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Nova Scotia’s Doctors Put Patients First

“I’ve had Dr. Robert Scovil as my doctor since I was born. It’s rare a doctor is able to understand your entire history, but I think that’s probably one of the benefits of having a consistent, reliable, community-oriented doctor. Dr. Scovil always goes above and beyond. From extending his regular office hours to accommodate an appointment, to calling to check in after an appointment as a follow-up, he is always putting his patients’ needs first.” – Kate Elliot, Halifax

For Nova Scotia’s doctors, there is no more important job than caring for their patients.

Every day in Nova Scotia, doctors provide more than 28,000 services to patients. Whether in a community clinic, emergency room, long-term care facility, operating room or in the comfort of your home, Nova Scotia’s doctors provide high-quality patient care when and where patients need it most.

Nova Scotia’s doctors are healers, mentors and teachers; researchers, surgeons and counsellors. They work in community clinics and hospitals, and teach at Dalhousie Medical School. Some lead the country through medical innovation and technology. They’re also mothers and fathers, friends and family; coaches of youth sport teams and community volunteers.

My story is about a man who dedicates his life to his patients. He will go to the ends of the earth to ensure he gets answers for his patients. Dr. Timothy Woodford, Doc or Dr. Tim, as many of his patients refer to him, is a man who not only should be recognized on Doctors’ Day but every day of the year! His day begins at daybreak and does not end until late in the evening. He may not be in the office all the time, but he is working behind the scenes as the doctor who cares for residents at our manor or on-call through our emergency department, visiting inpatients and caring for those in their homes. He is an inspiration!” – Ann Westhaver, Liverpool, N.S.

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Our rural doctors are the hubs of their communities. Patient care starts with them and, through their network of health practitioners, they guide their patients through the health-care system. Meanwhile, in Halifax, doctors are providing specialized services – things like organ transplants, complex maternal care and some cancer treatments – to people from across Nova Scotia and the other Atlantic provinces.

Nova Scotia also has a robust medical research program. Physician-researchers work to improve understanding of disease and to develop ways to prevent and treat illnesses. Although it’s not face-to-face patient care, it is important work, and it’s driven by their desire to benefit patients.

For Nova Scotia’s doctors, health care is about more than just treating patients. It’s about the unique relationship shared between a patient and their doctor. In fact, many physicians say the most important ingredient in patient care is the trusting relationship they share with their patients.

On May 1, we say “Thank You!” to Nova Scotia’s doctors for putting patients first.

“I have been with Dr. Suraiya Rafiq for about 15 years now and I would not trust another person with my health the same way I trust her. She pays attention; if she is worried about anything or wants to check up on my reaction to medication, she calls me. That’s right, my doctor calls me to make sure I am OK! I love and respect her so much. Thank you Dr. Rafiq – you’re the best!!” – Natasha Hughes, Pictou, N.S.

Join us in sharing our gratitude for Nova Scotia’s dedicated physicians.


Doctors’ Day was first recognized as the official day of appreciation for Nova Scotia’s medical profession in 2013. May 1 was selected as Doctors’ Day to mark the birthday of Canada’s first female physician, Dr. Emily Stowe.