In Nova Scotia, physicians can balance challenging, rewarding work with a rich, engaging leisure time. The province’s four distinct seasons and diverse geography – from rugged coastlines to lush valleys to forested hills – makes it a beautiful place to enjoy cultural pursuits, great food and wine, and all kinds of outdoor adventure.
Doctors Nova Scotia
Doctors Nova Scotia is the professional association for Nova Scotia’s 3,500-plus medical students, residents, and practising and retired physicians. The association:
- Represents its members’ interests in contract negotiations with the provincial government
- Advocates for health-care reform
- Provides a variety of member services, including:
- a comprehensive health and dental plan
- an annual conference, including continuing professional development opportunities
- a monthly member magazine
- family medicine billing seminar recordings and materials online, on-demand, and
- physician advisors help resolve issues in member practices, their communities and the health-care system.
Download this reference guide to Doctors Nova Scotia's member benefits and services.
Halifax, Nova Scotia’s capital city, has the largest medical school and hospital in Atlantic Canada. With more than 111 teaching sites and nine teaching hospitals across the Maritimes, Dalhousie Medical School trains medical students in a four-year MD program. The IWK Children and Women’s Health Centre is a regional hospital that serves patients from across the Maritimes.
The province faces a growing demand for qualified physicians, especially family physicians and rural/regional specialists. The province’s Physician Resource Plan outlines the need to recruit more than 1,000 full-time equivalents (FTEs) over the next 10 years. See the recruitment strategy created by Nova Scotia Health (NSH).
Nova Scotia offers practising physicians a variety of practice opportunities, teaching and research options, and payment models. Be sure to discuss your options with DNS before you commit to a return of service agreement.
Doctors Nova Scotia (DNS) is working to strengthen Nova Scotia’s physician workforce and improve health care in the province. From health information management to new care models, DNS is helping build a better system for patients and physicians alike.
Contracts and physician payment
The variety of funding models in Nova Scotia lets physicians teach, research, support collaborative care teams, and work in rural communities.
- Fee-for-service physicians are paid according to the rates set out in the 2023 Physician Agreement and the MSI Physician’s Manual.
- Physicians on Alternative Payment Plans (APPs) will be transferring to a new payment model, the Longitudinal Family Medicine model, in 2023. This model supports physicians in practising comprehensive family medicine across the lifespan and at all levels of complexity.
- Specialists working in blended clinical/academic practice in Halifax have clinical/academic funding plan (C/AFP) contracts.
- Return of service agreements should be carefully considered. Discuss your options with Doctors Nova Scotia.
Practising medicine in Nova Scotia
Physicians wishing to immigrate to Nova Scotia must meet strict requirements. Internationally trained family doctors should look into the province’s Practice Ready Assessment Program, which helps physicians transition to practising in Nova Scotia. Immigration Services of Nova Scotia (ISANS) has created a website as an Orientation to International Medical Graduates.
The Department of Health and Wellness is the provincial government agency responsible for approving physician positions in Nova Scotia.
Privileging and credentialing
Nova Scotia Health is responsible for managing physician privileging and credentialing.
- Privileging outlines the doctor’s level of access to Nova Scotia Health (NSH) facilities and resources
- Credentialing verifies the physician’s insurance, education and license details.
- Physicians must go through the privileging and credentialing process every three years to ensure continuing education, quality of care and patient safety. Each zone has its own privileging and credentialing committee.
- Browse the latest job opportunities posted by Nova Scotia Health.
- View practice opportunities posted by Doctors Nova Scotia.
- Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) – This association provides a range of supports for newcomers, some specifically for physicians including communications training and assistance in preparing for professional exams. ISANS has created an Orientation for International Medical Graduates.
- Nova Scotia Immigration – The provincial government recently announced new rules intended to make it easier for internationally born physicians to immigrate to Nova Scotia. Learn more about the Physician Stream.