More than one million Ontarians don't have a doctor and the critical shortage is a problem that is expected to get much worse.

The President of Ontario's Medical Association says the shortage is significant and requires immediate action.

"Right now, we know that we're about 2,000 doctors short and about 1,000 of those are family doctors and 1,000 are specialists," said Dr. Janice Willet.

To make matters worse, thousands of doctors are expected to retire in the next two years.

Connie Oxelgren who is in desperate need of a family physician says the shortage is a huge problem for people already dealing with poor health.

Oxelgren has a disability and just found out she's losing her family doctor, putting her on a desperate search for a replacement.

"My disability creates several secondary health issues which require health monitoring so I also require more contact with my GP than the average person would," she said.

Oxelgren says she's yet to find a doctor's office that has a mechanical lift to help her get onto an exam table.

Claudia Oprea is also on the hunt for a family doctor. Her doctor left three years ago and she's been on the hunt for a new physician ever since.

"I called about 10 places, I'd say," said Oprea who says she can no longer wait for a new doctor.

At a recent visit to a walk-in clinic, Oprea found out she had blood clots.

"I started to have numbness, plus my migraines," she said.

Although walk-in clinics are often used as a quick-fix for those without family physicians, visiting clinics can also have potentially deadly complications.

In Oprea's case, the walk-in clinic doctor she saw didn't know her medical history and gave her a prescription that caused complications.

"I could have died," she said. "I could have had a blood clot and I could have died."

The situation is not only tough for patients; it's also taking a toll on doctors who are at or near retirement.

At 66 years old, Dr. Bill James officially retired two years ago but his retirement has been put on hold because he couldn't find someone to take over his practice.

"I had over 1,000 letters and 1,000 people contact me and say how sorry they were to see me go," said James, who now works 35 hours a week. "I had a great concern for these families and for these children. They were part of my family and they were part of my life."

Health officials predict that in two years, 4,000 doctors will be ready for retirement and there won't be enough new doctors to replace those retirees.

"When you look at numbers we've increased medical schools by, which was a good volume, you still won't have compensated for those people if they retire in the next five years," said Willet.

With a report from CTV's Aliya Jiwan