including injectable treatments, procedures such as mole removal, skin tag removal, platelet-rich plasma, cyst excision).
Cosmetic assessments (e.g. skin analysis with cosmetic product recommendations, platelet-rich plasma assessment, and consultation).
Clinical Trial enrollment and participation.
I saw the dermatologist, but I have another, different issue that has come up, what do I do?
To maintain the flow of patients and enable new patients who require help to be seen, dermatologists act as consultants to address a specific question or concern with your skin/ hair/ nails
When a new concern arises, your family doctor or nurse practitioner may assess your concern.
Once your family doctor or nurse practitioner has assessed the issue, they may determine whether or not another referral is required to DermAtelier on Avenue.
I saw Dr. Beach before, but at a different office, do I still need a referral to see her now?
Your existing file is “housed” in the previous clinic; they are custodians of your file where any follow-up care was to be arranged. Should you wish to see Dr. Beach at DermAtelier on Avenue, your family doctor or nurse practitioner may help determine whether your condition would benefit from referral to DermAtelier on Avenue.
Referral ensures that your updated CPP (complete patient profile) and family physician information and other key details provided by your family doctor reaches the clinic DermAtelier On Avenue.
Please bring any medications previously prescribed for your skin condition. This will facilitate your assessment.
Does OHIP pay for my appointment visit?
Yes, medical conditions such as a skin screening or acne or eczema are insured by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).
Patients require a valid, non-expired healthcard at the time of appointment booking and must present this card at the appointment (whether in-person or virtually provided).
OHIP does not pay for clinic appointments or assessments that are not medically necessary or cosmetic in nature.
Does OHIP pay for my medications that the dermatologist prescribes?
OHIP insures the visit at DermAtelier on Avenue for medical concerns. However, medications are not insured.
Private insurance (e.g. Manulife, Sun Life, etc) provides coverage for Rx medications.
Certain public medication benefits such as OHIP+ for patients < 25 years of age, ODB (Ontario drug benefit), ODSP (Ontario Disability and Support Program) also provide coverage for a specific list of medications.
What else doesn’t OHIP pay for?
Prescriptions (see above) including Compounded medications.
Documents and forms completed in connection with non-medically necessary requests (e.g. life insurance application.
Excuse from activity notes (“Sick notes”).
Missed appointments without 24-hour notice.
Cosmetic procedures and treatments.
Why do I have to wait to see a Dermatologist?
The population in Ontario exceeds 14 million people. There are ~275 licensed dermatologists in Ontario (~1 dermatologist for every 53,0000 Ontarians).
This means that there is a far greater demand for dermatologist assessments than available appointments.
To maintain the flow of patients and enable new patients who require help to be seen, dermatologists act as consultants to address a specific concern with your skin/ hair/ nails. Patients who do not require ongoing dermatologic assessments or treatment changes are seen by their family physicians or nurse practitioners when required.
Your family doctor may deem your appointment need as “Very Urgent” in certain circumstances (e.g. a suspected skin cancer like melanoma). In this circumstance, DermAtelier on Avenue will accommodate the request to be seen urgently.