Clinical Field Assessment (CFA)

To be eligible to attend a 12-week Clinical Field Assessment (CFA) candidates must

  1. meet the CPSNS pre-screening eligibility requirements;

  2. achieve a pass standing on the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) Therapeutics Decision Making (TDM) examination. Applicants who successfully complete pre-screening may be eligible to take the TDM examination which will be scheduled to follow the interview;

  3. Candidates who pass the TDM are ranked and may be selected to proceed to the CFA.


The CFA is a total of 12 weeks in length, comprised of two six-week clinical placements. The IMG will be placed in two communities for 6 weeks each. The practice readiness assessments will occur in communities other than the community to which the IMG is going to do his/her return of service. The CFA involves direct and indirect candidate supervision and evaluation of patient care by physician assessors approved by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia. The CFA may involve multiple settings (for example, office, hospital, nursing home) and will involve multiple assessors.  It is expected that candidates will be assessed in the typical practice settings that the physician assessor works in.

Prior to commencing a clinical field assessment, candidates will undergo a robust orientation to various aspects of the health care system, the practice of medicine in Nova Scotia, and professional and medical-legal expectations of physicians.

Once assigned to a clinical field assessment site, candidates will be oriented to the local and regional healthcare services and the specific practice in which they will be working and assessed. Candidate assessment will include an assessment of communication skills (both written and oral), information- gathering, clinical examination skills, critical thinking skills, knowledge and application of diagnostic and management skills, competent prescribing skills and overall a readiness for independent practice.  Candidates are assessed at the level of a Canadian- trained family physician entering practice. 

The NSPRAP provides no promise, warranty or condition that, as a result of the candidate’s participation in the Program, he/she will be able to meet the requirements of the CPSNS to receive a license to practice as a physician in Nova Scotia or elsewhere in Canada.

Candidates accepted to the CFA will be provided with the following:

  • an accommodation allowance of $1000 per month and a stipend of $1000 per week while participating in the program;

  • reimbursement of eligible travel expenses to attend the personal interview portion of the NSPRAP, subject to the travel expense policies of Dalhousie University;

  • reimbursement of the sitting fee of the MCC Therapeutics Decision Making Exam.