Province Welcomes First Family Doctors Through Practice Ready Assessment Program

February 18, 2020 - 1:48 PM

Four new internationally trained family doctors from Nigeria are now ready to work in Nova Scotia.

They are the first to successfully complete the new Nova Scotia Practice Ready Assessment Program – a program designed to ensure family doctors trained outside Canada meet Nova Scotia licensing requirements. These doctors will practice under certain conditions and supervision.

“We know doctors trained in other countries who come to Canada often end up working in other jobs because of differences in their medical licences. The Practice Ready Assessment Program was created to give these trained professionals an opportunity to show they have the knowledge and skills required to practise in Nova Scotia,” said Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey. “I welcome the first group through the program and know they will provide great care in communities.”

As part of the program, the doctors will work in designated communities, based on need, for at least three years. They will be practising family medicine in Truro, New Glasgow, Hubbards and Glace Bay.

The program is entering its second year. Nine potential candidates are being interviewed for the next group.

The Practice Ready Assessment Program is a partnership between the Dalhousie Department of Family Medicine, Nova Scotia Health Authority, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia and the Department of Health and Wellness.


This program helps our recruitment efforts by ensuring the internationally trained professionals we attract to Nova Scotia are able to work in their field. I want to thank the local doctors who have helped supervise and guide these professionals, as well as the people in these communities, for making these new immigrants feel welcome.Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab

We know some people in these communities do not have access to a regular primary care provider – it’s one of the reasons these locations were chosen. Once these physicians are settled in their family practices, they’ll help improve access for existing patients and some will be accepting new patients.Katrina Philopoulos, director of physician recruitment, Nova Scotia Health Authority

Quick Facts:

  • the first applicants of the program were screened by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia (CPSNS) in January 2019
  • successful applicants must write and pass the Therapeutics Decision Making Exam before completing a 12-week clinical field assessment
  • the program’s recommendations committee submits names to the CPSNS to issue licences
  • Dalhousie Family Medicine manages and co-ordinates the program
  • government is investing $1 million annually in the Practice Ready Assessment Program

Additional Resources:

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia:
https://cpsns.ns.ca/first-family-physicians-licensed-from-practice-ready-assessment-program/ https://cpsns.ns.ca/registration-licensing/future-practice/practice-ready-assessment/

Nova Scotia Practice Ready Assessment Program: https://www.nsprap.com/

Dalhousie Department of Family Medicine: https://medicine.dal.ca/departments/department-sites/family.html

Program to Assess Internationally Trained Family Doctors Moves Ahead: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20180406003