Nova Scotia boosts number of specialists trained at Dalhousie medical school

Nova Scotia's government is providing funding for 15 additional specialists annually at Dalhousie University, with plans for most to be placed outside of Halifax.

The expansion will mean the annual number of spaces at the province's medical school will grow to 65, with the residents to spend one to five years training in their specialty.

Health Minister Randy Delorey said the expansion in the number of specialists will provide service in some communities in need of specialties such as youth psychiatry, palliative medicine and internal medicine.

He estimated the annual cost at $1.5 million, noting the funding will fulfil a Liberal campaign pledge.

Dr. David Anderson, the dean of medicine at Dalhousie, said he believes the increase will have a "positive and sustained impact" on specialist shortages, as it's expected within five years it will add up to 75 residents around the province.

He said the plan is to arrange for the majority of the training at smaller centres outside of the major hospitals in Halifax.

The new spaces will be added in the following specialties:

  • emergency medicine (2 spaces)
  • core internal medicine (2 spaces)
  • general internal medicine (2 spaces)
  • child and adolescent psychiatry (2 spaces)
  • neurology (adult)
  • obstetrics and gynecology
  • critical care
  • geriatric psychiatry
  • palliative medicine
  • ear, nose and throat (head and neck surgery)
  • dermatology