Resignation of general surgeon in Nova Scotia Health Authority’s Eastern Zone

(SYDNEY, N.S.) – Recently, Dr. Jeannie MacGillivray, a member of the general surgery team at St. Martha’s Regional Hospital in Antigonish, resigned.

Stories, comments and opinions about the resignation are circulating through both regular and social media channels. Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) has also received public inquiries about the resignation. While Dr. MacGillivary previously explained her status through a letter to patients, NSHA responded to media and individuals who have asked about the physician.

For clarity and context, it is important to share this information again with the public, media and our Eastern Zone staff and physicians.

Surgical service overview

There are generally three full-time general surgeons as part of our team at St. Martha’s Regional Hospital. These surgeons provide general surgery, including sharing on-call responsibilities to support continuity of care and work-life balance for the team. Members of this team may also provide surgical services at other hospitals in the zone, including Inverness Consolidated Memorial.

  • Dr. MacGillivray had worked a limited surgical schedule for more than a year, providing some endoscopy services at Inverness Consolidated Memorial Hospital.
  • When a physician resigns, they also give up any hospital privileges at the same time.

Surgical coverage

Dr. MacGillivray’s former patients who have less urgent issues are being directed back to their family physician for referral to another surgeon. Urgent or emergency cases are being referred directly to the other surgeons for follow-up.

NSHA is now actively recruiting for a full-time surgeon based at St. Martha’s Regional Hospital. The surgeon will also have the opportunity to use the surgical service time at Inverness Hospital.


There were numerous discussions between physician leaders and the surgeon around work-life balance and their role and options within the surgical service. It would not be appropriate to discuss or debate specific details about those private conversations. 

It is also important to note that the comments and perspectives shared in recent media stories and through social media posts are different than what we know and understand in relation to the situation. In some cases, what is being claimed and shared is unfortunately, not accurate. The resignation is a private, personal decision made by the physician who is choosing to leave the area.

NSHA respects Dr. MacGillivray’s decision to resign, thanks her for her contributions to the province and wishes her well in the future.