Welcome Collaborative

Doctor, team and health experts brainstorm, problem solving or discussing online project together.
Portrait of a black physician in a hospital corridor

Supporting Physicians New to Nova Scotia

The Welcome Collaborative is a new orientation program designed to help arriving physicians who have trained outside of Canada successfully integrate into the Nova Scotian healthcare system. 

Over the next three years, The Welcome Collaborative will help welcome and settle 140 physicians trained outside of Canada to address gaps in their onboarding experience.

The orientation program will connect these doctors with support, mentorship, and a sense of community, all of which are critical to long-term success in practice.

Welcome Collaborative Orientation – April 2023

In April, 20 physicians participated in a three-day welcome orientation at the College along with Dr. Gus Grant, the College’s Registrar and CEO (seated centre), along with Director, Physician Performance Rhonda Kirkwood (standing far left) and George Chimdi Mbara, Program Manager (standing far right)

The Welcome Collaborative will help welcome and settle 140 doctors trained outside of Canada over the next three years.

As important as the teaching sessions, the Welcome Collaborative enables the College to hear directly the experiences, challenges, and concerns of physicians arriving in Nova Scotia. The Welcome Collaborative is committed to improvement and will shape its programming in response. 

The orientation program includes presentations from the College, as well as from:

Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS);

Doctors Nova Scotia;

Nova Scotia Health;

Nova Scotia Prescription Monitoring Program, and

Dalhousie Medicine Continuing Professional Development and Medical Education (CPDME).

The orientation covers topics such as:

identifying, acknowledging, and overcoming barriers to practice in Nova Scotia;

MSI billing;

communication skills training, and

settlement resources for physicians and their families.

In October 2022, the College successfully delivered a pilot session of the Welcome Collaborative with a cohort of eight physicians. 

The Welcome Collaborative is grateful for the generous funding from the government of Nova Scotia.

When doctors feel supported, comfortable, and connected, they are better able to focus on caring for their patients.

By connecting physicians with local resources and networking opportunities with other medical professionals in Nova Scotia, the program can help them enhance their skills, learn about local healthcare practices, and contribute to the local medical community.

The program plays a key role in retaining these newly arrived physicians in communities throughout the province.

George Chimdi Mbara, PhD
Welcome Collaborative Program Manager

Welcome Collaborative Advisory Council

The Welcome Collaborative is guided by an Advisory Council. Drawing from the professional, academic and lived experience of its members, the Advisory Council advises on the:

challenges and barriers faced by physicians trained outside of Canada upon arrival to Nova Scotia;

curriculum of the Welcome Collaborative; and

program evaluation and continuous quality improvement of the program.

Advisory Council Members

Dr. Emmanuel Ajuwon
Doctors Nova Scotia

Ms. Mohja Alia
Manager, Employment and Bridging
Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)

Mr. Craig Beaton
Associate Deputy Minister
Department of Health and Wellness
Office of Healthcare Professionals Recruitment

Dr. Yinka Akin-Deko
Board Member
Health Association of African Canadians

Dr. Sanjana Sridharan
Section Head, Acute Psychiatry at Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine

Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed
Associate Dean, Departments of Community Health and Epidemiology and Continuing Professional Development and Medical Education
Research Scholar, Health Law Institute
Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine