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Doctors Manitoba is pleased to work in close collaboration with our various partners, who also understand the significance of improving physician health and wellness. With $1.022 million in funding from Scotiabank over 3 years and in collaboration with the CMA and MD Financial Management, we launched a community of practice pilot project to assess the environments and systems in which physicians work, and to identify achievable changes that can be implemented at both organizational and system levels. We are working towards improved partnerships with physicians, health authorities and health organizations with increased engagement with physicians and health organizations. 

This contribution by our partners is part of Scotiabank, MD Financial, and CMA’s commitment to supporting the medical profession and advancing health in Canada. Between 2019 and 2029, the organizations plan to invest $115 million to support physicians and the communities across the country.

We will be identifying community-specific needs by engaging with physicians, health care administrators, and other community stakeholders. Doctors Manitoba has partnered with three pilot regions and community of practice hubs have been created virtually in Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority, Northern Health Region, and Prairie Mountain Health. At the conclusion of the pilot project, Doctors Manitoba will incorporate the successful program outcomes into core operations and expand the program in other areas of Manitoba. Lessons learned from the pilot will also be incorporated into future planning. The program evaluation is robust and includes both formative and quantitative analysis so that any positive outcomes can be replicated locally, provincially and nationally. 

The project implementation plan involves learning about aspects of current systems and health organizations within each hub that enhance or create barriers to physician health and wellness. Working collaboratively with our partners will allow us to evaluate the current relationships with physicians in each community and determine any areas for improvement and further outreach.

Once evidence-informed and achievable intervention strategies are developed for each community of practice hub, the specific initiatives will be implemented.

Scotiabank, MD Financial Management and the Canadian Medical Association proudly support the Physician Health & Wellness Community of Practice Project, one of several initiatives that comprise our 10year, $115 million commitment to supporting the medical profession and advancing health in Canada.

For more information on this pilot project, please contact Jennifer MacDonald, Project Manager at jmacdonald@doctorsmanitoba.ca.

The Community of Practice Model

The project utilizes an adapted Community of Practice model. The main adaptation that this project is making to the community of practice model is the development and implementation of achievable action plans/​initiatives along with a robust evaluation.

Domain: The area of shared inquiry is physician health and wellness and the systemic and organizational factors that support or impede it. 

Community Members: Physicians, other stakeholders such as hospital or clinic administrators, health authority leaders, Doctors Manitoba staff and others that the community members feel are integral to success of the pilot.

Practice: Community needs assessment and gap analysis, education and training, development and prioritization of achievable action plans, resources identified and secured, additional stakeholders brought in if needed. Implementation of community specific initiatives. 

Continuous Improvement: Selection of evaluation consultant. Development of an evaluation framework and necessary tools (needs assessment survey, focus groups, etc.). Development and implementation of measurement (KPI) tools. Preparation of evaluation updates and annual reports. Reflection and changes as needed to achieve desired results.

Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner, Introduction to communities of practice: A brief overview of the concept and its uses (accessed April 2019)

Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner, Introduction to communities of practice: A brief overview of the concept and its uses (accessed April 2019)

Physician Champion Bios
Dr. Harsahil Singh, MBBS, CCFP, CCPE, Physician Champion for the NHR Hub

Dr. Singh has worked as a Family Physician in Northern Manitoba for over six years. Historically, there has been a shortage of family physicians in the North. As a result, physicians in the region were often required to work in multiple areas of practice, regardless of their area of choice. Dr. Singh took on the role of Medical Director in 2015 to implement positive change and increase physician well-being. He devised a preference-based system where physicians pick their desired areas of practice balanced with patient needs. Physicians and administrators reported that the system improved work satisfaction and reduced burnout and improved quality of care for the patients. Building on this experience, Dr. Singh also co-chaired the Primary Health and Community Services Provincial Clinical Team with Shared Health to improve services across the province in 2018 – 19. Being a father of two young children, Dr. Singh understands the relevance of work-life balance for physicians, and he advocates for Physician Wellness at all levels using his multiple leadership and clinical roles.

Dr. Beverley Lee-Chen, MD, CCFP, Physician Champion for PMH Hub

Dr. Lee-Chen is a Family Physician at the Brandon Clinic. She completed medical school and post graduate training at The University of Manitoba. She has practiced medicine for the past 12 years, first in BC, and more recently, in Manitoba since 2014. She completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Dermatology in 2019 and has since expanded her professional focus to include skin disorders and women’s health, working at a local dermatology clinic and the public health women’s clinic. Dr. Lee-Chen is a current member of The Canadian Women in Medicine which supports peer connections and professional development for women in medicine. She recognizes the daily challenges of the medical profession and hopes her work on this project will improve the overall wellness of physicians, in both mental and physical health, individually and as a community. Her husband is a university professor and they have three children.

Dr. Michael Loudon, MB.Ch.B, Physician Champion for the IERHA Hub

Dr. Loudon is a Family Practitioner and Medical Director of the Teulon Medical Clinic. He is also the head of the Physicians at Risk program, a program available to all Doctors Manitoba members and their spouses. The program offers individual and peer support. Dr. Loudon completed medical school and post graduate training in South Africa and has practiced in Manitoba since 2001. His wife is a Registered Nurse and they have three children. As an advocate for physician health and wellness for the past 17 years (including being a previous member of the Doctors Manitoba Physician Health and Wellness Committee) Dr. Loudon knows the importance of moving beyond wellness cliches towards tangible actions.