The Society of Rural Physicians of Canada divides the country into 5 regions. The Atlantic Region includes the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.  If you wish to become involved please contact the regional committee.

•   New Brunswick   •   Nova Scotia   •   Prince Edward Island   •   Newfoundland and Labrador   •

Christopher Patey
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

John Morash
Summerside, Prince Edward Island

Christopher Patey BSc (Hon) MD CCFP FCFP FRRMS
Over the past fifteen years Dr. Christopher Patey has practiced as a rural emergency and family physician. As site clinical chief of Carbonear Emergency, he is always eager to implement positive change initiatives with a primary goal to improve rural emergency care. Furthermore, as an Assistant Professor with Memorial University Medical School in St. John’s Newfoundland, hoping to expand rural research with a focus of improving community health.

Having trained or practiced in all of the Atlantic provinces, John Morash is honoured to be a voice for physicians practicing rurally and remotely on the East Coast.  John is a preceptor to medical students and residents from Dalhousie and MUN, and tries to exemplify to future family physicians that practicing broad scope family medicine, critical for rural practice, is both rewarding and an asset to the community.

New Brunswick

Located on the east coast, the province of New Brunswick, Canada’s only officially bilingual province offers a distinct way of life and exciting career opportunities.  

The New Brunswick health care system has two Regional Health Authorities, the Horizon Health Network and the Vitalité Health Network, who deliver a full range of health services throughout the province each covering specific areas of the province.    

The province of New Brunswick is also home to two medical training programs, Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick based in Saint John and the Centre de formation médicale du Nouveau-Brunswick based in Moncton, providing students with the opportunity to study medicine in their home province.

The province hires an average of 40 Family Physicians and 45 Specialists every year. Approximately 1,600 physicians and specialists are working the province in a variety of settings.

For more information on Current Job Opportunities for Physicians in New Brunswick, please visit:  

Here are some other NB links that might be helpful.

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Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is More than Medicine+

“The best of both worlds” gets thrown around a lot. But in Nova Scotia, just under one million people enjoy a lifestyle that offers it all. Why would you ever settle? In Nova Scotia, you get world-class professional opportunities balanced with a truly satisfying lifestyle. With 41 hospitals across the province, it’s easy to practice where you play which makes life here incomparably rewarding.

An ocean playground

With more than 13,000 km of coastline ready for you to explore, Nova Scotia’s culture is undeniably connected to the sea. You are never more than 67 kilometers from the ocean so sea kayaking, sailing, and yachting are never more than an hour away, and relaxing sandy beaches dot the coastline. So feel the sand between your toes, hike a rocky shore, or explore an urban boardwalk – with the clean, salty breeze your constant companion.
Affordable lifestyle - Life in Nova Scotia is an indulgence you can afford. In 2018, the average home price in the province was $228,070. Your money simply goes further here, but more importantly, it buys you a lifestyle you just won’t find anywhere else in the country.


Nova Scotia Health Authority Programs

Site visit program

It’s understandable that you may want to visit Nova Scotia before committing to relocating. This program reimburses you (and your partner) for a one-time visit to a potential practice site. You must be eligible for a license in Nova Scotia, and work with a recruiter to obtain approval from the Nova Scotia Health Authority prior to your visit. 

Relocation allowance

If you have an accepted offer for work in Nova Scotia, you may be eligible for a relocation allowance of up to $10,000. For more information, contact a recruitment consultant.

Nova Scotia Department of Health & Wellness incentive programs

The Department of Health and Wellness in Nova Scotia manages a range of incentive programs to help you choose a practice that suits your career goals, and help transition you into your new life in Nova Scotia. For more information on these programs, contact a recruitment consultant or Department of Health and Wellness Physician Resources.

Physician Tuition Relief Program

Graduates of Canadian medical schools may receive reimbursement for the tuition they paid during medical school up to a maximum of $120,000. International Medical Graduates may receive reimbursement up to the maximum tuition level they would have paid at a Canadian medical school.

Physicians/residents are eligible if they will be practicing in Nova Scotia where an approved vacancy is available and where deliverables have been agreed to. All physicians/residents (family physicians and specialists; graduates from both Canadian and international medical schools) are eligible to apply. You can apply during residency, or if currently practicing outside of Nova Scotia, during the first seven years of practice after completing residency training.

Return of Service bursaries for Family Medicine residents

Family Medicine residents could receive a $60,000 bursary for establishing a practice in Nova Scotia. The return of service is for a three-year period in the agreed upon location.

Bursary payments include:
Eligible residents include Family Medicine residents in Canadian programs including those enrolled in PGY3 in Emergency Medicine (CFPC Emergency Medicine Program); Nova Scotians doing their Family Medicine residency in accredited programs in the U.S.; and fourth-year medical students from Nova Scotia. Note, residents/medical students with pre-existing return of service agreements/obligations are not eligible to apply.

Debt-assistance plan

If you choose to practice as a specialist or family physician in Nova Scotia, you could be eligible to receive between $20,000 and $45,000 in debt-assistance for up to three years.

Eligible applicants include new medical school graduates in family practice or designated specialties; graduates of medical schools in Atlantic Canada; and Nova Scotia residents graduating from other Canadian medical schools.

Locum support

The Provincial Locum Program supports practicing physicians in rural communities. It helps bring medical care to patients of eligible physicians when the physician is away from their respective practice due to illness, vacation, or continuing medical education.

The locum program is administered by Medavie Blue Cross on behalf of the Nova Scotia government. The Department of Health and Wellness provides policy direction and funding.

Locum physicians in family medicine and designated specialties receive the following payments.
Physicians interested in participating in the locum program must submit application forms to, and establish billing arrangements through, Medavie Blue Cross. Locum registration—including guidelines, application forms and claim forms—may be found at Medavie Blue Cross.

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Prince Edward Island

The Recruitment & Retention Secretariat coordinates site visits for physicians who have an interest in working in Prince Edward Island communities. They work closely with community groups and members in rural Prince Edward Island to ensure physicians are greeted into the communities, meet with various community members and facilities, and get a true feel for the community.
They offer return-in-service financial incentives for rural areas - family physicians receive $30,000 for a three-year RIS to a location deemed rural in PEI. More information on the RIS incentives it can be found here: under "Physicians" and "Financial Incentives for Physicians."
Their Family Medicine Sponsorship Program is designed to place sponsored students in physician job vacancies in the "area of greatest need" within the province (at the time that the new physician is ready for work). While it is not mandatory, it is not unusual for sponsored physicians to be placed in a rural area of the Island. More information on this program can be found on their website under "Physicians" and "Family Medicine Sponsorship Program."

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Newfoundland and Labrador

Educational initiatives include the MedQuest program that exposes high school students to the medical school and Lab Quest to Labrador students to health care careers. Memorial University provides preferential scoring for students who did schooling in rural communities. 

Medical Resident Bursary Program

The Medical Resident Bursary Program provides bursaries to medical residents who agree to provide service in a specific community in Newfoundland and Labrador upon obtaining full-licensure. The medical resident bursary is thirty-six (36) months. The following table shows the medical resident bursary amounts by community level. Community levels increase from Level 0 (Labrador) to Level 3 (major towns and cities) based on level of rural location and remoteness.



Community Level

Specialist Resident
(either of last 2 years)









Family Medicine Resident
(either of last 2 years)









Provincial Physician Bursary Program

There is a 20% bonus on fee for service work in rural hospitals. Salaried physicians have a retention bonus since 2000 with varying amounts depending on GP or other specialties, duration of service and rurality. For GP's in 2006 it ranges from $2,500 for Category 3 rural after a year to $30,000 for Category 1 Rural after 3 years of service. Specialists in the same communities would get $4,000 to $36,000 respectively. 

Things have improved since an agreement in 2003 that nominally has the province at 95% of Atlantic parity in 2006. Contact the NLMA for evolving details:


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