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A group of young doctors having a meeting around a table in the hospital boardroom.

The pathway to long-term licensure reduces the required time physicians on a Defined licence must practise under supervision.

The Medical Act requires physicians trained outside of Canada to practise under a Defined licence and undergo supervision.

Physicians must meet the requirements and conditions required to obtain a Defined licence.

Supervisors monitor, assess, and support the supervised physician as they work towards long-term licensure. Supervisors ensure access to high-quality patient care for Nova Scotians.

Close up photo of two doctors shaking hands

Minimum Supervision Period

The pathway to long-term licensure reduces the required time physicians on a Defined licence must practise under supervision by 60%.

Physicians issued a Defined licence will have a minimum of six months of supervision to a maximum of 24 months.

Based on our data, we anticipate that 80% of physicians on the pathway will be issued a Restricted licence after six months. A smaller cohort may require up to 24 months of supervision.

Maximum Supervision Period

If there are ongoing concerns, the physician will continue to practise on a Defined licence and will undergo customized supervision to address the concerns, deficiencies, or areas that were not previously assessed.

  • Physicians who remain on a Defined licence will do so for a maximum of 18 additional months (24 months in total).
  • They will automatically be referred to the Registration Committee and their licensing decisions will rest with the Committee.
  • The Committee will review their supervision reports after a minimum of 6 more months of supervision.
  • At any point during the final 18 months, the physician could be issued a Restricted licence, an ongoing Defined licence, or the licence could end.
  • After a total of 24 months of supervision, the Registration Committee will decide whether to issue a Restricted licence and may impose additional conditions and restrictions or recommend ending the licence.

We anticipate that approximately 15-20% of physicians will fall into this stream.

Once on a Restricted Licence, the physician can request a practice location change with the College. The key is that it is a similar practice context for which they were assessed under supervision.

There is always the option to work toward a Full licence by challenging the certification exam as long as the physician is eligible to do so.

Supervision Costs

We anticipate that the supervisor will require 40 hours in six months to complete the work and they will be compensated $6000 for the six months.

The cost to the supervised physician is $7500 for six months (this includes a $1500 College administration fee). For the small number of physicians that require ongoing supervision, there will be additional costs depending upon the length of supervision required.