June 7, 2016

The first Doctors Manitoba Physician Wellness Day was held April 29, 2016 at FortWhyte Alive’s picturesque Siobhan Richardson Field Station.

This was the first full day event concentrating on physician health and wellness that the Doctors Manitoba Health and Wellness committee planned since being created in 2013.  The event included 6 speakers and 38 participants.

fortwhyteConference highlights included:

  • Jack Perlov discussing physician burnout and the “occupational risks” associated with being a doctor
  • Harvey Chochinov presenting information about current practices in jurisdictions with death hastening legislation and the role they will play in addressing issues related to a request to die
  •  Philippe Erhard talking about causes and impact of stress in medicine along with three habits to increase resilience and incorporate them into daily life
  • Melanie Saint-Hilaire led an introductory mindfulness session where registrants were able to experience how mindfulness can be cultivated in one’s life and reduce stress
  • Anthony Hlynka outlined the impact of addiction and how physicians can get help
  • Matt Maruca and Mr. Roger Jamieson spoke about how effective billing can assist in achieving work/life balance and reducing stressful irritants from practice.

Many interesting comments and questions were exchanged between the participants and speakers.  The speakers all provided an environment that offered the opportunity for some positive interactions between themselves and the physicians as well as amongst the physicians.  At lunch time, many of the participants took advantage of the beautiful setting to sit outside or take a walk around the lake enjoying the sites and sounds of the scenic Fortwhyte centre.

After reviewing the feedback from the workshop, many of the physician comments noted that they were walking away with a better understanding of how to reduce burnout issues and improve their work life balance.  As well, it was clear that everyone enjoyed the event and would like similar events scheduled on an annual basis.