Where to Start
Visit your primary care provider (PCP) and explain your symptoms and medical history. Your PCP will make a diagnosis based on your symptoms, history and test results. Your PCP will make a referral to the Central Intake Centre (CIC) for further specialized assessment and treatment recommendations, or assignment for a surgical consult if required
Your referral is sent to the CIC, where it is reviewed to make sure it is appropriate and complete. If a Rapid Access Clinic (RAC) is available for your condition, the referral is then assigned to a RAC located closest to your home address. At the assessment clinic, you will be seen by a specially-trained nurse, physiotherapist, or chiropractor who will discuss your condition and options for treatment with you.
If you are not a surgical candidate, you will be given advice on conservative measures to help with pain relief and function.
If you have been assessed at the ISAEC (Interprofessional Spine Assessment & Education Clinic) / Low Back Rapid Access Clinic and you are a candidate for imaging, surgical consultation or injection procedures, you will be seen for secondary assessment at the Ottawa Hospital Civic campus to organize these aspects of your care.
For all other conditions seen at a RAC, if you are a surgical candidate, you may choose to see the first available surgeon within the region, a specific hospital or a specific surgeon. You will be provided with wait time information to assist you in making your decision.
If a RAC is not available for your condition, the referral is forwarded to a surgeon based on:
- Your choice of surgeon or hospital
- The location closest to you
- The surgeon who performs the possible surgery needed
- The wait times of surgeons (first available)