Dr. Tim Holland

Doctors Nova Scotia welcomes new President and President-Elect

Dr. Tim Holland, of Truro, N.S., was installed as Doctors Nova Scotia’s President during the association’s annual conference on Saturday, June 9, 2018, in Sydney.

Dr. Holland graduated from Dalhousie Medical School in 2011 and completed his family medicine residency in 2013. Following his residency, he travelled the province, working in multiple locations as part of the Rural Emergency Locum Program, before settling down at the Colchester Regional Hospital in Truro.

In 2014, he co-founded the Newcomer Health Clinic (formerly the Transitional Health Clinic for Refugees) in Halifax; in 2015, he started practising family medicine part time at the Sipekne’katik Health Centre in Indian Brook. Dr. Holland currently practises in all three locations.

Dr. Holland’s leadership experience includes Political Advocacy Representative for the Dalhousie Medical Students' Society (DMSS) and member of the Political Advocacy Committee for the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS). During his residency, he served as Chief Resident of Dalhousie Family Medicine and Associate-Chief Resident of Dalhousie Family Medicine Halifax-Site.

“There’s an ongoing theme in my involvement with medical leadership and advocacy,” said Dr. Holland. “It’s important to me to make sure nobody gets left out of health care, whether they are refugees, first nations people or end-of-life patients seeking Medical Assistance in Dying.”

In many cases, Dr. Holland’s focus on advocacy has aligned with the association’s aim to help physicians provide excellent health care for all Nova Scotians.

“Having worked all across the province at various emergency departments, I came to appreciate how disparate health care was between patients who have a family doctor and patients who don’t. Patients without a family doctor are essentially left out of health care,” he said.

“Seeing this as a priority in my own advocacy direction and recognizing that helping family doctors thrive was becoming a strategic priority for DNS, I felt quite aligned with the organization – that’s why I applied to be President.”

Dr. Holland acknowledges that assuming the presidency with contract negotiations on the horizon means he’s facing a year of challenges and uncertainty.

“There’s a lot at stake,” he said, acknowledging that physicians across the province are facing issues that will make contract negotiations especially heated. “While we are all struggling, some of us are struggling more than others. We need to be able to look beyond our personal challenges and frustrations and consider the hardship our colleagues are facing as well.”

Success – helping ensure that all Nova Scotians are able to access health care – is a matter of focusing on the end game, he says.

“For Doctors Nova Scotia, we achieve that goal by supporting physicians to thrive. For the Department of Health and Wellness, it’s through careful application of resources. For the Nova Scotia Health Authority, it’s through care delivery, and so on. However, we each get caught up in the means and forget our end. If we keep our common ‘end’ in mind, we’ll be able to align our disparate ‘means.’”

He became a member of Doctors Nova Scotia’s Policy and Health Issues Committee (PHIC) in 2014, and became co-chair of the committee in 2016. He was a member of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) Working Group in 2015–16 and the Primary Care Policy Working Group in 2016–17. In 2016 he was elected to the association’s Board of Directors; that same year he was elected as Chair of Ethics of the Canadian Medical Association.

Also on Saturday, Dr. Gary Ernest was approved as President-Elect for 2018-19. He practises family medicine in Liverpool, N.S. and he graduated from Dalhousie Medical School in 1980. Dr. Ernest is currently a regional representative on the Doctors Nova Scotia Board of Directors and a DNS representative on the committee developing MAID standards for the province. His past service with DNS includes elected representative on the Board, audit committee member and co-chair of the Policy and Health Issues Committee. He will become President in June 2019-20.


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