Physician Leadership

illustration of education

Physician Leadership

There are many leadership training opportunities for physicians, including two/three-day Physician Leadership Institute (PLI) courses. Physicians interested in more in-depth training may apply to participate in the longer-term Physician Leadership Development Program (PLDP). 

Physician Leadership Institute

Doctors Nova Scotia has collaborated with CMA Joule to offer two-day courses. Doctors Nova Scotia members are able to participate at a reduced rate because DNS is subsidizing 60 percent of the program costs for physicians.

The association is pleased to offer $200/weekend to cover expenses related to childcare. Review the Childcare Policy here.

Physician Leadership Institute courses are designed especially for physicians. They have been delivered for 35 years and have a 98% participant satisfaction rate. The courses are also accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

If you have any questions or are looking for more information, please contact Samantha Graham.

Upcoming courses:

Creating healthy work culture through trauma-informed leadership

Date: Oct. 16 and 17, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. (daily)
Cost: $1,000  per participant
Registration deadline: Oct. 6, 2023
Location: DNS Office, 25 Spectacle Lake Drive, Dartmouth, N.S.
Capacity: 20 participants (first come, first served)

The world has experienced a collective trauma through the COVID-19 pandemic. The long-term impact to health care workers serving on the front-lines is incalculable. Canadian physicians were demonstrating disproportionally higher rates of burnout, depression and suicidal ideation before the pandemic: they were already a traumatized workforce. Further mental health impacts and workforce shortages are predicted among health care workers after the pandemic. Medical leaders may be unaware of the role trauma plays at the individual, team and system levels. This course develops leadership skills to foster recovery, build wellness and promote post-traumatic growth in the health care workforce. Delivered as an interactive workshop, it will facilitate a shift to a wellness-informed mindset and encourage you to apply key wellness-informed leadership practices at all levels. Participants can expect to learn how to

  • explore the types of trauma experienced by physicians
  • examine the impacts of trauma at the individual, team and system level
  • reframe physician burnout through a trauma lens
  • discover the principles of trauma-informed (TI) approaches
  • analyze how to translate TI principles into leadership practice
  • recognize how TI principles apply at the system level to create TI teams and health care organizations
  • develop an action plan to bring TI principles to your leadership practice with team/organizational metrics to measure culture shift

Register now!

Leading Change (in-person)

Date: TBC
Cost: $1,000 per participant
Registration deadline: TBC
Capacity: 20 participants (first come, first served)

Working as a physician in our complex health care system, you may encounter many frustrations―perhaps with the pace of change, with lack of time or appropriate support, effective communication with the administration, even troublesome or disinterested colleagues. It’s no wonder many physicians cite leading change as one of the topics they want to learn about the most.

In this Physician Leadership Institute course, you will learn the strategies you need to motivate, implement and sustain change in the complex system you practice. Although the course structure is guided by key readings and insight from your instructors, it is primarily conversation and experience based. Anticipate participating in discussions as you work through the challenges you are facing in real-time. Participants can expect to learn how to: 

  • better understand your leadership style and build a shared vision
  • Influence organizational culture, persuade stakeholders and minimize opposition
  • implement a systematic approach to tackling the challenges and opportunities related to change
  • identify organizational enablers and barriers to change
  • build and maintain the relationships in your network
  • accept, anticipate and learn from failure
  • develop resilience

If you have any questions or are looking for more information, please contact Samantha Graham.

Physician Leadership Development Program

The association collaborates with CMA Joule to offer a Physician Leadership Development Program (PLDP) that aims to enhance the skills of experienced leaders to influence health system decisions that affect physicians and patients.

We are currently undergoing program and content refresh with CMA Joule to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of our physician leaders. The Physician Leadership Development Program will be launching once again for its sixth year in early 2024.

Learn more about the PLDP

Other learning opportunities

Our partners offer leadership learning opportunities. Click here for more information.


Samantha Graham
Policy advisor