In 2018, CAEP endorsed the creation of a Wellness Committee, led by Drs. Roderick Lim (chair), Sara Gray (vice-chair), Louise Rang (communications), Lisa Fischer (secretary), Jada Fitzpatrick (resident representative). To conclude the Canadian EM Wellness Week, the executive of the committee has put together some reflections on the importance of addressing Wellness in Emergency Medicine on a national level, as well as information on what to look forward to in 2019 for Wellness across the country.

The creation of this committee came at an interesting time. Wellness is gaining traction as one of the “hot topics” in Emergency Medicine, not just in Canada, but around the world. It has been said that an organization’s most useful asset is it’s skilled employee, and yet somehow, while we enter medicine as healers, many of us leave, too early, and broken. Medicine has been described as an occupational hazard, and unfortunately this is supported by the CMA’s most recent landmark paper on burnout. It is probably not a surprise to you that Emergency Medicine wins the dubious honour of being number 1 (go big or go home?).

With the creation of this open committee, we hope to unite efforts from coast to coast to have a strong voice at the national level to advocate for research, education, and policy on preventing burnout and increasing wellness in Emergency Medicine. So far, our first projects include:

  1. CAEP Wellness website: Resources for physician career sustainability and wellness(official launch is this week!)
  2. Survey – the best way to know what is really happening in EDs across Canada is to hear from you. Stay tuned for a survey that will help us understand the state of wellness or burnout amongst us, and allow us to tailor our future initiatives to what you want & need. For more details, visit the website above!
  3. Twitter @CAEP_Wellness: a tip or thought sent out each #CAEPwellnesswed – Join the conversations with your colleagues!
  4. Continuing with an annual Wellness Week, coupled with our friends at EMOttawa.
  5. CAEP 2019 will host the very first dedicated conference track on Wellness in Halifax.

Remember, we are all together in these jobs that are challenging, stressful and incredibly fulfilling. Little tidbits of advice shared amongst colleagues like during the posts this past week are part of what keeps us satisfied, engaged & enthusiastic about our work. It is important to recognize that we all struggle with similar challenges and that we need to lean on each other, and learn from each other, to not just survive in this job, but to thrive. It’s always OK to tell a colleague you are not OK, and never be afraid to ask a colleague if they are OK.

Thank you to all our readers and keep well!  

Some other very useful resources:

  1. Our colleagues at ACEP have put together a comprehensive (128 pages!) tool on wellness in Emergency Medicine. 
  2. The Summary of the 2017 CMA policy on MD Wellness is a great read
  3. For those of you with typical emergency physician attention spans, there is a summary infographic
  4. The CMPA has put together a document on Healthier Physicians
  5. CAEP Resident Wellness in Emergency Medicine Position Statement
  6. If you need help, you may find all the contact info for Physician Support Programs Contact Info across the country here https://caep.ca/resources-by-province/ or https://www.cma.ca/physician-health-and-wellness

 

 

Lisa Fischer

Lisa Fischer

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.
Roderick Lim

Roderick Lim

Dr. Lim is an associate professor and Site-Chief of the Paediatric Emergency Department at the Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre, with a special interest in resident education.
Sara Gray

Sara Gray

Dr. Sara Gray is an Emergency Physician and Intensive Care Physician at St. Mike's Hospital in Toronto with a special interest in patient safety and knowledge translation; specifically how to optimize the care of critically ill patients in the ED.
Louise Rang

Louise Rang

Dr. Rang is an FRCPC Emergency Medicine Physician at Queen's University with an fellowship in point of care ultrasound, and special interest in physician wellness.