Family Medicine
Location: Spring Garden Place
1465 Brenton Street
Suite 402
Halifax, NS
B3J 3T4
Telephone: (902) 473-4747
Fax: (902) 473-4760

Family Medicine

We strive for excellence in teaching, using creative and innovative programs that support an educational foundation for students in the field of Family Medicine, celebrating the collaborative aspects of practice and modeling life-long learning to our students, emphasizing the importance of continuity of care and the doctor/patient relationship.


The Department participates in various units of the pre-clerkship curriculum. Students complete a longitudinal Family Medicine experience in their first year, spending six half days with a family physician.  As well, students have the opportunity to learn more about family medicine through electives.

Clerkship (MED III)

Some students complete a six week Family Medicine Clinical Clerkship rotation. Students have the option of completing either two three-week rotations or one six-week rotation with family doctors throughout the Maritimes. Other students will work primarily with a family medicine preceptor(s) in a Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC).  

Orientation, webinars and project presentations are done throughout each six week rotation via distributed education. LIC students will view these webinars to support their learning. Clerks are evaluated by In Training Evaluation Reports, OSCEs and a Multiple Choice Exam.

For Med III Clerkship the following resources are recommended:

Texts and Articles

  • Gray J. Compendium of Therapeutic Choices, Seventh Edition. Canadian Pharmacists' Association. 2017 (There is an e-version of this text called RxTx available on the Dalhousie University LibGuides).
  • South-Paul JE, Matheny SC, Lewis EL. Current Diagnosis &Treatment: Family Medicine, Fourth edition. McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 2015 (There is an e-version of the 2011 edition of this text on the Dalhousie University LibGuides).
  • Rosser W. Sustaining the 4 principles of family medicine in Canada. Canadian Family Physician. 2006;52(0008350):1191-1191-1192.
  • Levenstein J.H., McCracken E.C., McWhinney I.R., Stewart M.A. & Brown J.B. The Patient-Centred Clinical Method. 1. A Model for the Doctor-Patient Interaction in Family Medicine. Family Practice 3, 24 -30 (1986).
  • Hall, D. E., Prochazka, A. V., & Fink, A. S. (2012). Informed consent for clinical treatment. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 184(5), 533–540.
  • Stewart M, Brown JB, Weston WW, McWhinney IR, McWIlliam CL, Freeman TR. Patient- Centered Medicine: Transforming the Clinical Method. Sage Publications Inc. 1995.
  • McWhinney IR. A Textbook of Family Medicine, Second Edition. Oxford University Press. 1997.

Useful Journals/Websites


Additional Family Medicine rotations are offered to clerks during their fourth year through elective opportunities throughout the Maritimes.

Continuing Medical Education

The faculty contribute toward several Continuing Medical Education short courses either in planning or presentation, as well as traveling to community hospitals in the Maritime Provinces and presenting specific topics relating to Family Medicine.

Residency Training

The Department of Family Medicine offers a two-year residency program. Our aim is to encourage our residents to become effective, compassionate family physicians who can care for their patients in hospital, ambulatory and community settings and are prepared to meet the changing health needs of the community. The program is accredited by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and candidates who complete this program are eligible to sit the certification examinations of the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

The Dalhousie Family Medicine residency program has approximately 140 residents (67 in each year) being taught across the Maritimes. There are nine principal teaching sites: (Annapolis Valley, Cape Breton, Fredericton, Halifax, Moncton, North Nova, Prince Edward Island, Saint John and South West Nova) and many small communities where residents do rotations. Each of the nine sites is a home base for a group of residents.

We also offer a three year integrated Family Medicine Emergency Medicine Program based in Saint John, New Brunswick. This program will provide a training model that will train comprehensive family physicians with a special focus on the provision of emergency care. To better integrate the training of a physician who will practice Family and Emergency Medicine concurrently, this program combines the two aspects of practice in a more cohesive manner.

The enhanced skills residency programs in Family Medicine - Emergency Medicine and Care of the Elderly are also available as extensions of the two-year Family Medicine program and are also accredited programs of the College of Family Physicians of Canada.