What you need to know to practise medicine in Nova Scotia
To ensure the highest quality of medical standards and patient safety, physicians must meet several requirements to practise medicine in Nova Scotia.
- Determine Your Eligibility – Depending on your previous training you may require Canadian certification, eligibility for Canadian certification, additional Medical Council (or equivalent) exams, or additional training to practise medicine in Nova Scotia.
- Get Licensed – Through the Nova Scotia Medical Act, the provincial government designated the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Nova Scotia (the College) as the self-regulating body for physicians in Nova Scotia. We serve the public by regulating the province’s medical profession in accordance with the Nova Scotia Medical Act and its regulations. Read our medical regulatory requirements checklist.
- Secure a Job Offer – Nova Scotia Health operates hospitals, health centres, and community-based programs across the province. They verify your education, licence details and insurance before they grant access to their facilities.
To practise medicine in Nova Scotia you must fulfill the following requirements
Medical Licence to Practise
Physicians practising medicine in Nova Scotia must apply for a licence to practise medicine from the College. Physicians must apply to the College annually to renew their licence to practise. You can renew and pay for your medical licence online during the month of November. Review the College’s renewal information.
Medical Corporate Permit
If you practise medicine under a corporation, a corporate permit is legally required and obtained from the College. To set up a medical practice corporation, you must contact the Registry of Joint Stock Companies and then apply for a permit with the College. If you are listed as the Medical Director of such a corporation you are responsible for renewing the corporate permit annually with us.
Service Provider Billing Number
Physicians practicing medicine in Nova Scotia generally require a service provider billing number. For information on billing numbers please contact MSI directly by e mail email@example.com or phone 902-496-7011; toll free 1-866-553-0585.
Medical Identification Number
The Medical Identification Number for Canada (MINC) is a nationally recognized, unique lifetime identification number assigned to those entering Canadian medical education or medical practice. Physicians registered with the College or applying for registration require a MINC number. The College is the authorized organization through which physicians in Nova Scotia can obtain their MINC number.
Medical Liability Insurance
All physicians obtain medical liability insurance and provide documented evidence of liability protection in order to receive and renew a medical licence. The Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) provides medico-legal protection to physicians licensed to practise medicine in Canada.
Doctors Nova Scotia Membership
Physicians licensed to practise medicine in Nova Scotia are required to be a member of Doctors Nova Scotia in accordance with the provincial Doctors Nova Scotia Act. Please review membership information at www.doctorsns.com
Professional Support Program
Doctors Nova Scotia’s Professional Support Program (PSP) offers confidential help to physicians whether they are personal or professional, financial or psychological, psychiatric or addiction. The PSP supports and assists members in effectively coping with stress-related issues like anxiety and depression so they can achieve greater personal satisfaction, higher productivity, and improved patient outcomes. All inquires to the PSP are confidential and will be responded to within 2 business days.
Continuing Professional Development
The College recognizes that continuing professional development (CPD) plays a key role in ongoing practice improvement for physicians.The Nova Scotia Medical Act mandates that all licensed physicians participate in a program of continuing professional development through the College of Family Physicians of Canada’s (CFPC) MAINPRO Program or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s (RSPSC) Maintenance of Competence (MOC) Program. The College monitors mandatory physician enrollment and compliance in the MAINPRO and MOC CPD programs.
College Standards & Guidelines
The College has developed a comprehensive catalogue of Professional Standards & Guidelines intended to act as a resource for physicians when facing ethical or professional situations. The catalogue sets out the standards by which the conduct of physicians will be measured.
Medical Council of Canada
The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) grants a qualification in medicine known as the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC). To obtain a full and unrestricted licence to practice medicine in Nova Scotia, you must be a licentiate of MCC or hold an acceptable alternative to the LMCC. The LMCC is a part of the Canadian Standard, the set of requirements for awarding a full licence; it is not a licence to practise medicine. Upon receiving their LMCC or alternative, candidates are also enrolled in the Canadian Medical Register.
Maritime Resident Doctors Association
For postgraduate trainees, Maritime Resident Doctors Association consists of resident physicians registered at Dalhousie University and training in hospitals and healthcare centres throughout Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Not all residents must register with the association, there are some exceptions.
Statutory Reporting Requirements
The practice of medicine is governed by the Medical Act and its regulations. Physicians must also be aware of provincial statutes which affect the practice of medicine. Some of these statutes contain mandatory reporting requirements or protection from action based on your reporting. Physicians are aware of the duty of confidentiality to patients. However, many are uncertain as to when the duty of confidentiality can be overridden by a statutory duty to report information in the public interest. Some laws require physicians to report medical information to public officials that would otherwise be considered confidential. For example, there are a number of notifiable diseases and conditions that physicians are required to report. Review information at: Nova Scotia Department of Health & Wellness Communicable Disease Prevention and Control – Information for Professionals
Canadian Medical Association Code of Ethics
This Code has been prepared by the Canadian Medical Association as an ethical guide for Canadian physicians, including residents, and medical students. Its focus is the core activities of medicine and is based on the fundamental principles and values of medical ethics, especially compassion, beneficence, non-maleficence, respect for persons, justice, and accountability. The Canadian Medical Association Code of Ethics provides a common ethical framework for Canadian physicians.