Transforming the health-care system

Implementation of the province’s 10-year Physician Resource Plan is underway. 

Doctors Nova Scotia has been involved in the development, announcement, and implementation of the plan.   

New Family Medicine Residency Program

South West Health is getting a new family medicine residency program. The program will create an additional five family medicine positions at Dalhousie Medical School.

The new teaching site will provide community-based training in areas of need. The hope is that by training family physicians in rural areas, they’ll be more likely to choose a career in rural family medicine. 

As a member of the Physician Resource Plan Medical Education Working Group, Doctors Nova Scotia worked with the Department of Health and Wellness and Dalhousie Medical School on matching the recommendations of the Physician Resource Plan with the medical education process.

More family doctors/redistribution of specialists

The province needs more family doctors and generalists, and a redistribution of specialists.

The province needs 112 more family doctors over the next 10 years as well as an increase in the number of full-time equivalency in internal medicine and general surgery. The addition of a new family medicine residency program is a step toward recruiting more doctors to rural communities in the province. 

These figures are based on 2010 data. A provincial Data Working Group is looking to update the figures.

Ongoing work

Progress since the development of the Physician Resource Plan includes:

  • creation of 4 new collaborative primary care practice teams
  • development of Emergency Department Coverage Program to help fill vacant shifts
  • expansion of the community-based Family Medicine Residency program to Annapolis Valley and Yarmouth
  • updated physician recruitment website


Doctors Nova Scotia has a commitment from the provincial government that it will be involved in the development of action items and consulted with during the planning processes. As part of this commitment, Doctors Nova Scotia has representation on the following bodies:

  • Medical Education Working Group
  • Physician Recruitment and Retention Action Team
  • Advisory Committee


Katie Mallam

Senior policy advisor