In January 2017, a group of residents at CAEP and ACEP put together an Emergency Medicine (EM) Wellness week. We think this was a fantastic initiative that covered the importance of physical and spiritual health, and how to stay well in our challenging working environment. We would like to continue in this direction and strongly support the creation of a yearly Canadian Emergency Medicine Wellness Week, geared to all health care practitioners in EM. After all, ’tis the time for reflection and new resolutions, isn’t it?

One of the challenges with regards to wellness is this: What makes one person well, could very well be another person’s living hell (personally I would choose an afternoon at my dentist’s office over an afternoon of golf… at least I can snooze away during the root canal). There is no blanket solution to the challenges of staying well in our field. If burnout was an easy problem to solve, it wouldn’t have been labeled as a “wicked problem”, and we wouldn’t be experiencing what some are calling the next “public health crisis” in health care.

Wellness Week!

Therefore, over the next 5 days, EM Ottawa will be posting daily with a focus on Wellness in Emergency Medicine. Specifically, we will examine 2 tools to diagnose your own level of wellness, the evidence behind mindfulness and gratitude, and explore practical tips to increase work efficiency. Lastly, two Canadian EM leaders will share some of their “lessons learned” and we will conclude by examining the importance of addressing provider wellness on an individual, institutional and even national level. Remember… Happy MD = Happy Patients.

Throughout the week we’d love to hear your comments, thoughts, suggests – and how you like to keep Well in EM ! Follow along on Twitter @emergmedottawa or on our Facebook page.

Authors

  • Dr. Fischer is an attending Emergency and Palliative care physician at the Ottawa Hospital. She is also the Director of Wellness in the Department of Emergency Medicine.

  • Dr. Shahbaz Syed is a FRCPC Emergency Physician at the University of Ottawa, he is also the assistant director of Digital Scholarship and Knowledge Dissemination, and Co-Editor in Chief of the EMOttawa Blog.