August 17, 2014

By Cal Botterill, Jason Brooks and Aman Hussain

photo 1-2Eight years ago, we were invited to design a “High Performance Physician” program for a research study supported by WRHA, Faculty of Medicine, The Patient Safety Organization, The University of Manitoba, and The University of Winnipeg. Interest has grown ever since, and we have presented the program to residents in several specializations, attendings in one Dept, and a group of 30 physicians in a rural setting.

The book is a description of program content that turned out valuable to physicians, and testimony from impressive young physicians who have mastered the content and noticed a big difference in their health and performance. We felt a book was essential to share what physicians had found valuable, and what we had learned about the world of medical practice.

We quickly got a feel for the demands of medicine by volunteering for “participant observer” shifts in Emergency Medicine. We had extensive performance enhancement experience in sport and other fields, but nothing compared to the expectations and demands in medicine. We had to immerse ourselves to relate, but we can’t say enough about how open, motivated, & willing to share physicians have been.

Recovery and health had become critical issues in other fields, and we learned quickly that optimizing health and efficiency were common challenges in medicine. The value of a healthy perspective, good strategies and sufficient recovery was soon appreciated. High performance is not a one time thing—“sustainability” is what we crave.

Literature on medical error and wellness challenges in medicine, suggests a program that blends health and high performance might really help. Our biggest satisfaction in the program is seeing graduates, happy, healthy, balanced, efficient, enjoying work, and being great teammates. We hope you enjoy their stories and make your life better.

“As I read through the elements of Sustainable High Performance, I felt like I was breathing a little bit easier with every chapter that I read. The shift in perspective that was achieved for many working in the medical field was moving”. (Jennifer Botterill)

SHP_book-Cover-1You can buy Sustainable High Performance at McNally Robinson Booksellers


Cal Botterill, PhD., is a veteran of over 40 years in “health and performance enhancement”. He has been delivering “High Performance Physician” courses to resident and attending physicians for the past 8 years. He has supported Canadian athletes to many Olympic/ World medals and personal bests and consulted with 5 NHL hockey teams. Cal has received teaching excellence awards at both the University of Winnipeg and the University of Calgary. He is the author of many practical books, articles, videos, and presentations. Cal has observed under-recovery in many performers over the past 15 years, and has been pro-active in helping people overcome and prevent the problem.

Jason Brooks, PhD., has spent more than 15 years as a performance enhancement coach, collaborating with outstanding performers in diverse fields. Today, Jason continues to gather and share these lessons through his practice, in an effort to help support, educate and inspire others to consistently be and bring their best. Inspired by those experiences, Jason embarked on an exciting new venture: developing Phenomenal Docs, an online resource centre devoted to the expressed needs and concerns physicians have shared with him over the years.

Aman Hussain, M.A., PhD. (Candidate) is an Instructor at the University of Winnipeg in the Faculty of Kinesiology. He teaches a variety of courses involving leadership, issues in sport, performance psychology, coaching and program planning. He is currently a doctoral candidate at The University of Queensland. His doctoral thesis involves investigating the process of workplace learning for residents in the department of emergency medicine. He works with a variety of performers in a number of disciplines including the performing arts, high performance sport and medicine.