Dalhousie University - Pediatrics - Halifax


Program Director

Dr. Sarah Manos


Administrative Assistant

Ms. Michaela MacDonald

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  • The IWK Health Centre is the major referral center for the Maritimes and also the only dedicated pediatric hospital in Nova Scotia, this means residents get exposure to a high volume and wide variety of common and rare pediatric presentations. The IWK also has every pediatric subspecialty except for adolescent medicine. We have wonderful dedicated faculty and allied health who want to see residents succeed clinically as well as in their scholarly and advocacy work. We encourage residents to push themselves while also providing appropriate back up.

  • We are a reasonably small program with few subspecialty residents, this allows for more hands on training and 1:1 time with faculty.

  • The Maritimes has many excellent community/rural pediatrics experiences to choose from.

  • We have piloted many aspects of the new Competence By Design (CBD) curriculum, educated faculty, learned lessons, made changes and are excited and ready to fully launch in July 2021.

  • We have a cohesive, supportive happy group of residents

  • Halifax (and the rest of the Maritimes) has a friendly supportive atmosphere

  • Halifax is a rapidly growing major urban center, it is walkable and there are many places to live near the hospital

  • There are lots of nearby restaurants, activities and green space

  • It is a short and quick drive to get out of the city with lots of nearby lakes, trails and beaches.


Are there any upcoming changes to the program?

We are fully launching CBD in July 2021 but we have been preparing. Residency programs at Dalhousie are now required to have 10% of training outside of Halifax Regional Municipality, we are working on options for residents to take advantage of the excellent learning opportunities outside of the IWK. We are dedicated to continuous quality improvement, our committees make smaller changes based on feedback and changes in healthcare needs.

Are there opportunities for residents to teach?

Yes! Dalhousie medical students do pediatric rotations at the IWK, Saint John Regional Hospital and in many of the smaller communities so there are lots of opportunities for informal teaching. One of the major roles of the senior resident on the Pediatric inpatient Medical Unit is teaching junior learners. Residents also teach their fellow residents in the last hour of our academic half day and get feedback. We have a unique selective rotation (Senior Teacher) dedicated to improving teaching skills with a variety of opportunities to choose from. Our PGME also offers an elective in medical education for senior residents.

What are the research opportunities/how do you support residents with their scholarly work?

Our resident research advisor starts meeting with all PGY 1s in the first 3-6 months. There is a great deal of flexibility in the type of scholarly project to cater to residents’ personal interests and career goals (e.g. Quality improvement, clinical research, literature reviews, advocacy). In PGY 1 all residents have a rotation together called the academic skills course. Here residents learn and practice a variety of skills including critical appraisal, grant writing, REB submission and have time to work on their project proposals and get feedback. Residents have dedicated time in PGY 2 and 3 to work on their scholarly projects. Our scholarly project reporting form helps residents keep on track. Our department will fund residents to present their scholarly work at conferences.

What is call like?

We have a graduated call schedule. Our residents generally do 1 in 4 call in PGY 1 and 2, 1 in 5 call in PGY 3 and 1 in 7 call in PGY 4. Our residents cover a variety of different inpatient services while on call (patients admitted under general pediatrics, cardiology, endocrinology gastroenterology, hematology/oncology, nephrology, respirology, rheumatology). One of the advantages of this is that residents are exposed to many different pediatric specialties throughout their training. During transition to discipline residents do 10 buddy calls with a more senior resident. For the first 5 calls in the PICU residents are also buddied with a more senior resident. Residents do call in the PICU throughout PGY2-4 to help with continued exposure to high acuity patients throughout the year. We do not have a night float system except when residents rotate through the NICU.

What is your simulation program like?

Our residents have protected time to attend mock codes once per week in the Emergency Department trauma bay. They also participate in monthly hospital wide mock codes. We have 3 full academic half days dedicated to simulation each year. Residents get additional sim experience during their emergency medicine and NICU rotations.