Move to Nova Scotia

Cabot Trail Nova Scotia

Move to Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia offers practising physicians a variety of practice opportunities, teaching and research options, and pay models. If you’re considering moving to Nova Scotia to practise medicine, you’ll need to consider a number of variables. Here’s the information you need.

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: 

Read the Member Benefits Guide

Professional environment

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. 

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.

Medical licensing

All physicians in Nova Scotia must have a licence to practise medicine in Nova Scotia. Medical licensing is the responsibility of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia

Position approvals

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. 

Job opportunities

Additional resources