Volume 6 Number 2 In This Issue


EDITORIAL:  Addressing wellness

Johny Van Aerde, MD, PhD

Although the WHO has a clear definition of wellness, the term might have a slightly different meaning for each physician and physician leader, depending on where they function in the health care system. It is also important to make the distinction between the tools and skills needed to address burnout versus what is needed to maintain wellness at the personal, interpersonal, organizational, and systemic levels of health and health care in Canada. read article

Natural justice and alternative dispute resolution:

their importance in managing physician performance

Daniel Boivin, LLB, Guylaine Lefebvre, MD, Steven Bellemare, MD

The formal complaint and discipline processes set out in hospital bylaws and provincial legislation and regulations play an important role in providing fair and predictable forums for resolving disputes. However, these mechanisms address a limited range of issues, with respect to only one party. Approaching budding disputes earlier and allowing the individuals involved to disclose the true interests underlying their behaviour can provide opportunities for all parties to identify lasting solutions. As such, good knowledge of the principles of natural justice and the potential advantages of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are invaluable tools for the physician leader. read article

What do we really mean by “physician engagement”?

Tyrone Perreira PhD, MEd, Melissa Prokopy, LLB, and Tamarah Harel

The concept of physician engagement is important to every hospital for a variety of reasons; however, a literature review revealed that no universal definition of the term exists. A conceptual analysis helped define the concept for further development and began to establish a common language. We clarify both what physician engagement means and how leaders can measure engagement. Establishing a common understanding will focus improvement efforts and allow organizations to compare their engagement results and strategies over time. read article

Cognitive Coaching: a leadership essential?

Margie Sills-Maerov, MBA, with contributions from John Clarke, MEd

The roles that physicians play in the health care system — as leaders, mentors, providers, and colleagues — require not only the technical skills taught in medical school, but also the adaptive skills of communicating and engaging and fostering others’ thinking in a psychologically safe way. Adaptive leadership requires that leaders help guide others through problem-solving, rather than providing the answer. As part of continuing professional development, health care improvement facilitators and administrative leaders in Alberta were trained in the skills of adaptive leadership using a model called Cognitive Coaching. Participants noted a qualitative shift in the culture of teams toward greater collaboration and better quality of conversation. Lessons from the health care experience to date and from the education sector indicate a benefit to physicians from building this intention and skill base. read article

Coaching competencies for physicians: listening at the next level

Nancy M. Merrow, MD

In this second of a series of articles on coaching competencies, the focus is on developing the skill of listening. Most physicians have been trained in “active listening,” using brief encouraging sounds and gestures, paraphrasing, summarizing, reflecting, and probing for additional detail. However, by looking further into the composition of a powerful and transformative listening encounter, we can learn to listen at the next level. read article

Physician engagement, leadership, and wellness

John(y) Van Aerde, MD, PhD, and Graham Dickson, PhD

Physician wellness is a pre-requisite for engaging physicians in shaping health systems of the future. Before reform can occur, physician leaders must address issues of wellness. In this article, we outline steps leaders can take to reduce physician burnout, to grow and sustain physician engagement, and to move to a place of wellness where other physicians can and will take on both formal and informal leadership roles. We also describe how use of the LEADS framework can generate leadership practices that increase wellness and reduce burnout at all levels of the health care system. read article

BOOK REVIEW:  Compassion-omics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence that Caring Makes a Difference

Stephen Trzeciak and Antony Mazzarelli

Studer Group, 2019

Reviewed by J. Van Aerde, MD, PhD

read review