Core Education Programs

MD Program (undergraduate medicine)

Innovative undergraduate curriculum

Dalhousie Medical School offers the most dynamic, creative, and advanced MD curriculum of any medical school in Canada. We recently spent two years renewing our undergraduate program to ensure our students get the training they need – and want – to become highly skilled, competent physicians. Learn more about our undergraduate MD curriculum.

Holistic approach to learning

Our undergraduate curriculum integrates clinical skills, communication skills, medical humanities, basic science, ethics, health law, leadership, professionalism and technology to graduate compassionate, highly skilled doctors who are leaders in their communities.

Early clinical experience

Dalhousie medical students shadow a physician in one of our affiliated teaching hospitals or health centres on the first day of medical school. A few weeks later they start their first clinical elective in an area of their choice – anesthesia, cardiology, pediatric pain, diagnostic radiology, hematology, psychiatry, obstetrics…

Living and learning in Maritime Canada

Of our 436 students enrolled in the four year MD program, more than 91 per cent hail from Maritime Canada. They can be found alongside faculty and residents in 111 doctor’s offices, health centres and hospitals in communities from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia to Miramichi, New Brunswick to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Our unique undergraduate medical curriculum was developed to graduate doctors who uphold the highest professional standards, strive to learn for a lifetime, work hard for their communities and demonstrate the highest quality skills, reflecting the values and needs of people in Maritime Canada.

Collaboration is greater than competition

Dalhousie Medical School celebrates the tried and true premise of “two heads are better than one” by encouraging collaboration in our undergraduate curriculum, residency programs, graduate studies and research teams, groups, and institutes. We believe students excel when the support provided – from peers, residents, faculty members, administrators, advisors – is equal to the expectations set.

Learning from others' experience

Students at Dalhousie Medical School and their peers in the faculties of health professions, dentistry, and computer science learn from people who live with chronic disease. Through the innovative Health Mentors Program, volunteers share their struggles and triumphs with multiple sclerosis, cancer, traumatic brain injury, and other health challenges. They tell students about their experiences with the health care system and discuss what they expect from health care providers. The health mentors initiative was launched in 2010.

Contributing to global health

Dalhousie medical students can look beyond the Maritime region for opportunities to learn first hand the health priorities of other communities through the Global Health Office. The GHO offers courses, electives, and clerkships in places like Tanzania, Thailand, and The Gambia.


Residency Training (postgraduate medicine)

Individual attention

Residents receive a unique and exceptional education and training experience through Dalhousie Medical School and its affiliated teaching hospitals, health centres and sites across Maritime Canada. They benefit from living, working and learning in diverse communities and from programs that are just the right size to offer individual attention and the highest quality and quantity of hands-on experience. Our faculty know residents’ names, their professional goals and what their interests are outside of medicine and put that knowledge to good use to enrich residents’ learning.

Collaboration is greater than competition

Dalhousie Medical School and our affiliated teaching sites celebrate the tried and true premise of “two heads are better than one” by encouraging and fostering collaboration among residents, students, faculty, and staff in all areas. We are home to 535 residents who, when they arrive, become part of a community. We believe people excel when the support provided – from peers, faculty members, administrators, advisors – is equal to the expectations set. And it’s working. We’ve earned an enviable reputation among Canadian medical schools for fostering a collaborative environment that attracts top faculty, residents, students, and researchers from across Canada and around the world.

Location, location, location

Canada’s east coast has it all. Its coastline is stunning and offers ample opportunity for adventure. Its cities are vibrant, eclectic, and welcoming. Its citizens are friendly. And its laid back lifestyle promotes family time and recreation. As a resident at Dalhousie Medical School, you’ll get to experience Maritime Canada from many perspectives. Residents train in cities and communities across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island – an opportunity that encourages diverse learning experiences. Better yet, residents play a direct and vital role in patient care in communities of every shape and size, greatly contributing to the region’s health system and the health of its citizens.

Clinical skills training and simulation

At Dalhousie Medical School, residents deliver patient care from day one, gaining valuable insight from experiential learning. It isn’t always possible or best to “practice” on patients though. To help residents develop excellent clinical skills, our training programs take advantage of the Skills Centre for Health Sciences, the Atlantic Health Training & Simulation Centre, and the Learning Resource Centre. We have a proud and pioneering history of using simulation in our training programs. The Atlantic Health Training & Simulation Centre was the first of its kind in Canada, and Dalhousie Medical School faculty are part of a team making simulated neurosurgery possible.  


Continuing Professional Development

Robust, diversified continuing medical education tailored to the needs of physicians in Maritime Canada

More than 900 family physicians and 550 specialists in Maritime Canada keep their professional knowledge current through Dalhousie Continuing Professional Development. They participate in annual refresher courses, online courses, workshops, short courses & conferences, traineeships and seminars, all of which are developed based on their needs as determined via comprehensive needs assessments. Continuing Professional Development also works with clinical departments at Dalhousie and organizations across Maritime Canada to help them establish specific education programs to meet their learning objectives and provides an accreditation service to those programs. Learn More about the Continuing Professional Development programs in detail.

Canada’s leader in continuing medical education research

Dalhousie’s medical faculty are leaders in evaluating the effectiveness of continuing professional development, applying their findings to programs delivered here and across Canada.

Fostering the highest quality patient care in Maritime Canada

Dalhousie Continuing Professional Development works with many partners to ensure physicians in Maritime Canada have access to the most up to date clinical training. Working together with the Nova Scotia Department of Health & Wellness and the Nova Scotia Community College physicians receive one-on-one or small group learning opportunities at their location of practice via an academic detailing service and a community hospital program. Both programs ensure minimal disruption in the availability of physicians to provide patient care.


MSc and PhD Studies
(graduate and postdoctoral opportunities)

THE place to study and to work

Dalhousie Medical School researchers, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows are part of a vibrant interdisciplinary research community that attracts more than $55 million in research funding to Maritime Canada and contributes much to the world’s knowledge base. The largest medical research centre east of Montreal, we offer hundreds of graduate and postdoctoral opportunities in a variety of health and medical disciplines. The Scientist magazine ranked Dalhousie among the top five places in the world for conducting postdoctoral studies and scientific research. It also ranks Dalhousie among the top institutions for best places to work in academia.

Plenty of opportunity and individual attention

Dalhousie Medical School and the Dalhousie University community are just the right size to offer graduate students and postdoctoral fellows the quantity and quality of research opportunities of Canada’s largest research intensive universities with the individual attention from world leading faculty that will result in the best graduate experiences. The Medical School is home to 345 medical researchers and 17 collaborative research groups and employs and trains more than 75 postdoctoral fellows annually, attracting some of the most promising minds in medical research.


Dalhousie Medical School’s graduate students study and work with world-leading researchers at our Halifax, Nova Scotia campus, located on Canada’s stunning east coast. Our research facilities are centrally located in the city, within close proximity to each other, to our affiliated teaching hospitals and research institutes, and to Dalhousie University’s main campus. Halifax boasts a rich cultural heritage, extensive recreational opportunities, and a diverse and vibrant nightlife that rivals that of any larger city in Canada. It’s home to three large universities, a strong network of colleges, and tens of thousands of students.

Research strength

Dalhousie Medical School work together to pioneer innovative solutions to pressing health care problems, particularly in four areas of focus, developed based on the greatest need in Maritime Canada: cancer, cardiovascular disease, neuroscience, and inflammation/infectious diseases. Our researchers invented the first new class of antibiotics to come along in 30 years, unlocked a 50-year mystery of how the retina senses motion, and discovered that the human reovirus effectively targets and kills breast cancer stem cells.

Integration and broad horizons

Departments within Dalhousie Medical School that offer graduate studies opportunities work closely with the Dalhousie Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Medical Research Development Office to provide the best possible education, training, and experience to graduate students. The Medical School encourages multidisciplinary collaboration among its faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students and is home to 17 collaborative research groups. We believe in providing opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to gain knowledge and skills that can go beyond the lab. We offer workshops in communications, working with others and managing budgets; sessions on knowledge transfer and extensive courses in medical ethics in partnership with Dalhousie’s Health Law Institute.