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Home » Do I need a referral?

Do I need a referral?

Can I see a dermatologist without a referral?

Dermatology is a clinical specialty that focuses on diagnosing and treating conditions related to the skin. A dermatologist must undergo extensive and comprehensive training before becoming certified in treating skin diseases and conditions. Dr. Dusan Sajic and our team at Derma Skin Institute are a popular choice for patients seeking a qualified dermatologist in the Burlington and Guelph areas. But do you need a referral to see a dermatologist? The answer may surprise you: you don’t always need a referral.

Is A Referral Necessary?

It is not always necessary to have a referral to see a dermatologist. If you are seeking a diagnosis or suspect a skin condition requires medical attention, please visit your primary care provider (PCP), and they can escalate your case to our clinic. In many cases, a referral is required for conditions that OHIP deems medically necessary, such as detecting and treating skin disorders that affect your wellness or health. 

However, a range of conditions do not fall within that scope and are not covered by OHIP. For example, the Ministry of Health considers most benign lesions an unessential service. All our services are physician guided, including elective, non-OHIP treatments that address these skin concerns. 

However, there are times when a referral may be helpful.

When Will A Referral Help?

As previously mentioned, if a treatment you are seeking from our team can be covered by OHIP, a referral will be helpful so that any associated costs can be covered. The key is to avoid giving your insurance any reason to deny your treatment, which can happen when seeing a specialist. In cases where a referral will be needed, simply visit your primary care provider so they can examine your condition and then refer you to our team or another area dermatologist.

Besides helping with insurance payouts, there are other reasons to see your primary care provider first. Some of these reasons include:

  • It allows your primary care provider to oversee your care before collaborating with our specialists for your needs.
  • Your PCP has an in-depth understanding of your medical history, and seeking a referral will allow them to coordinate with us in the many aspects of your care.
  • We work with many Ontario area PCPs, and a referral will allow your doctor to refer you to the team he deems most appropriate for your needs.
  • Your PCP can communicate openly with our team to ensure you receive the proper care.

But Do I Actually Need A Referral?

As stated earlier, depending on your situation, you do not need a referral to schedule an appointment with our team. If you know that your procedure will not be covered by any form of insurance you currently have, including OHIP, then a referral is likely not going to do you much financial good. However, keeping your PCP in the loop regarding any procedures may still be a good idea so that our team can fully understand your medical history, allergies, etc.

If it is not clear whether your concern falls under OHIP or not, please contact our office and speak with one of our patient coordinators, who will be happy to guide you.

How Do Referrals Work?

Your primary care provider (PCP), like your family doctor, will send a referral directly to us, outlining your specific condition. Our office will schedule an appointment and notify your PCP of the date and time. Your provider then contacts you with the appointment details. To make any changes to your appointment, simply contact us.

Do I Need A Separate Referral For Each Condition?

Yes. Each skin condition requires a referral from your PCP.

What If I Don’t Have A Family Doctor?

A walk-in clinic or your local emergency room can also issue a referral.

Do You Accept Walk-In Or Emergency Patients?

We do not accept walk-in or emergency patients. If your case is urgent, please visit your local emergency room.

Schedule An Appointment Today!

If you are in the Burlington, ON, area and are looking for a qualified dermatologist, look no further than Dr. Tiffany Chen and Dr. Daniel Wong at Burlington Skin & Wellness. Please call (905) 849-5057 to schedule an appointment with our clinic.

If you are in the Guelph, ON, area and are looking for a qualified dermatologist, look no further than Dr. Dusan Sajic and our esteemed team at Derma Skin Institute. Please call (888) 803-3762 to schedule an appointment with our clinic.


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If you are an existing patient inquiring about appointments and services, please contact

Guelph Cosmetic Department: (888) 803-3762

Guelph Medical Department: (519) 836-8558

Burlington Cosmetic Department: (888) 803-3762

Burlington Medical Department: (905) 849-5057