Peer Review

physician chartsPhysician participation in a peer and practice assessment is a requirement of the Nova Scotia Medical Act. This helps ensure physicians are adhering to acceptable standards in practice, while also identifying potential areas for improvement.

The College is completing the redesign of its Peer Review Program in alignment with emerging best practices in physician assessment.

The new Peer Review Program has a quality improvement mandate and includes a direct assessment of:

  • practice processes,
  • standards of care; and
  • documentation in practice.


New Peer Review Program

physicians reviewing chartKey steps in the development of the new Peer Review Program include: 

1. A review of national and international approaches to practice assessment used by medical regulators.

2. A literature review of best practices and emerging research on assessment of physicians in practice.

3. The College engaged in a months-long consultation process with:

  • key stakeholders that included physician members of the College’s Assessment and Practice Improvement Committees;
  • the College’s roster of family medicine assessors and peer reviewers; and
  • representatives of both the Dalhousie University Department of Medical Education (DME) and the Dalhousie University Department of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).  

4. Prospective peer reviewers completed an orientation and training workshop during which they:

  •  learned how the new program would work; and
  •  received direction, from Dr. Joan Sargeant, Head of Dalhousie University’s Division of Medical Education, on how to provide effective feedback to physicians.   

5. Program Pilot Underway

  • The program is being tested through a Phase One Pilot involving our family physician peer reviewers. Thirty reviews consisting of 15 on-site and 15 off-site reviews are set to be completed in October; and
  • an evaluation of the Phase One Pilot will be completed by late November.