FAQ

Frequently asked questions

Is my family doctor seeing any patients in-person?


  • We continue to see patients VIRTUALLY, via video or on the telephone, for the foreseeable future. Where your family doctor deems it necessary and safe, face-to-face care will be booked on a case-by-case basis.
  • As such, any appointment requests will automatically be booked by our admin staff as a virtual appointment.




How do I prepare for my virtual appointment with my family doctor?


  • When booking your appointment, please confirm the preferred phone number your family doctor should reach you at.
  • 2 days prior to your appointment, you will receive an email from no-reply@cognisantmd.com to confirm the appointment and review the Virtual Care consent form. Please look out for that email.
  • Expect a phone call at the scheduled time. While your family doctor strives to always be on time, please expect delays of up to 30 minutes.
  • Please note that your family doctor may be calling you from a NO-CALLER ID or PRIVATE number. If you have privacy settings that block private numbers, your doctor may not be able to reach you – please check with your service provider.
For more information: Understanding Virtual Doctor's Appointments




What should I expect for my in-person appointment with my family doctor?


  • 2 days prior to your scheduled in-person appointment, you will receive an email from no-reply@cognisantmd.com to confirm the appointment and to fill out the mandatory COVID screening questionnaire.
  • Screening for COVID is mandatory prior to an in-person appointment. Failure to complete the screening may result in delays or cancellation of your appointment.
  • Please present to the appointment alone (exceptions will only be made for children or essential caregivers).
  • Upon arrival, please follow clinic instructions and maintain social distancing guidelines.
  • When inside the clinic, you will be expected to practice diligent hand hygiene, wear a mask, and comply with physical distancing and infection control protocols.
  • To conserve our limited PPE supplies, PLEASE BRING AND WEAR YOUR OWN NON-MEDICAL OR HOME-MADE MASK, if possible.




Can I currently book a periodic health exam (i.e. annual physical)?


  • Unfortunately, we will not be resuming periodic health examinations at this time. We will certainly keep you updated as we progress through the various stages of re-introduction to in-person care.
  • We continue to book well-baby visits, pregnancy visits, pap tests and routine vaccinations. If you are due – please contact our clinic to book an appointment.
Checklist for Healthy Adults




My employer/school is asking for a doctor's note for return after illness. How do I request a clearance letter from my family doctor?


We appreciate that the continuously evolving return-to-school/work public health guidelines are a source of confusion and frustration for many. Please continue to check OPH link below for the most up to date information and changing screening tools:

Please use the following self-attestation forms as clearance letters:




Can I book my flu shot at SOMC?


Check out our Flu Shot 2020-21 for all the up to date information.




Why is my family doctor not seeing all patients in-person?


  • We have to continue to reduce COVID risk in our offices through physical distancing, which will reduce the amount of people we can have in our office at any one time.
  • Health Authorities require us to wear PPE (masks and eye protection) during all in-person encounters. PPE remains in short supply – therefore, we have to be economical with its usage.
  • We have to clean our exam rooms frequently and thoroughly to ensure you are not at risk of catching COVID from your visit - this will reduce the number of people we can see in our office each day.
  • We know that virtual care is safe and effective in a number of conditions and welcomed by a number of our patients as more convenient.




Is wearing a mask mandatory during an encounter with medical staff at SOMC?


Yes – all patients are expected to wear a mask for their own safety and the safety of others. If you have a health condition that makes it difficult to wear a mask, let our staff know in advance so your family doctor can determine safe accommodations or make alternative arrangements.




I received an email from South Ottawa Medical Centre (no-reply@cognisantmd.com). Should I open it?


YES! The South Ottawa Medical Centre is launching a new portal (CognisantMD Ocean platform) to enhance communications with patients virtually. This allows your family doctor to securely send messages and attachments, and invite you to complete forms and questionnaires online, without the risks of email. Of note - The emails you receive are outgoing only. Please do not reply to the email. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the office in the usual manner.




Is it safe to see my family doctor in person?


Visiting your family doctor's office is arguably safer than going to the grocery store. While at SOMC, every patient will be expected to practice diligent hand hygiene, wear a mask, and comply with physical distancing and infection control protocols. Any patients with COVID positive screens are managed by their family doctor virtually or redirected to COVID Care Clinics in Ottawa. Our doctors and administrative staff are also screened daily.

Please rest assured that your safety is our top priority.