Group of doctors posing for a picture

Twenty-four physician leaders graduate and provide recommendations on four NS system issues

Twenty-four doctors have graduated from Doctors Nova Scotia’s inaugural Physician Leadership Development Program. 

Designed specifically for Nova Scotia physicians and delivered by physicians and leadership experts, the program focused on integrative systems thinking and other key skills necessary for doctors to lead in an ever-changing health-care environment. 

“We’re so proud of the physicians in our first graduating class who have enhanced their skills as physician leaders to work with others to positively influence health-system decisions that affects all Nova Scotians,” said Nancy MacCready-Williams, CEO, Doctors Nova Scotia (DNS).

“Health care change requires physician leadership and this program aims to position physicians for success in both formal and informal leadership work,” said Ms. MacCready-Williams.

The PLDP was developed in partnership with Joule, a Canadian Medical Association (CMA) company, and in consultation with the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA), the IWK Health Centre and Dalhousie Medical School and DNS.

Program participants collaborated on action learning projects to find solutions to complex, real-life problems in collaboration with their colleagues and partner organizations (NSHA, IWK, Dalhousie Medical School and DNS).

They worked on providing recommendations on four challenges specific to Nova Scotia: physician burnout, physician engagement, collaborative practice and community engagement. They presented their findings and recommendations to Nova Scotia’s health system partners over the weekend.

Physician burnout recommendations for project sponsor DNS, include:

  1. Implementation of a province-wide EMR
  2. Addressing outdated payment structure to ensure adequate compensation for indirect patient care activities
  3. Implement a system to ensure reliable access to locum coverage
  4. Engage front-line physicians in decision-making processes
  5. Commitment to follow-up on impact of these mitigation strategies
  6. Training and support for physicians to promote healthy work environments

Physician engagement with NSHA recommendations:

  1. Make physician engagement a priority
  2. Clarify and simplify NSHA structure to facilitate communication
  3. Partner with front-line physicians early in health system change
  4. Timely responsiveness to issues raised by physicians
  5. Develop a culture to allow physicians to deliver quality health care

Community engagement recommendation for Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine:

  • Use an aggregate of three existing community engagement models (Holland Matrix, IAP2 and STEPS)

Foundational principles for collaborative practice, for project sponsors IWK/DNS: 

  1. Trust
  2. Leadership and communication
  3. Patient-centred
  4. Accountability and responsibility
  5. Education, evaluation and adaptability
  6. Resource and funding

Doctors Nova Scotia will offer the program again for another 24 physicians, beginning in the fall of 2018.

Note to editors:
Nancy MacCready-Williams is available for interviews this morning and early Wednesday afternoon. Attached are details of each of the action learning projects. A physician representative will be available, around their clinical work, for interviews to discuss their action learning project recommendations.


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