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Issue 3: October 2023

Message from the Registrar

Welcoming New Physicians to Nova Scotia

In September, 18 physicians participated in a 3-day welcome orientation at the College along with Dr. Gus Grant the College’s Registrar and CEO (seated centre).

The Welcome Collaborative is designed to support physicians who have trained outside of Canada, have been issued a licence, and are new to practising in Nova Scotia.

The Welcome Collaborative’s 3-day orientation sessions in June and September were attended by 24 physicians who are new to practising in Canada. The Welcome Collaborative, aims to support their integration into medical practice and their new communities.

The majority are practising in small or rural communities across the province. Most have been issued a Defined license and as such are under supervision on a pathway to Full licensure.

The Welcome Collaborative is the first program of its kind in Canada and has received funding support from the provincial government until 2025 to deliver the orientation program. Since its launch in October of 2022, 53 physicians have attended the Welcome Collaborative and 65 will have done so by year end.

Despite excellent training and experience, settling into life and practice in Nova Scotia is not without challenges. Many of these physicians are struggling to find housing, spousal employment, and childcare for young children. The curriculum of the Welcome Collaborative is constantly evolving to address the most pressing issues facing physicians. Our sessions range from presentations on the broad landscape of Nova Scotia healthcare to sharing of lived experiences from international physicians now settled into practice here.

If we are to retain internationally recruited physicians, we need to build upon the province’s recruiting efforts with robust, wrap-around services and support to ensure physicians and their families can successfully settle. Success on these fronts will contribute greatly to the rates of long-term retention in practice here.