Your family doctor specializes in you – all of you. Family medicine is a certified medical specialty and your family doctor is trained to assess your complete health picture from head to toe.

To become a family doctor, Canadian medical school graduates must complete two years of supervised training in an approved family medicine residency program; and pass exams set by the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). Then, for the rest of the doctor’s career, participation in the CFPC’s life-long learning program is required to maintain their Certification in the College of Family Physicians (CCFP).

You will find family doctors in family practice offices, in hospitals – commonly in the emergency or delivery room – or in long-term and other patient-care facilities. They may even arrive on your doorstep, paying you a visit if circumstances warrant.

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“I believe family medicine is a specialty in generalism. This does not negate expertise in specialty areas. We provide comprehensive care – through the continuum of life (cradle to grave) and in geographical diversity. Further, we do so with a holistic approach – understanding that our patient’s whole is greater than the sum of their parts. We need to embrace this, celebrate it, promote it and be proud of it!”

– Dr. Roop Conyers, CCFP


Family doctors are trained to treat the patient and the person. They know that your illnesses and conditions are never separate from you – the person. Patients come from diverse backgrounds and have wide-ranging needs. Family doctors routinely double as confidantes, advocates, health care navigators, and health care leaders. Because you are unique, there is no one-size-fits-all plan in family medicine.

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Family medicine is designed to care for you through all of your medical ups and downs – from before birth to death, and from one generation to the next. Continuous care creates a long-term connection between you and your family doctor. Your family doctor knows how you fit into the community, often who your family members are, and the social and medical histories that go with them.

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Discover how your family physician collaborates. Click or hover over each icon.

  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Mental Health Providers
  • Social Workers
  • Physiotherapists
  • Dieticians
  • Other Specialties
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Your Family Physician

Your Family Physician

Family Physicians are trained to collaborate with other health care providers. They work with nurses, physiotherapists, nutritionists, social workers, and many others. They work in collaborative care settings or in community networks to coordinate patient care.

Family physicians are collaborators. They provide a system of front-line health care that is relationship- and patient-centred; community-adaptive; collaborative; and continuous.


Family physicians often collaborate with nurses: licensed practical nurses (LPNs), registered nurses (RNs), and nurse practitioners (NPs).


Your family physician works with you and your pharmacist to help ensure the best decisions are made about your medications and overall health.

Mental Health Providers

You and your family physician may work with psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors to provide you with mental health care.

Social Workers

You and your family physician may work with a social worker to help you utilize individual and community resources, and assist in overcoming obstacles to improve your quality of life.


Family physicians may collaborate with a physiotherapist to treat your illness, injury, or disability.


You and your family physician may consult with a dietician to ensure your nutritional needs are being met and to help empower you to make informed choices about your diet.

Other Specialties

Your family physician coordinates your care and may periodically consult with other medical specialties such as neurology or orthopedics to help manage your condition in the best way possible.

Occupational Therapists

Your family physician can work with you and your occupational therapist to help ensure your day-to-day activities and overall lifestyle is the best it can be.


We are the Nova Scotia College of Family Physicians, the voice of family doctors in Nova Scotia. Our organization represents 855 family doctors practicing in the province, along with 71 family medicine residents (family doctors-in-training) and 224 others. This last group includes medical students and retired or inactive family practitioners.

The Nova Scotia College of Family Physicians:

  • Offers and certifies continuing professional development programs for family doctors
  • Encourages family doctors to be life-long learners
  • Advocates for family doctors’ central role in primary care
  • Encourages family doctors to engage in family medicine research
  • Promotes family medicine as a career choice by liaising with medical students and family medicine residents
  • Recognizes leadership and excellence in family medicine

The Nova Scotia College of Family Physicians is one of 10 chapters of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, which oversees accreditation for family doctors in Canada. It represents more than 37,000 family doctors nation-wide and sets the standards for certification in the specialty and for life-long education. It also accredits the two-year, post-MD residency programs for specialization in family medicine offered by Canada’s 16 medical schools. The CFPC advocates on behalf of the specialty, family doctors and their patients.

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