News release

New Orientation Program to Welcome 140 Doctors

A new orientation program that will help welcome and settle 140 doctors trained outside of Canada over the next three years will soon launch in Nova Scotia.

“We need more healthcare providers, and we are working hard to welcome those who have trained outside Canada but want to make Nova Scotia their home,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. “This program will help internationally trained doctors adjust to practising in Nova Scotia, which means they’ll be able to better support the patients who need them.”

The government is investing $1.3 million to develop an orientation program offering doctors coming to Nova Scotia support, mentorship and a sense of community. The program will also bring community partners together to support new doctors prior to, or shortly after, their arrival and as they begin to practise here.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia has developed the program, called the Welcome Collaborative, to be delivered with physician leaders, Nova Scotia Health, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia and Doctors Nova Scotia. It held a pilot session in October with eight newly licensed doctors. The program will be evaluated to ensure it can be successful over the long term.

Attracting and supporting more internationally trained health providers is part of Action for Health, the government’s strategic plan to improve healthcare in Nova Scotia.


Nova Scotia’s population is growing, and attracting and retaining more qualified doctors is an important part of our population growth plan. We know that a welcoming community is why people come to Nova Scotia and why they stay. Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration

The Welcome Collaborative will support the successful integration of international physicians into medical practice in the province – into the profession and into their new communities. We know that this is key to retaining physicians. Dr. Gus Grant, CEO and Registrar, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia

We are excited about this program and the ability to create a faster pathway to licence eligibility and more orientation support for these much-needed physicians. This is an example of how we can work together across the healthcare system to come up with solutions that will help new doctors and their patients. Katrina Philopoulos, Director of Physician Recruitment, Nova Scotia Health

Quick Facts:

  • the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia monitors and maintains standards of practice through peer assessment and develops professional standards and guidelines to support high standards of medical practice and ethical conduct
  • the program is part of the Office of Healthcare Professionals Recruitment’s new physician licensing initiative that will support quicker licensing for physicians trained outside of Canada

Additional Resources:

Action for Health:

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia: