Volume 8 Number 3 In This Issue


GUEST EDITORIAL: Physician leadership needed now more than ever

Shannon Fraser, MD

Never has society needed physician leadership more, and never has it been so challenging for many of us to take on those roles — although take them on we must.

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COMMENTARY: “We’re not better now”: Canada’s health care providers need well-being supports, stat

Andrea Lum, MD, and Laura Foxcroft, MD

Now, more than ever, robust well-being supports are needed for Canada’s health care providers — especially as we prepare to exit the Omicron wave and build back a battered health care system. For two years since the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic, health care workers have been on the front lines burning the candle at both ends. read article

OPINION: What health care leaders can learn from Volodymyr Zelensky

Nick Paterson, MD, and Jhase Sniderman, MDMalcolm Ogborn, MBBS

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky modeled crisis leadership in the early stages of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In this article, we reflect on Zelensky’s attributes of relatability, clear communication, and servant leadership as characteristics that health care leaders can also use to lead organizations through crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic response. read article

Development of a provincial medical affairs community of practice

Daniel P. Edgcumbe, MB BChir, and Lisa Harper

The term “medical affairs” describes functions undertaken by health care organizations in Canada in support of their relations with credentialed staff, such as physicians, dentists, midwives, and certain extended-class nurses. These credentialed staff are generally appointed by the board of directors of their organizations and operate under their own bylaws, rules, and regulations. Despite the importance of medical affairs, in Ontario, little has been done to connect these functions across health care organizations, even though there are significant potential benefits from doing so. In this paper, we describe the development of a provincial community of practice (CoP) for medical affairs. We briefly review fundamental concepts relating to CoPs, consider their relevance to health care and medical affairs in particular, and discuss the use of technology to support CoP development. The intention is to share our learning with others, so that they might consider establishing their own CoP, as well as to offer some practical advice on the implementation of virtual CoPs. read article

ADVICE: Optimizing meetings, a critical post-pandemic task for physician leaders

Aaron Johnston, MD

Meetings and committees occupy a significant amount of the working time of physician leaders and their teams. The amount of time spent in meetings has grown over decades and that growth has rapidly accelerated over the COVID-19 pandemic. The return to in-person work offers physician leaders the opportunity to optimize their meetings by thinking about the entire suite of meetings they and their teams are involved in. Creating a meeting inventory and evaluating it can reveal patterns, inefficiencies, and redundancies that can become targets for optimization. Effective meetings can create a competitive advantage for leaders, teams, and organizations and can support productivity and job satisfaction. Meeting optimization should be a high priority for physician leaders.

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Model to improve charting performance for physicians

Maryna Mammoliti, MD, Adam Ly, MScOT, and Cindy Chen, BSc

Timely, accessible, and comprehensive charting of medical care is a complex issue that has clinical, legal, regulatory, and financial implications. Documentation, along with the rise in other administrative tasks, is a factor contributing to physician burnout. We posit that difficulties with charting are multifactorial and can stem from physician, patient, and environmental factors. Physician leaders have a responsibility to enforce charting standards and deadlines and are best positioned to lead charting-related solutions. To assist physician leaders, we propose a charting performance model as a tool to assess charting difficulties within their organizations. read article


OPINION: The resilience myth: is it just in our heads?

Peter Brindley, MD, and Steven Reynolds, MD

We recently finished weeks of service in different intensive care units (ICUs) on opposite sides of the Canadian Rockies. Neither of us had the most crushing of weeks, but we both experienced sadness and exhaustion in ways that come from long hours coupled with tragedy for many, and the end of life for some. For too long, we had avoided frank discussions about our work environment and what drives us to work in the place we do and in the way we do. read article


NEWS: Learning to lead – a simulation exercise

Pat Rich

Being a physician leader at whatever level is no game, and being a true leader cannot be simulated. But that doesn’t mean learning to be an effective leader cannot be presented in a simulated format as an online game. That is exactly what the Canadian Society of Physician Leaders (CSPL) and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in collaboration with Global LEADs have developed. read article


BOOK REVIEW: Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking when Stakes Are High

Third edition

Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler, and Emily Gregory

McGraw-Hill; 2022

Reviewed by John Van Aerde, MD, PhD read review


BOOK REVIEW: Sudden Leadership: A Survival Guide for Physicians

Malcolm Ogborn, MD

Friesen Press; Spring 2022

Reviewed by John Van Aerde, MD, PhD read review