Department Orientations

Orientation for medicine physicians & faculty members

About the Department of Medicine

As a member of the Department of Medicine (DoM), you will join over 170 award-winning teachers, researchers and subspecialists who serve the complex medical needs of adults of Halifax and the Maritime region. Working in partnership with Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Medicine (with whom you will have an academic appointment) and the Nova Scotia Health Authority (with whom you will have a clinical appointment), our mission is to improve health through education, research and the provision of clinical care.

We provide education to undergraduate medical students, clinical clerks and residents training in internal medicine and 15 subspecialties. Our core internal medicine residency program, in Halifax and Saint John, New Brunswick, trains the next generation of internists and subspecialists. We also support regional residents in community practice.

The department inspires a growing, collaborative research program, with members’ research efforts attracting more than $11 million in funding annually.

We adopted a strategic plan to guide our efforts to provide the highest quality patient care, create the best internal medicine education experience in Canada, and increase research productivity. The strategic plan will direct future departmental initiatives and inform decisions.

A jointly appointed University/Health Authority Department Head/Service Chief is responsible for overseeing the activities of the Department of Medicine.

The Department of Medicine is made up of 15 subspecialty divisions, each of which is administered by a Division Head/Chief who is responsible for overseeing the teaching, research, clinical care and administrative activities within their subspecialty. Each division head/chief reports directly to the department head/chief.

The Executive Committee is the policy-making body of the Department. It consists of the Department and Division Heads/Chiefs, as well as key representatives from education, research, finance and administration.

An administrative team provides support to the Executive Committee and individual members working towards the department’s vision of being leaders in academic medicine, providing innovative, collaborative and appropriate care that is sustainable.

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Financial Information

The Department of Medicine is funded through an Academic Funding Plan (AFP). The rules and principles governing the financial and operational activities of the Department are laid out in the department’s Practice Plan Report. The department’s Financial Management Committee oversees and puts into effect the principles, policies and regulations governing the operation of the Practice Plan. It reports to the Executive Committee, providing advice and recommendations on all financial matters affecting the department.

For detailed information, please refer to the information provided in your welcome letter from the Department Head. You may also email the physician resource officer, chad.shearer@nshealth.ca, for more information.

Clinical Appointment

The Department of Medicine’s clinical care strategy is to lead quality care through innovation. We are part of an academic health district that values patient care, health promotion, research and education, and their interdependence. The DoM Quality and Professional Appraisal Committee works to support the divisions and service areas to deliver high quality, sustainable, interdisciplinary care through evidence-based decision making. Patients benefit from the highest quality care that considers disease prevention and the latest medical evidence and knowledge.

Hospital Privileges

Your appointment gives you ‘active with admitting’ privileges at the QEII Health Sciences Centre, and non-admitting privileges at all other sites in the central zone. All new clinical appointments are probationary with the NSHA for the first year of appointment. After this, they will be renewed every three years. To maintain your hospital privileges, you must abide by the NSHA by-laws.

When your hospital privileges are first issued, they may be ‘temporary’ privileges. This is because it takes time for new appointments to be approved through the boards and is generally not a reason for you to be concerned.

Practical Considerations

ID Card: Your division’s team lead will write a letter to Security Services confirming that you should be issued with an NSHA ID Card. You should take this letter to the Security Office (1st Floor, Halifax Infirmary) and they will issue your ID Card.

Pager: Your pager has been ordered and is available for collection from your division’s team lead.

Lab Coat: This will be available from your division’s team lead.

IT Systems and email account: You will have access to NSHA IT systems and email account as soon as your (temporary) hospital privileges are granted. Your NSHA email address is the ONLY acceptable email account to be used to communicate NSHA confidential personal health information or business information.

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Academic Appointment

As a member of the Department of Medicine, you will have an academic appointment as a faculty member of Dalhousie University. This is to reflect your education and research responsibilities with the Department.

Education

The Department of Medicine’s education strategy is to attract and grow the best. We are part of a Faculty of Medicine that enables excellence in health care through its medical education programs. The DoM Education Committee works to fulfill the educational vision and mission of the Department by working to develop, implement and evaluate innovative programs of excellence in undergraduate education, postgraduate education, continuing education, professional development and medical education research. Please refer to the Education Orientation booklet for more information.

Research

The Department of Medicine’s research strategy is to drive research excellence, and the Faculty of Medicine prioritizes advancing an innovative research agenda. The DoM Research Committee advises the Department Head on all matters relating to research as well as advising members on problems related to research. Please refer to the Research Orientation booklet for more information.

Practical Considerations

Banner Number: This is the unique number assigned to you by Dalhousie University. The university will write to you confirming your banner number, or you can contact the DoM Physician Resource Officer who will be able to provide it.

NetID: This is a unique identifier assigned to you by the university that will allow you to access Dalhousie’s online systems, including your Dalhousie email account, the library’s literature search engines and databases and learning management systems. To activate your NetID, please visit https://password.dal.ca/. You will need to know your banner number to activate your NetID.

ID Card: When you know your banner number, you can collect your ID card from the DalCard Office at Howe Hall, 6230 Coburg Road. You will need to present a piece of government-issued photo id.

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Professional Development

The Department of Medicine recognizes the importance of providing professional development opportunities to enable you to have a rewarding and fulfilling career. You will have opportunities to join committees and take part in programs offered by Dalhousie University, the Nova Scotia Health Authority and other professional organizations. Guidance and support for your professional development is provided in the form of annual review/practice profile meetings with your Division Head and the opportunity for mentorship with another department member.

Educational Leave / Travel Allowance

You will be entitled to educational leave each year, and a travel allowance is paid annually to members to support their professional development.

Academic Promotion

You may choose to have your significant professional achievements formally recognized by applying for academic promotion. Further information about this can be found in the Academic Promotion section below.

Committees

Joining a DoM committee can be an excellent way to enhance your knowledge and understanding of the department, enhancing your personal and career development, and making an important contribution to its good function. We hope you will consider joining a DoM committee in an area that interests you.

Programs Offered

Both the Faculty of Medicine and the Nova Scotia Health Authority offer programs to enhance your professional development. For more information, visit the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Continuing Professional Development at http://facdev.medicine.dal.ca and the NSHA’s Leadership Learning Resource Centre at https://library.nshealth.ca/LeadershipDevelopment.

In addition, the Department of Medicine encourages the active participation of its members in scientific meetings, conferences and workshops. The department has made funding for travelling to these events is available through the terms of the Travel Policy.

Annual Review Meeting

As part of your annual practice profile meeting, you will review your performance for the previous year and set goals for the incoming year. This meeting is a good opportunity for you to discuss your professional development needs with your Division Head.

Mentorship

The Department of Medicine works with the Faculty of Medicine's Department of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to provide a mentorship program for its members. If you are interested in being mentored, you should contact the DoM Physician Resource Officer.

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Academic Promotion

Academic promotion is recognition of an individual’s achievement and standing from the rank of Assistant Professor to that of Professor. It acknowledges high levels of contributions and progress throughout an academic career, with Professor characterizing the ultimate goals of commitment to an academic life.

We recommend that you take the time early in your career to familiarize yourself with the promotions criteria as you may wish to use it as a framework for your professional development decisions.

Your CV and Teaching Dossier are important components of the promotions application. You should work to maintain both these documents throughout your career to ensure they are kept up-to-date. This will make compiling the information required for your promotion application less time consuming. Further information about CV maintenance and compiling a teaching dossier can be found in the ‘career development’ section of the department’s Faculty Education Orientation Guide. While we do not require you to use a specific format or layout of your teaching dossier, you may find the Faculty of Medicine teaching dossier template to be a useful starting point.

You will contacted as you approach your fifth year of appointment to remind you of the promotions process. However, you may apply for promotion at any time of your career.

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For more information, contact:
Chad Shearer
Physician Resource Officer
chad.shearer@nshealth.ca
Phone: 902-473-2255