Volume 7 Number 3 In This Issue


EDITORIAL: Beyond resilience

Sharron Spicer, MD, FRCPC, CCPE

In organizational leadership, we are fond of the adage “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” (Like many clever quips, this one is ostensibly credited to Winston Churchill.) One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still responding to its disruptive change. Similar to other world events in the past — wars, 9/11, major natural disasters — the destructive effects are felt both individually and collectively. Its impacts will continue to appear and evolve over the next decades. One thing is certain: things will not go back to the way they were.

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Building belief: establishing credibility as a medical leader

Lara Hazelton, MD, MEd, and Michelle MacDonald, PhD, MD

Credibility depends upon both an individual’s personal characteristics and how they are perceived. Because a leader’s credibility profoundly affects what they are able to accomplish, establishing credibility can be an important component of leadership development. However, while some factors that affect credibility may be modified through deliberate effort, others cannot. In this article, we explore steps leaders can take to increase their credibility and the limitations imposed by factors beyond the individual’s control. read article

Improving physician diversity and inclusion benefits physicians and patients

Elizabeth Hillier, BSc, Kiera Keglowitsch, BSc, Marni Panas, CCIP, Blaire Anderson, MD, Sandy Widder, MD, and Debrah Wirtzfeld, MD

A diverse physician workforce in the Canadian health care system would result in more cultural competence, greater patient satisfaction, and improved population health. However, increasing representation and diversity does not automatically resolve issues of inequity, inequality, and discrimination. In this article, we discuss three broad areas of health care — the clinical environment, academic advancement, and leadership — that require intentional, systemic change if we are to make a lasting impact in terms of increasing the diversity and inclusion of underrepresented groups in medicine, and consequently, improve health outcomes.   read article

PERSPECTIVE Learning to take care of ourselves

Nicole Boutilier, MD

Earlier this month, I read about the suicide death of Dr. Karine Dion, a 35 year-old Canadian emergency physician. I was so unbelievably sad to read this, and her husband’s description of her death as pandemic-related. He said that she felt like she wasn’t doing her part, like she was letting people down. For her, the stigma of being a physician who needed help was too much.

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Leading through COVID-19: understanding and supporting grief and loss

Ethan Kutanzi, Kathleen Fraser, MC, and Debrah Wirtzfeld, MD

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an environment in which grief and loss are being experienced collectively. This grief can lead to increased burnout, decreased productivity, and increased likelihood of job turnover. With health care workers already facing increased risks because of their frontline pandemic responsibilities, it is important to provide leaders with knowledge and tools to support their grieving team members. Understanding the Kübler-Ross grief model, as well as grief-related concepts such as anticipatory grief, disenfranchised grief, moral injury, and complicated grief, will help leaders provide normalizing support.   read article

Training and certification for hospital medicine programs support the essential role of hospitalists for

complex multi-morbid patients in acute care

Vandad Yousefi, MD, William Coke, MD, and James Eisner, MD

The current COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant strain on acute care delivery in Canada and around the world. It has highlighted the importance of hospitals rapidly increasing their resources to meet the capacity demands brought on by a disruptive change. Hospital medicine teams have become central to many acute care sites, caring for increasingly complex hospitalized patients. We believe that the ongoing implementation of hospitalist teams of generalist physicians is critical in ensuring that health care organizations are well positioned to provide high-quality care in uncertain times. We also highlight the need for adequate training and certification for physicians who aim to work as part of such programs. read article

PERSPECTIVE Embracing plan B

Sharron Spicer, MD, FRCPC, CCPE

It was a day that started as any other for our family, but by bedtime our world had changed. Cancer had entered our home as an unwelcome house guest. read article


Reviewed by Johny Van Aerde, MD, PhD

Since last fall, many books have been published by Canadian physicians. We chose  four to review in this issue: We Are All Perfectly Fine by Jillian Horton; Without Compassion There Is No Healthcare by Brian Hodges, Gail Paech, and Jocelyn Bennett; Hardwired by Robert Barrett and Louis Francescutti; and Stress in Medicine by Nina Ahuja.

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