South Island Division of Family Practice


RACE (Rapid Access to Consultative Expertise) is a novel strategy to enhance patient care. For traditional referrals, patients often wait months to see a specialist, however minor advice may be all that is needed. An educational interaction with knowledge transfer is encouraged when the specialist answers the call. In the spirit of “capacity building”, specialists are recruited for their interest in teaching and communication as well as their recognition as key opinion leaders. Compensation for physicians is via fee-for-service billing. While any FP could call any specialist, prior to RACE, it was on a “catch me if you can” basis and there was no guarantee that a specialist could be contacted or would call back in a timely manner. The RACE line provides structure to promote easy accessibility while allowing for sustainability through an organized rotation. Patients may have their healthcare issue dealt with in their FP office instead of needing to see a specialist. This will often render face-to-face consultation or referral to an emergency department unnecessary. 

RACE Provides 

  • Timely guidance and advice regarding assessment, management and treatment of patients
  • Assistance with plan of careTeaching opportunities — educational and practical advice
  • Enhanced ability for FPs to manage patients in their offices
  • Calls returned within two hours and commonly within an hour​


RACE Does Not Provide

  • Appointment booking and expedited referral
  • Results of diagnostic investigations to the referring physician
  • Arrangement of:
    • Transfers within 24 hours
    • Laboratory or diagnostic investigations
    • A hospital bed


Update on the Vancouver Island RACE Service:

The Vancouver Island RACE Service has been providing direct communication between GPs and SPs for almost 3 yrs.  The service has grown from the initial 4 specialties and now provides numerous local and provincially covered specialties (see below). That said we would like to expand our local RACE coverage.  Please let us know if you have a Specialty you would like us to approach to solicit their interest and availability.  We would also like to solicit any feedback that may help us to enhance the service. Please do not hesitate to contact Gary Clarke at


  1. RACE coverage hours: 9am – 5pm, Mon-Fri **No coverage provided in the evenings or stat holidays
  2. Please ensure that you “COMPLETE” the calls via the App once you receive the callback from the Specialist

Below is a list of the specialties currently providing coverage:

Cardiology Addictions - Perinatal
Chronic Pain Addictions Medicine
Gastroenterology Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
General Internal Medicine HIV Care, Treatment, Prophylaxis
Geriatrics Infectious Diseases - Pediatric
Gynecology Infectious Diseases - Tropical & Post-Travel
Hematology Medical Assistance in Dying Advice
Maternity FP Specialists Medical Refugee Health
Palliative Orthopedic Conditions - Pediatric
Pediatrics Palliative Care
Plastic Surgery Parkinson's Disease and Other Movement Disorders
Psychiatry - Adult Pediatric Gastroenterology
Psychiatry - Geriatrics Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Psychiatry - Sexual Medicine Cardiac Transplant
Rheumatology Psychiatry - Eating Disorders
  Psychiatry - Perinatal
  Rheumatology - Pediatric
  Sexual Assault Service
  Sexually Transmitted Infections Service
  Sleep Disorders Service
  Trans Gender Care
  Vascular Surgery

If you are a family physician or nurse practitioner interested in signing up for RACE, click here to complete your registration. RACE can be accessed via desktop computer, laptop, or mobile devices.

You can also download RACEApp+ on your smartphone or tablet via the following links:

For more information, please email


RACE Resources


For family physicians:

For specialists: