15 episodes

When physicians are healthy and fulfilled, they're better equipped to care for others. Yet many doctors, residents and medical students report burnout, depression and other concerns at some point in their career — and countless others stay silent out of fear of stigma. Sound Mind is a podcast that sheds light on physician wellness and medical culture, produced by the Canadian Medical Association and hosted by psychiatrist and wellness expert Dr. Caroline Gérin-Lajoie. This interview-based program is for physicians, medical learners, administrators, and anyone interested in the wellness challenges medical professionals face and the ways they’re being addressed.

Sound Mind: conversations about physician wellness and medical culture The Canadian Medical Association

    • Health & Fitness

When physicians are healthy and fulfilled, they're better equipped to care for others. Yet many doctors, residents and medical students report burnout, depression and other concerns at some point in their career — and countless others stay silent out of fear of stigma. Sound Mind is a podcast that sheds light on physician wellness and medical culture, produced by the Canadian Medical Association and hosted by psychiatrist and wellness expert Dr. Caroline Gérin-Lajoie. This interview-based program is for physicians, medical learners, administrators, and anyone interested in the wellness challenges medical professionals face and the ways they’re being addressed.

    Being Indigenous in med school

    Being Indigenous in med school

    Medical school is tough enough. For Indigenous students, it can also be fraught with racism, and the pressure to share their cultural ‘expertise’ with teachers and classmates.
    “A lot of the time, the stereotypes they’ve grown up with, their internal bias, the racism they don’t realize is there, comes to the surface, and it can be very traumatic as an Indigenous student to hear that, to sit through that, to sometimes have the questions directed at you.” - Jayelle Friesen-Enns
    On this episode of Sound Mind, Dr. Caroline Gerin-Lajoie speaks to Josha Rafael from McMaster University and Jayelle Friesen-Enns from the University of Manitoba, about the blessings and burdens of being an Indigenous role model, and where they find support. 
    --------------------------------------------
    Read more: 
    Physician Wellness: A Perspective from Indigenous Physicians | CMA
    Physician Wellness: A Perspective from Indigenous Medical Students | CMA
    Being a culturally safe physician | CMA

    • 31 min
    The benefits of team-based care

    The benefits of team-based care

    The shortage of health care workers in Canada is a growing crisis. The daily tradeoffs of caring for patients while keeping up with administrative demands is leading to burnout – and prompting some professionals to trade private clinics and hospitals for team-based practices. 
    “Working in a team makes me feel valued. I feel like I have a team that supports me just as much as I support the physician… There's no worrying about rushing to finish your shift and having to choose between not giving care rounds to my patients or not documenting in the EMR.” – Shawna Pasiciel, HealthWORX Medical Clinic
    In this episode, host Dr. Caroline Gérin‑Lajoie speaks to Vancouver family doctor Christie Newton and registered nurse Shawna Pasiciel, of Medicine Hat, Alberta, about the wellness benefits of interprofessional collaboration – both for health care professionals and their patients.

    If you're looking for resources, tools, and research on the topics covered today, please visit the CMA Physician Wellness Hub at cma.ca. 

    • 28 min
    Rediscovering meaning in medicine

    Rediscovering meaning in medicine

    The strain of working in a health system on the brink – not to mention two years of a pandemic – can erode the sense of meaning that motivates so many physicians. But two emergency doctors, Anthony Fong in Vancouver and Daniel Kollek in Hamilton, found inspiration by going towards, rather than away, from crisis on a volunteer medical mission in Ukraine. 


    “We provided emergency care in a setting that was really needed... And we didn't have all the bells and whistles you might find in an emerg (ED) in downtown Vancouver. But it doesn't matter. All that matters in that case, in that situation, is that you're communicating as a team and doing as much as you can.”  -- Dr. Anthony Fong, Vancouver Coastal Health



    In this episode, host Dr. Caroline Gérin‑Lajoie speaks to the two physicians about the conditions they faced at the Ukraine/Poland border, the care they provided and the impact of their experiences on their sense of purpose in medicine.



    “It certainly charged my batteries. It reminded me that what I’m doing is helping people in a meaningful way. It also reminded me that we are phenomenally fortunate, not only because we're away from war, but because of all the resources we have. All that context is important.” – Dr. Daniel Kollek, Centre for Excellence in Emergency Preparedness


    If you're looking for resources, tools, and research on the topics covered today, please visit the CMA Physician Wellness Hub at cma.ca. 

    • 30 min
    The ‘Great Resignation’ comes to medicine.

    The ‘Great Resignation’ comes to medicine.

    Last year, a Texas A&M University professor predicted a mass exodus of workers in the wake of the pandemic, as people reflected on whether their jobs provided them a sense of purpose.  He called it “The Great Resignation.” 
    In medicine, job dissatisfaction, combined with increasing levels of burnout, is also forcing many doctors to reflect in the same way. Preliminary data from the Canadian Medical Association’s National Physician Health Survey shows nearly half of those surveyed (46%) are considering reducing their clinical hours in the next two years.
    Some, like Dr. Kathy Bonapace, have decided to quit the profession altogether. 
    “The day I knew I needed to stop was when I was operating on a patient, doing a hysterectomy, and I became so nauseous. I thought, “Oh, my God. I'm going to throw up..  And as soon as I finished that case, I went to the area where we usually dictate. I closed the door, laid on the floor with my feet up, and thought, “How am I going to get through the day?”  That was the realization I needed to do something different.”
    In this episode, host Dr. Caroline Gérin‑Lajoie speaks to Dr. Kathy Bonapace about the difficult decision to leave her busy practice in rural Quebec and what she’s found to fill that void. 
    And clinician researcher Dr. Nadia Khan shares findings from two studies looking at why so many doctors in BC are disengaged with medicine.  
     

    • 27 min
    Dr. Mom and COVID-19: The stress of being in constant demand

    Dr. Mom and COVID-19: The stress of being in constant demand

    Working mothers have suffered tremendous levels of stress throughout the pandemic – and doctors are no exception. A recent study found that physician mothers scored substantially higher on measures of anxiety and depression than physician fathers, in part because they’ve had to take on a disproportionate share of the increased childcare and online schooling needs. 
    “When COVID-19 first started, my thoughts as a mother and a physician were… overwhelming. As women, we often make such frequent micro and macro decisions for our families, or patients or partners, and I think I speak for many women when I say the weight of those decisions felt so heavy and overwhelming.” — Dr. Rita Watterson, Psychiatrist
    On this episode, host Dr. Caroline Gérin-Lajoie speaks to two mothers in medicine — Calgary psychiatrist Dr. Rita Watterson and Winnipeg cardiologist Dr. Shelley Zieroth — about their mental health and careers in the face of COVID-19 and what medical culture can do to better support physician moms. 
    Want to learn more about physician wellness? Visit the CMA Physician Wellness Hub for curated, clinically-based tools, resources, and research on all the topics covered in this podcast. 

    • 25 min
    Code white: Protecting ED docs from workplace violence

    Code white: Protecting ED docs from workplace violence

    “Code White” is a term used in many health care settings to alert workers to a real or perceived threat of violence. Unfortunately, they are being called more frequently, especially in emergency departments. 
    The reality is that health care workers face four times as great a rate of workplace violence than other professions. In emergency departments, more than 50% of nurses will be sexually harassed or assaulted this year. More than half are physically or verbally abused in any given week. And nearly 70% of emergency physicians -- like Dr. Howard Ovens at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto -- say ED violence has increased in the past five years. 
    “The pandemic has escalated all of this because everybody's testy and patients have shorter fuses, families have shorter fuses. They are acting out, especially around things like visitor restrictions as well as wait times. And with masks on, it's harder to establish rapport and a human connection... The entire atmosphere is much tenser, and it's contributed to an exodus from the profession, especially by nurses.”  - Dr. Howard Ovens, ED physician
    In this episode, Dr. Ovens describes the rising threats of violence in the ED and talks about why hospitals have a responsibility to keep doctors safe. And host Dr. Caroline Gérin-Lajoie speaks to medical psychotherapist Dr. Marcia Kostenuik about steps health care workers can take to prevent patient abuse and how they can recover from emotionally-charged interactions. 

    • 29 min

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