About Doctors Nova Scotia

Doctors Nova Scotia is the oldest professional medical association in Canada. It began in 1854 as the Halifax Medical Society. At its first annual meeting on October 5,1854, Dr. William Grigor was elected the first President of the society.

In 1861, the Halifax Medical Society was incorporated as the Medical Society of Nova Scotia. In 2004, the organization changed its name to Doctors Nova Scotia.

In its early years, the members of the Halifax Medical Society – led by their first president, Dr. William Grigor – strove to raise the standard of medical practice and treatment in Halifax. They established the first Halifax dispensary, providing medical aid to the poor and impoverished and supplying it with surgical instruments. They played a major role in convincing authorities to build a public hospital.


Dr. William Grigor, first president of the Medical Society of Nova Scotia, served from 1854 to 1855.

Today, Doctors Nova Scotia acts as a united voice for the medical profession, representing all physicians in Nova Scotia.

On behalf of the province’s doctors, Doctors Nova Scotia works with all partners in health-care delivery to ensure the province is positioned to recruit and retain talented and skilled doctors, introduce new and innovative ways to deliver health care and to continuously look for ways to improve patient care and access to health care.

The association is also passionate about improving patient care and helping Nova Scotians live healthy and active lives.

Its award-winning Kids’ Run Club, progressive leadership in banning tanning beds for youth under 19 and historic role in strengthening smoke-free legislation are all examples of Doctors Nova Scotia’s commitment to helping Nova Scotians live healthy lives.


Our President

Dr. Gary Ernest is the association’s President for 2019-20. Dr. Ernest’s primary goal is to help physicians become more engaged in the health-care system so they can address the challenges facing their patients and their communities.

Dr. Ernest will serve as President until June 6, 2020, when he will be replaced by Dr. Robyn MacQuarrie. A new President is installed each year at the association’s annual conference.

Past Presidents for Doctors Nova Scotia:




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