Physician Leadership Development Program (PLDP)

Physician Leadership Development Program (PLDP)

The Physician Leadership Development Program will help Doctors Nova Scotia members become visionary, collaborative, effective leaders in health care.

The Physician Leadership Development Program (PLDP) aims to enhance the skills of experienced leaders to influence health system decisions that affect physicians and patients. The program, designed specifically for Nova Scotia physicians and delivered by physicians and leadership experts, focuses on integrative systems thinking and other key skills necessary to lead in an ever-changing health care environment.

Program components

Before the program begins, each participant will be asked to complete a 360° assessment, which will help inform the development of a personalized learning plan to enhance their individual leadership skills. 

Participants will spend up to two to five hours per week working on a solution to a real-life health system issue. These action learning projects give participants the opportunity to practise the skills they have learned, and are completed with the support of project sponsors and key stakeholders, including the Nova Scotia Health Authority, the IWK and Dalhousie Medical School. 

In addition to course work and action learning projects, participants will benefit from five, one-hour individual coaching sessions over the course of the program.

Key program outcomes

The Physician Leadership Program will create a community of physician leaders in Nova Scotia who have the skills and abilities to be visionary, collaborative and effective leaders. Participants will:

  • Practice and apply approaches to innovation and design thinking
  • Learn to identify and apply different change methodologies in order to lead change effectively
  • Gain coaching skills and benefit from results-driven one-on-one faculty coaches
  • Gain knowledge in order to effectively influence and navigate complex systems
  • Learn to navigate the provincial health-care system/environment
  • Gain relevant business skills, such as project management, finance, conflict resolution and marketing
  • Identify and achieve individual leadership goals
  • Increase team effectiveness

Program cost and benefits

Doctors Nova Scotia has subsidized enrolment fees by paying $8,000 per physician participant. Each physician pays the remaining $4,000 in program fees, plus travel and accommodations, for the six weekend sessions. 

In return for this time and monetary investment, participants will receive:

  • Six leadership training modules (participants must attend all six modules)
  • Individual coaching sessions
  • CPD credits (number of credits to be confirmed) 
  • Leadership certificate

Five of the six modules will be held in the Halifax area. The graduation session will be held at White Point Beach Resort, Queens County, N.S. 

This event is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and approved by the University of Ottawa’s Office of Continuing Professional Development. Participants may claim a maximum of 60.25 hours (credits are automatically calculated).

This Group Learning program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and Nova Scotia Chapter for up to 68.50 Mainpro+ credits. 


Participants must commit to attend each of the six program modules, so it’s important to check your calendar before applying. 

Dates for the 2018–19 program modules are as follows: 

  • Module 1: Oct. 12 and 13, 2018
  • Module 2: Nov. 23 and 24, 2018
  • Module 3: Jan. 11 and 12, 2019
  • Module 4: Feb. 8 and 9, 2019
  • Module 5: March 8 and 9, 2019 (changed from March 22 and 23)
  • Module 6: April 12 and 13, 2019

How to apply

The application process for the 2018–19 program is now closed. 

Applications are reviewed by a selection committee. Physicians do not need to hold a formal leadership role to participate, but they must demonstrate leadership competencies.

The PLDP was developed in partnership with Joule, a Canadian Medical Association company, and in consultation with the NSHA, the IWK and Dalhousie Medical School.

Doctors Nova Scotia Physician Leadership Development Advisory Group and selection committee:

Lorie Campbell
Executive Leadership Coach, Physician Services, Nova Scotia Health Authority 

Scott Comber, PhD
Assistant Professor, Rowe School of Business, Joule Inc. 

Dr. Natasha Deshwal
Family physician, 2017-18 PLDP graduate

Dr. Mamta Gautam
Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa Faculty Of Medicine, psychiatrist and leadership resilience specialist, Joule Inc.

Dr. Lara Hazelton
Director of Faculty Development for the Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University 

Tracy Huckabone
Advisor, Physician Learning and Development, Joule Inc.

Barb Johnson
Senior Communications Advisor, Doctors Nova Scotia 

Dr. Dolores McKeen
Chief, Women's & Obstetric Dept of Anesthesia , IWK Health Centre 

Katie Mallam
Senior Policy Advisor, Doctors Nova Scotia 

Kerri-Ann Mainville
Advisor, Physician Learning and Development, Joule Inc. 

Melissa Murray
Communications Coordinator, Doctors Nova Scotia


Barb Johnson
Senior communications advisor
1-800-563-3427 ext. 4915