Enhanced Skills in Palliative Care Program

Solid training tailored to individual career goals

Enhanced Skills in Palliative Care Program for Family Physicians

The Department of Family Medicine at Dalhousie University in partnership with the Department of Medicine's Division of Palliative Medicine offers a full-time one-year Enhanced Skills Family Medicine Residency postgraduate training program in Palliative Care leading to a Certificate of Added Competence in Palliative Care, accredited as a category one program by the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC).

This program provides excellent training in all aspects of palliative medicine and offers opportunities to create learning experiences tailored to individual career goals and to develop consultancy skills in palliative care. Residents work with experienced multidisciplinary teams across a variety of care settings, in oncologic and non-oncologic patient populations, and with both adult and pediatric patients.

Training experience

The resident gains extensive knowledge, skills, and clinical experience in pain and symptom management, psycho-social and spiritual dimensions of caring for patients and families facing terminal illness. The program, based in Halifax, includes three months of rotations in New Brunswick. The resident will gain experience in inpatient palliative care, inpatient hospital palliative medicine consultation services, as well as ambulatory and home based palliative care team service provision. Pediatric, geriatric and oncology experiences are also provided. A quality improvement scholarly project will be completed during the one-year program, with the aim to present at a conference annually. A variety of elective options available, depending on the specific interests of the resident.

The full-time training period typically extends from July 1 to June 30 annually and is designed to lead to a certificate of added competency. Residents are remunerated at the PGY3 level according to the Maritime Resident Doctors Collective Agreement.


To be eligible for the Enhanced Skills program at Dalhousie you must be a:

  1. family practice trainee who will be successfully completing their two year residency, or
  2. a practicing certified family physician (CCFP)

On completion of the program, the physician will be able to act as a valued resource to their practice community, and is eligible to receive a Certificate of Added Competence in Palliative Care from the CFPC.

PLEASE NOTE: The Dalhousie Palliative Medicine Enhanced Skills Program is accredited only for for graduates of Family Medicine programs who have who qualify for licensure in Canada and who have achieved their CCFP. The program, when taking applicants, is open to both new CCFP graduates and welcomes family physicians returning to training practice.

Application dates

This program is currently on hold and no applications are being considered for the Enhanced Skills Palliative Care 2020-2021 training year starting July 1, 2020 in Halifax. Updates or changes will be posted here as they are made available. Applicants are strongly advised to apply to Enhanced Skills in palliative care programs across the country.

Applications accepted starting TBA
Application deadline TBA
Interviews: Only those files approved for interview will be considered TBA
Offer date TBA
Acceptance date TBA

If you have questions about the Enhanced Skills Program, contact:

Mr. Allister Barton, Program Administrator, allister.barton@dal.ca or
Dr. Jock Murray, Enhanced Skills Program Director, murrayj@dal.ca.

Required for application

To be considered for the Family Medicine Enhanced Skills Residency Training Program in Palliative Care, the following application materials are expected:

Completed application form
The Postgraduate Office application process requires you to submit:

  • your medical school transcript
  • proof of immigration status and language proficiency
  • Family Medicine Program Director’s Letter or a Dean’s letter as one of your reference letters

Please ensure:

  • You review the required application materials and obtain the required letters/documents as soon as possible.
  • Documents are submitted in word or PDF format. Your CV, personal letter and references may be emailed.
    • Letter of Intent / Personal Statement of Interest
      [Save document as: LASTNAME.firstname.ESletter]
    • Curriculum Vitae
      [Save document as: LASTNAME.firstname.EScv]
    • Names and contact information for your three Referees, and a brief statement about your relationship to them.
      [Save document as: LASTNAME.firstname.ESreferees]
    • 3 confidential reference letters sent directly from the Referee to allister.barton@dal.ca. (This must include a letter from your Dean or Family Medicine Program or Site Director.)

Applicants will receive an email confirming receipt of a completed application. Complete application by prescribed deadlines are the applicant’s responsibility. A selection committee will review all applications, and successful applicants will be notified of the selection decision by a specified date. An interview will be required, held either in person or by teleconference, with notification of acceptance shortly after.

All positions are dependent on funding approval from the Department of Family Medicine.


If you have questions about the Enhanced Skills Program, please contact:

Jock A.G. Murray, MD, CCFP (EM)
Enhanced Skills Program Director

Dalhousie Family Medicine
Spring Garden Place, 4th floor
402-1465 Brenton Street
Halifax, NS  B3J 3T4

Phone: 1-902-473-4747
Fax: 1-902-473-4760
Email: murrayj@dal.ca

Allister Barton
Medical Education Coordinator

Dalhousie Family Medicine
Spring Garden Place, 4th floor
402-1465 Brenton Street
Halifax, NS   B3J 3T4

Phone: 1-902-473-4749
Phone: 1-800-319-9089 (toll free)
Email: allister.barton@dal.ca
Web: Department of Family Medicine