Volume 8 no 1

Using Leadership To Improve Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity

Volume 8 Number 1 In This Issue


EDITORIAL: Compassionate leadership fosters equity, diversity, and inclusivity

Sharron Spicer, MD, FRCPC, CCPE

If ever there was a need for compassion in health care, it is now. The far-reaching effects of pandemic-induced suffering have reached epic proportions for our patients, our colleagues, and our entire society. Compassion is at the heart of what we do. It is one of the core virtues of our professional identity. According to the CMA Code of Ethics and Professionalism,1 “A compassionate physician recognizes suffering and vulnerability, seeks to understand the unique circumstances of each patient and to alleviate the patient’s suffering, and accompanies the suffering and vulnerable patient.”  read article

Mind the gap: thoughts on intergenerational relations in medical leadership

Glen Bandiera, MD, MEd

Originally published CJPL 5(2)

Numerous models categorize, characterize, and explain differences among generations in society. Currently, four distinct generations are engaged in the physician pipeline from early training to late career. The distinct differences in how they view the world, their self-perceptions, and how they conduct relationships create real and imagined tensions. However, the significance of these differences is debated, as variability among those within a generation is likely larger than that between generations. Nevertheless, medical leaders and educators will be wise to develop an appreciation for generational differences to ensure that everyone may live up to their full potential. Opportunities exist to gain greater appreciation for how generational differences manifest in day-to-day interactions, adopt new approaches to interacting with those of different generations, and identify points of leverage across generations to optimize relationships and outcomes.  read article

Fostering inclusion of physicians with disabilities at The Ottawa Hospital

Camille Munro, MD, Michael Quon, MD, and Kathleen Gartke, MD

Physicians with disabilities can offer unique insight into their hospital institutions. Their lived experiences can enrich the learning and clinical environment, increase empathy for patients, and improve care for patients with disabilities. Unfortunately, barriers to full inclusion of these physicians often develop because systems in place are inadequate to meet their needs. The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) recently identified a void in policy for physicians with disabilities that aligns with the goals of both the Physician Wellness and the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) offices. Since then, TOH’s Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) unanimously voted on a position statement created for physicians with disabilities.     read article

LGBTQ2S+ diversity: leading and celebrating pride

Derek Puddester, MD

Originally published CJPL 5(2)

Organizations that actively promote diversity tend to be learning and practice environments of choice, excellence, and innovation. However, despite all our hard work and successful social equity efforts, discrimination still exists in Canadian health care and medical education. Leaders can influence diversity in their organization by taking four urgent actions. read article

A framework for inclusive crisis leadership in health care

Javeed Sukhera, MD, Lisa Richardson, MD, Jerry M. Maniate, MD, Ming-Ka Chan, MD

Originally published CJPL 7(1)

In a crisis, leadership is often driven by a sense of urgency. Leaders find themselves looking inward with a narrow focus and surrounding themselves with those who share similar values and ideas. We propose an empirically informed framework for maintaining inclusive leadership and creating an environment that fosters inclusion throughout a crisis situation. Its three components are rooted in constructive tensions that inclusive leaders can leverage to bring balance, predictability, and moderation to their teams and organization. read article

Re-thinking conferences in medicine: opportunities and challenges of virtual delivery

Hilary Pang, MSc, David Wiercigroch, MPA, and Abi Sriharan, DPhil

Originally published CJPL 7(1)

As the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need for physical distancing, an opportunity to reimagine conference design and delivery has emerged. Conferences should consider widespread adoption of virtual strategies to support professional connection and knowledge exchange driven by thoughtful design and implementation. Although virtual conferences represent a significant paradigm shift, opportunities to improve systemic inclusivity, increase financial accessibility, reduce environmental impact, and increase engagement and interactivity present compelling arguments for change. Challenges include minimizing digital exclusion, providing technical support, supporting participant wellness, and facilitating opportunities for networking. We reflect on these themes through experiences and lessons learned when transitioning the inaugural Conference on Health Advocacy Toronto to a virtual model during the COVID-19 pandemic. read article

OPINION Using Holocaust education to teach medical ethics and leadership

Justin Shapiro, Ben B. Levy, and Frank Sommers, MD

Holocaust remembrance remains critical in our society as we eternalize the lessons learned from this terrible time in history. Seventy-six years after the liberation of Auschwitz, this still holds true. read article

INTERVIEW The journey from advocacy to leadership

Dr. Lafontaine is an anesthesiologist in Grand Prairie, Alberta, and an acknowledged advocate for improving Indigenous health care. He is of Cree, Anishinaabe, Métis, and Pacific Islander heritage. Dr. Lafontaine is president elect of the Canadian Medical Association, the recipient of various advocacy awards, and a member of the board of several nonprofit organizations.

read interview

How full is the glass? A perspective on women in medical leadership in Canada

F. Gigi Osler, MD  Originally published CJPL 5(1)

What do we really know about the representation of female physicians in medical leadership in Canada? Female representation on the current boards of the Canadian Medical Association and provincial/territorial medical associations is 23% and 40%, respectively. Identified barriers to female medical leadership include gendered organizational and workplace culture, gender bias, inflexible work practices, unequal childcare and domestic responsibilities, and biased performance assessment criteria and recruitment practices. read article


BOOK REVIEW Compassionate Leadership: Sustaining Wisdom, Humanity and Presence in Health and Social Care

Michael A. West

Swirling Leaf Press; 2021

Reviewed by Johny Van Aerde, MD, PhD

Compassionate Leadership by well-known British researcher and author, Michael West, is a must-read. Professor West has written extensively on health care leadership. This latest work provides a great companion to Dickson and Tholl’s classic textbook Bringing Leadership to Life in Health,1 which aptly outlines the well-known LEADS framework of health care leadership.  read review