Electives for non‑Canadians and Canadians Enrolled in a Residency Program in an International Institution

May 25, 2015

Non-Canadian residents and graduates of non-LCME/CACMS-accredited medical schools can register for a number of electives at Dalhousie Medical School. Your training will take place in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island.

The maximum elective period for international Residents/Fellows is 3 months. 

Requests to extend this period will require prior approval from the Program Director or Elective Supervisor AND the Associate Dean of Postgraduate Medical Education. 

Such approvals will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. 

Decisions regarding elective approvals cannot be appealed.  Approvals for extensions must be submitted at least 3 weeks before the end of the current rotation period.

Availability for an Elective is determined by the Dalhousie University Program Director or Elective Supervisor.

All Dalhousie postgraduate medical Electives arranged at any location in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island must be processed through the Postgraduate Medical Education office, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University.

The timeframe from receipt of an Elective inquiry from a resident in a non-Canadian program to the resident being registered as a Dalhousie Elective resident is approximately 9-12 months.

Who is Eligible?

Citizens of other countries who are currently enrolled in a recognized postgraduate medical training program in their home country or at another Canadian university may be considered. Canadians who are enrolled in a recognized postgraduate medical training program in a program outside of Canada.

Application, Approval and Registration Procedure

The resident, with the assistance of the resident’s current program director, is responsible for arranging the Dalhousie University Elective.

  • The resident must contact the Dalhousie program director to inquire whether there is space in the program to take an Elective resident.
  • If there is space, a formal letter must be written by the resident’s current Program Director or Dean of the international medical university to the program director of the Dalhousie University program stating that the elective is an acceptable component of their program. This letter must include the resident’s name, university, program, level of training, the funding source, objectives of the Elective, start and end dates, preceptor if different from the program director, a statement that the resident is required to return to the home university to resume residency training.
  • A copy of the Program Director or Dean’s letter as described above, must be sent to the Postgraduate Medical Education Office, Dalhousie University.
  • A letter from the Dalhousie University Program Director must be sent to the Dalhousie University Postgraduate Medical Education Office confirming that the elective has been approved and that registration for the Elective is required. This letter must include the name of the resident, name of the resident’s university, and level of training.  It must also contain information to verify that the resident’s current program is an approved postgraduate medical training program, the dates of the Elective, the name of elective supervisor, objectives, their funding source, and the fact that they are required to return to their home university once the elective is complete.
  • If the Elective is approved and the dates confirmed, the Postgraduate Medical Education office will send a detailed letter to the non-Canadian resident with instructions and information on how to complete the registration items listed below.


  • An Educational License with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia. Note:
    You must have a pass in the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating or Qualifying Examination (Part 1) (or one of the alternatives) PRIOR to being granted a license

Alternatives to the Medical Council of Qualifying Examination is a pass in one of the following:


ECFMG - Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates
USMLE (all 3 steps) - United States Medical Licensing Examination
FLEX -Federation Licensing
NBME US - National Board of Medical Examiners United States



  • Evidence of malpractice insurance. If your current hospital or university does not have coverage, or your malpractice insurance is not valid in Canada, you may be eligible to apply to the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) for coverage. Coverage by the CMPA or an acceptable alternate will be required for registration.
  • Immunizations A number of immunizations are required prior to starting work at Dalhousie’s affiliated hospitals.  These are fully explained in the immunization policy.
  • On arrival to Halifax, register the Elective with the Postgraduate Medical Education office, Dalhousie University.
  • Elective Administrative Fee Payment
    There is an administrative fee for electives as follows:
    • 4 weeks or less $1,100 (Cdn)
    • 8 weeks (or more than 4 weeks) $2,200 (Cdn)

The administrative fee must be paid at the time of the online application form.