A warm culture that celebrates fishing, shipbuilding, and a life defined by the sea.


South West Nova


Between the countless lighthouses that dot the landscape of this romantic, authentic coastal area, you’ll find friendly communities literally built on and shaped by the ocean. Explore secluded coves, cozy beaches, and inland forests, while also enjoying the charms of colourful  towns that offer every modern indulgence. South West Nova (SWN) has some of the darkest and clearest skies in North America, granting it the designation of the first UNESCO Starlight Reserve in North America by the International Starlight Foundation. 

  • Sailing, surfing, five 18-hole golf courses, running and biking clubs, figure skating, curling, and soccer 

  • Affordable ocean or lake front homes

  • Education for your children in English, French or French Immersion

  • Active arts and music scene including a branch of Art Gallery NS 

  • Université Ste Anne and Dalhousie University Bachelor of Nursing Yarmouth site in the area




Nearby golf courses


We are a longitudinal, integrated site.


South West Nova facilities


The Southwest Nova site is best suited for residents interested in rural life. Our preceptor clinics are located throughout Digby, Yarmouth, and Shelburne Counties. Yarmouth is the major academic site, offering a multi-specialty 100-bed hospital with a full integration of family medicine and specialties within a collegial, multidisciplinary environment. Community hospitals include the Digby General Hospital with 20 inpatient beds and a thirteen-bed restorative care unit and Roseway Hospital with 26 inpatient beds.


Salary and benefits


During your residency in Southwest Nova, as with all our residency sites, your salary will be very competitive.


$64,852 – $70,103

2019 PGY1 - PGY2 salary amounts

Clinical Curriculum


This fully integrated, distributed program incorporates the Triple C Competency-Based Curriculum that is comprehensive, focused on continuity of education and patient care, and predominantly centred in family medicine. Throughout training, residents will work towards fulfilling the CanMEDs-family medicine framework which defines the competencies appropriate for family physicians. This program focuses learning primarily in a family medicine setting with family physicians as teachers/mentors in a longitudinal experiential format rather than the traditional block or rotational format. 

Academic Curriculum

  • Practice-based small group learning sessions

  • Evidence-based medicine curriculum 

  • Resident-presented common problem seminars

  • Core faculty-presented seminars

  • Journal club

  • Practice management curriculum

  • Annual joint site Family Medicine Retreat Education weekend

  • Exam preparation (written and practical) for the CFPC Family Medicine certification exam


Clinical experiences

These areas are integrated longitudinally, applying the Triple C curriculum over the length of your residency.

  • Family medicine

  • Internal medicine

  • Emergency medicine

  • General surgery

  • Pediatrics


To cross reference and compare the sites in our program, find more information by clicking below.

  • Geriatrics

  • Intensive care

  • Psychiartry

  • Palliative care

  • Electives

  • Selectives

  • Obstetrics / gynecology (with family practitioners performing low-risk vaginal deliveries and managing prenatal clinic) 

  • Visiting clinics: orthopedics and vascular surgery and urology


Meet one of our passionate Southwest Nova residents

The South West Nova program has everything I was looking for in a residency program; broad-scope of clinical practice, collegial work environment, and emphasis on community engagement. The longitudinal program has provided an excellent opportunity to develop relationships with patients and preceptors from various specialties, and encourages a diverse approach to family medicine. Physicians working here have established a healthy work-life balance and encourage trainees to do the same.

Residents spend their free time socializing with each other, getting involved in local intramural sports, participating in local music and arts programs, and enjoying the beautiful landscape of South West Nova Scotia. 

- Maddy Arkle


Sound like a good fit?

If you want to learn more about a residency in Southwest Nova, get in touch. Our region staff would be happy to answer all of your questions.


Shirley Watson - Poole
Medical education leader
(902) 742 - 3542 ext 1451

Dr. Abir Hussein
Site director
(902) 742 - 3542 ext 1686

Heather Blackler
Administrative assistant
902) 742 - 3542 x 1690

Dr. Madeline Arkle, associate chief resident