News release

More International Doctors Moving to Nova Scotia

The Nova Scotia government continues its success in recruiting new doctors to the province despite a global pandemic.

Twenty-three new physicians have arrived in Nova Scotia since March 2020 through the province’s international physician recruitment efforts. This includes 10 family doctors and 13 specialists.

Over the next 12 months, an additional 29 physicians are scheduled to arrive. This includes 16 family doctors and 13 specialists.

“Our government has a multi-pronged approach to recruit and retain doctors and other health-care professionals,” said Health and Wellness Minister Zach Churchill. “The fact that 52 internationally trained doctors have chosen to come to Nova Scotia to live and work during a global pandemic speaks to our competitive strength as a province.”

Government, in collaboration with Doctors Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Health, is creating more pathways for doctors and other health-care professionals to practice in the province. This includes international immigration, more seats at Dalhousie University medical school, competitive salaries, incentives and funding local recruitment organizations.

“While the pandemic has been a challenge, particularly as it reduced the mobility of immigrants, the Office of Immigration and Population Growth has not slowed down. We have continued to process applications,” said Immigration and Population Growth Minister Lena Metlege Diab. “People are noticing us as a safe place to live with a high quality of life. We are pleased with this success, and our work to recruit international doctors continues as we look forward to increasing doctor immigration in the coming months and years.”

Nova Scotia’s international recruitment activities targeting physicians have continued throughout the global pandemic and restrictions on international travel and border crossings. Recruitment staff from Immigration and Population Growth and Nova Scotia Health are attending virtual recruitment events. For example, the province participated in the British Medical Journal Live Conference in October 2020, while Nova Scotia Health also participated in 53 virtual recruitment events.

The Office of Immigration and Population Growth is continuing to deliver and attend virtual recruitment events in 2021. Planning is underway to attend the American Psychiatric Association recruitment event from April 30 to May 3 to promote practice opportunities for psychiatrists in Nova Scotia.


We have appreciated our partnership with the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration and Population Growth and the dedicated immigration stream for physicians to enter our province. Our teams worked closely together during this challenging global pandemic to ensure that we maintained momentum with the hires from outside Canada that we had in progress and we are pleased with the result. I think this is one of the ways Nova Scotia is setting itself apart and we need all the competitive advantages we can get in this increasingly competitive recruitment market. Katrina Philopoulos, director of physician recruitment, Nova Scotia Health

Quick Facts:

  • since 2018, 83 doctors are current nominations through the Physician Immigration Stream
  • of the 23 doctors who have arrived over the past year, seven are practicing in the Central Zone (Halifax area, Eastern Shore and West Hants), six in the Eastern Zone (Cape Breton, Guysborough and Antigonish areas), six in the Northern Zone (Colchester-East Hants, Cumberland and Pictou areas) and four in the Western Zone (Annapolis Valley, South Shore and Southwest)
  • Nova Scotia has two immigration pathways to recruit physicians – the provincial Physician Immigration Stream and the Labour Market Priorities Stream for Physicians
  • the Physician Immigration Stream was launched in February 2018; it helps attract more international doctors and specialists to the province by streamlining the provincial process for those who have already received job offers from Nova Scotia
  • the Labour Market Priorities Stream for Physicians is a faster path for permanent residency through the federal Express Entry System; it was created in September 2019 in response to feedback from doctors who have settled in Nova Scotia

Additional Resources:

For more information on Nova Scotia’s immigration programs, visit<br clear='all'/>