Supporting Physician Well-Being Regionally 

Doctors Manitoba works in close collaboration with regional partners to improve physician health and wellness at the organizational and system level using a community of practice model. 

Physician well-being is a shared responsibility and evidence suggests targeting the organizational level will yield the most success. 

From late 2019 to early 2023, with the generous support of Scotiabank, CMA, and MD Financial Management, Doctors Manitoba established and coordinated community of practice pilots with physicians, physician champions, and senior leaders in Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (IERHA), Northern Health Region (NHR), and Prairie Mountain Health (PMH).

In each region, the groups worked together to identify causes and solutions to burnout using local physician experiences and evidence from the literature. Using collaborative processes, the groups then assessed and prioritized potential solutions to develop achievable and locally meaningful action plans. 

Each of the three regions now has a Physician Health & Wellness Action Plan they are in the process of implementing. To ensure implementation continues to be collaborative and guided by local physician voices, each region has created a Physician Health and Wellness Committee as an extension of the community of practice work. 

Based on positive project evaluation results for this model, as well as lessons learned, Doctors Manitoba continues to support the three current regions and will expand support to other areas where possible. 

For more information on action plan implementation, opportunities to get involved, or the model, contact Jennifer MacDonald, Physician Health Program and Policy Specialist, at jmacdonald@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Doctors Manitoba thanks our funders for making the original work possible.

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.

The Community of Practice Model

The physician health work with regions uses an adapted Community of Practice model. The main adaptation is the development and implementation of achievable action plans. The initial pilot project also included a robust process and outcome 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 (including a Physician Champion), senior health authority leaders (e.g., CMO, CEO), other stakeholders such as hospital or clinic administrators, 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: Includes reflection on processes (e.g., engagement approaches and results) and formal outcome measures. 

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

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

Physician Champion Bios
Dr. Chukwuma Abara, Chair, Physician Health and Wellness Committee, NHR

Dr. Abara is a highly skilled clinician, dynamic physician leader, and clinical teacher at the University of Manitoba, with an interest in physician health and wellness. He is the Medical Director for Primary Care Clinics at the NRHA for Thompson, Gillam, Lynn Lake and Leaf Rapids. He is passionate about addressing health inequities and improving access to medical care for minority and racialized groups in Northern communities. Dr. Abara earned his medical degree at the University of Calabar, Cross River State Nigeria in 2008. Before taking on the role as Medical Lead at the Ancilla Hospital Ihitte, Ezinihitte Mbaise, he completed a one-year internship at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia. As Medical Lead at the Ancilla Hospital, Ihitte Dr. Abara collaborated with the Hand Maids of the Holy Child Jesus to organize a series a free medical outreach programs for the community. During his time as Medical Lead, the hospital bed capacity was expanded to better serve the community. Dr. Abara is a proud husband and a father of two children.

Dr. Savitri Ramaya, MD, Chair, Physician Health and Wellness Committee, PMH

Bio to come.

Dr. Beverley Lee-Chen, MD, CCFP, previous 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, previous 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.