IMG Clerkship Program

For newcomers to Nova Scotia

The IMG Clerkship Program admits two qualified candidates (International Medical Graduates) into clerkship (third- and fourth-year medical students) at Dalhousie Medical School. Once you complete the program, you'll be eligible to enter the first round of the CaRMS match as a Dalhousie graduate.

Please note all applicants must live in Nova Scotia for one full year prior to the application deadline for the International Medical Graduate (IMG) Clerkship positions. There are no exceptions to this requirement.

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IMG Clerkship - Additional Information

Program Overview

The IMG Clerkship program is comprised of the final two years of Dalhousie’s medicine program leading to an MD degree.  Successful candidates are invited to take part in the LINK program, a preparatory program, which runs from late May until the end of August. The LINK Program reviews skills and procedures as well as provides experience in OSCEs (Objective Structured Clinical Examination), clinical settings, and numerous sessions with simulated patients (SPs). IMGs may register individual sessions or the complete program (tuition fees apply).

Clerkship Structure

In September, IMG students begin clerkship alongside their Dalhousie classmates, starting with Introduction to Clerkship.

Pathway to Licensure [PDF 99 KB]


Med 3, the first phase of clerkship, is structured in four 12-week blocks plus the three-week PIER 1. All students complete the PIER 1 in mid September together, after which students are separated into four different groups for the remaining blocks.


In phase two, which begins the following September, there is a scheduled block that is designed for clerks to participate in 18-weeks of elective time. In addition, clerks will complete approximately a 3-week rotation in Care of the Elderly (CoE).

Many of the rotations take place in communities throughout the Maritimes, so students will be required to live away from Halifax for varying lengths of time. There is some support for travel and accommodation but students may have to pay some of the cost out of their own pockets. Students may be eligible for student loans and there are a variety of scholarships and bursaries available.

We are happy to answer your questions. We can be reached by e-mail at

IMG Multi-Stakeholder Work Group

Dalhousie University and the Global Health Office are pleased to be a part of the IMG Multi-Stakeholder Work Group. The IMG Working Group is an inclusive group of organizations in Nova Scotia with a common goal to promote the integration of International Medical Graduates into the Canadian health system.  The IMG Work Group works to:

  1. Identify gaps and barriers to education and licensure for IMGs in Nova Scotia
  2. Provide advocacy to appropriate institutions to reduce gaps/barriers as they are identified
  3. Share information on all aspects of IMG education and licensure both in Nova Scotia and across Canada
  4. Provide leadership on development of specific programs when appropriate

The IMG Multi-Stakeholder Work Group meets quarterly for more information please contact the Global Health Office at

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Requirement: What should I do to be considered for the Clerkship Program?

Q.  What should I do to be considered for the Clerkship Program?

A.  If you are not yet a resident of Nova Scotia or you have not yet moved to Canada, the application process will be lengthy. To expedite the process, please take the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Exam (MCCEE) as soon as possible – it is required before taking the MCCQE part 1. The MCCEE is offered in many countries – please visit the Medical Council of Canada site for more information -

Requirement: I am a Canadian citizen studying at a medical school abroad (CSA). Would I be eligible to apply into the clerkship program upon graduating?

Q.  I am a Canadian citizen studying at a medical school abroad (CSA).  Would I be eligible to apply into the clerkship program upon graduating?

A.  If you are a Canadian citizen and you have completed your medical education abroad (CSA) instead of at a Canadian medical school, this program is not for you. It is intended to serve the immigrant IMG population in Nova Scotia – people who received their MD prior to immigrating to Nova Scotia.

Requirement: Reference letters

Q. What are the guidelines for reference letters?

A.  Please note that reference letters are no longer required but we do need the following:

  • A list of clinicians that you have worked with over the last several years including name, title, clinic/hospital, city, country and phone number.
  • The number of years you have known the individual.   We may be contacting a selection of referees.  

Requirement: Medical school transcripts

Q. My medical school transcripts are not in English. What should I do?

A. Transcripts should be verified through World Education Services (WES), International Credential Assessment Services of Canada (ICAS) or Medical Council of Canada (MCC)

Requirement: MCCQE part 1

Q. Must I pass the MCCQE part 1?

A. Yes. Passing the MCCQE part 1 is often a prerequisite for taking a clinical assessment. The IMG Clerkship website lists a number of clinical assessments that Dalhousie will accept. A pass on the MCCQE part 1 is required in order to register for most of those clinical assessments (MCCQE part 2, CEHPEA, etc.). You must have a passing grade in the clinical assessment.

Q.  When should I take an exam?

A.  Many of the exams are only offered once or twice a year and the application deadline can be months prior to the exam date. Results from prerequisite exams are often needed prior to applying for the more advanced exams. The IMG application process requires planning and a good understanding of examination requirements.

For additional support, resources and courses, please visit the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) website 

Interview Selection Criteria

Q. What is the new interview selection criteria for the IMG Clerkship Program?

A. For details on the Interview Selection Critera please review our document IMG Clerkship Program Requirements. [PDF 390 KB]

Do I need to re-submit my notarized credentials if I had applied the previous year?

No.  The admissions office keeps your credentials for at least a year.  You must still complete and submit a new application form located at

If you have further questions related to the IMG Clerkship Program please contact The Global Health Office at