Specialist Physicians

(NOC 3111)

in All Health

Specialists Physicians have an in-depth knowledge and highly specialized skills in a specific medical field. There are many specialties, which can be broadly grouped into clinical medicine, laboratory medicine, and surgery. This group includes residents training to become specialist physicians. Specialists in clinical medicine diagnose and treat diseases and physiological or psychiatric disorders and act as consultants to other physicians. Specialists in laboratory medicine study the nature, cause, and development of diseases in humans. Specialists in surgery perform and supervise surgical procedures. Specialists in clinical medicine usually work in private practice or in a hospital while those in laboratory medicine and in surgery usually work in hospitals.

Job Outlook

Good

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 145 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Health

  • Estimate 705 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 3180 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia, with employment around 1,350. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Specialist Physicians most commonly work full-time hours. Also, a large percentage of the workforce is self-employed, which should be an important consideration for those thinking about employment in the occupation.

The median employment income for 46% of Specialist Physicians who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $99,911. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

$135,384

Minimum

$228,636

Median

$431,338

Maximum

Compared to: All Health

Hourly Pay

$16.38

Minimum

$30.45

Median

$41.35

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,740

Minimum

$43,853

Median

$88,944

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Specialists Physicians have an in-depth knowledge and highly specialized skills in a specific medical field. There are many specialties, which can be broadly grouped into clinical medicine, laboratory medicine, and surgery. This group includes residents training to become specialist physicians. Specialists in clinical medicine diagnose and treat diseases and physiological or psychiatric disorders and act as consultants to other physicians. Specialists in laboratory medicine study the nature, cause, and development of diseases in humans. Specialists in surgery perform and supervise surgical procedures. Specialists in clinical medicine usually work in private practice or in a hospital while those in laboratory medicine and in surgery usually work in hospitals.

Job duties

Specialists in clinical medicine:

  • Diagnose and treat diseases and physiological or psychiatric disorders.
  • Order laboratory tests, X-rays, and other diagnostic procedures.
  • Prescribe medication and treatment and refer patients for surgery.
  • Act as consultants to other physicians.
  • May conduct medical research.

Specialists in laboratory medicine:

  • Study the nature, cause, and development of diseases in humans and the structural and functional changes caused by diseases.
  • Conduct microscopic and chemical analyses of laboratory samples and specimens.
  • Supervise laboratory activities.
  • Act as consultants to other physicians.

Specialists in surgery:

  • Assess patients' diseases or disorders to determine appropriate surgical procedures.
  • Perform and supervise surgical procedures to correct physical abnormalities and deficiencies and repair injuries.
  • Act as consultants to other physicians.

Sample job titles

  • anesthesiologist
  • cardiologist
  • dermatologist
  • emergency physician
  • medical examiner
  • neurologist
  • obstetrician-gynecologist
  • opthalmologist
  • pediatrician
  • plastic surgeon
  • psychiatrist
  • radiologist
  • specialist physician
  • surgeon
  • urologist

Skills

Compassion, sensitivity, and a desire to help people are important. Physicians must take final responsibility for their decisions and the effects they have on patients' lives. Therefore, emotional stability, ethics, maturity, and good judgement are essential. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are important. You should be able to inspire confidence and put people at ease. You must be willing to continually update your knowledge and skills. Good health and stamina may be needed, as physicians often work long hours.

Job requirements

Specialist physicians:

  • A Bachelor of Science degree.
  • Graduation from an approved medical school and specific specialty training are required.
  • Completion of the certifying examinations of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and licensing by the provincial or territorial licensing authority are required.

Specialists in clinical medicine:

  • Four to five years of specialty residency training are required.
  • Two years of subspecialty training may also be required.

Specialists in laboratory medicine:

  • Four to five years of specialty residency training are required.

Specialists in surgery:

  • Five to six years of specialty residency training are required.
  • Two years of subspecialty training may also be required.

Other considerations

The work is rewarding but can be challenging and emotionally demanding. Specialist physicians often work long hours. Most physicians are self-employed and administer their services through private practices. Most physicians are paid by fee-for-service, so earnings depend upon the fees paid by the government for various services and the number of patients served. Some physicians are paid through alternative funding plans. Movement to management positions like director of laboratory medicine or chief of surgery is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

1,335

employed in 2016

91.0%

employed full-time

51.5%

self employed

35.1%
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64.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
48

median age

Compared to: All Health

36,515

employed in 2016

75.7%

employed full-time

9.6%

self employed

83.6%
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16.4%
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43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

69.3%

Halifax

9.4%

North Shore

9.0%

Cape Breton

6.4%

Southern

6.0%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

98.4%

Health care and social assistance

0.8%

Educational services

0.8%

Public administration

What is the age of Employment?

27.0%

45-54

22.0%

55-64

21.0%

35-44

18.0%

25-34

12.0%

65+

Compared to: All Health

24.0%

25-34

23.9%

45-54

21.9%

35-44

18.4%

55-64

7.7%

15-24

Top levels of education

76.5%

Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary, Optometry

$107,549 median annual income
13.4%

Master

$107,583 median annual income
6.7%

Doctorate

$126,462 median annual income
2.2%

Bachelor

N/A
0.7%

Diploma Above Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Health

38.4%

College Diploma

$40,033 median annual income
27.1%

Bachelor

$61,668 median annual income
8.7%

Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary, Optometry

$81,191 median annual income
6.8%

High school

$24,829 median annual income
5.1%

Master

$69,296 median annual income

Education & training

Health/Medical Physics

University Program

These programs focus on applying physics, nuclear science, and engineering physics to diagnostic, treatment, and therapeutic processes and public health protection. They include courses in radiation biophysics, biophysics, health effects of natural and artificially induced radiation, hazard evaluation, environmental radioactivity, nuclear physics, engineering physics, radiobiology, medical radiology, calibration and dosage theory, computer applications and medical informatics, and specific research problems.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Medical Scientist (MSc, PhD)

University Program

This includes any undifferentiated clinical science program that prepares graduated physicians (M.D. or D.O.) as research scientists in various areas.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Medicine (MD)

University Program

These programs prepare students for the independent professional practice of medicine, involving the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of illnesses, injuries, and other disorders of the human body. They courses in the basic medical sciences, clinical medicine, examination and diagnosis, patient communications, medical ethics and laws, professional standards, and rotations in specialties such as internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, neurology, ophthalmology, radiology, clinical pathology, anesthesiology, family medicine, and psychiatry.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Physician

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated. The job title is protected, and you may not use it without a professional licence. A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia
7071 Bayers Road, Suite 5005
Halifax, NS B3J 2C2
(877) 282-7767
(902) 422-7476

Contacts

Doctors Nova Scotia
Dartmouth, NS
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Ottawa, ON