For over four decades, PAR has been helping physicians, residents, medical students, and their families as a self-referral service that provides confidential intake, assessment, treatment, service navigation and advocacy. 

PAR provides support to Doctors Manitoba members and their families for concerns including:

  • Burnout, stress, or work-life balance
  • Personal, family, or professional relationships
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Trauma
  • Loss/​bereavement
  • Substance use/​addictions

When indicated and with consent, we work collaboratively with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba and other partners and programs to provide comprehensive support to physicians and medical learners.

PAR Supports


  • Confidential individual and couples counselling with no session limits 
  • Co-addiction partner support group
  • Clinicians are registered psychiatric nurses and master’s prepared counsellors 
  • Available to medical students, residents, Medical Licensure Program for International Medical Graduates (MLPIMG), practicing and physicians, and their spouses and adult children (18 and older)

Peer Support:

  • Confidential individual and group-based peer support by physicians with lived experience 
  • Available to medical students, residents, Medical Licensure Program for International Medical Graduates (MLPIMG), and practicing and retired physicians 

All PAR services are provided at no cost and are scheduled to accommodate your availability. Secure virtual appointments are an option.

Substance Use & Other Addictions Support:

  • Confidential medical appointments at PAR office with an addictions medicine specialist
  • Confidential peer support
  • Confidential individual and couples counselling
  • Support and referrals for additional treatment.
  • Guidance and support for concerned friends or colleagues of physicians and medical learners
  • Available to medical students, residents, physicians, retired physicians, and MLPIMGs 

If you are concerned about a physician or medical learner friend or colleague, call our intake line at 2042378320 to anonymously discuss your concern.

All PAR services are provided at no cost and are scheduled to accommodate your availability.

Secure virtual appointments are an option.

PAR Clinicians

Dr. Shelley Anderson (she/​her) — Physician Health & Wellness Medical Lead

Dr. Shelley Anderson is the Physician Health and Wellness Medical Lead at Doctors Manitoba. She is a Geriatric Psychiatrist who, throughout her 20+ years in practice, has worked in both rural community and urban academic settings. She completed her medical school and residency training at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Anderson provides confidential, non-clinical individual and group-based peer support to medical students, residents, and practicing and retired physicians experiencing difficulties with stress, burnout, depression, anxiety, substance use, and other mental health concerns. She strives to create a safe and supportive space where peers can listen without judgment, share insights, and provide hope and encouragement to one another. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and baking for friends and family, or being outdoors in her family’s home community. Click here to learn more about Dr. Anderson’s story.

Dr. Ruth Simkin (she/​her) — Addictions Medicine Specialist

Dr. Simkin has been a family physician for over 40 years. She completed medical school and residency at the U of M and St. Boniface Hospital Family Practice program and began working in the addictions field 14 years ago. For the last 4 years, she has worked strictly in addictions medicine. In addition to her work at PAR, she works on the addictions unit at the Health Sciences Centre as well as the Rapid Access to Addictions Medicine (RAAM) and the Manitoba Opioid Support and Treatment (MOST) clinics. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, swimming, going to the theatre, and being at the lake.

Ms. Patricia Van Aggelen (she/​her) — Therapist

After graduating with a Psychiatric Nursing Diploma in 1974, Patricia worked for a year at the Brandon Mental Health Centre, and then as a ward Registered Psychiatric Nurse at Grace General Hospital in Winnipeg. In 1989, Doctors Manitoba (then the Manitoba Medical Association) hired Patricia as a therapist for its Physicians at Risk (PAR) program. Since then, she has provided individual care to hundreds of medical students, residents, physicians, retired physicians, and their family members. Patricia also runs a Spousal Support Group for partners of physicians struggling with substance use concerns. With Patricia, you will be met with deep compassion and a nuanced understanding of the realities of working in medicine. Patricia loves fashion and is the proud mom to two adult children.

Ms. Fatima Siyawareva (she/​her) — Therapist

Fatima is a mental health specialist and a Registered Social Worker with over 15 years of experience. She has a Master of Social Work degree from UM and has been specifically trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy with Mindfulness, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy. Fatima’s clinical interests are trauma, anxiety management, depression, healthy relationships, life transitions, self-care, and burnout. Fatima provides a client-centered approach and strives to create a safe and non-judgmental environment in therapy sessions. Fatima’s goal is to make therapy non-intimidating and as accessible as possible. Fatima loves to travel, go for long walks, and settle in with a good book.

Mr. Thomas McKie (he/​him) — Therapist

Thomas has a Masters in Counselling Psychology and has been working in community mental health since 2018. Most recently he has worked with the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba, Klinic Community Health Centre, and in private practice. Thomas utilizes a trauma informed and person-centred approach to support his clients, and he feels privileged to be able to support Doctors Manitoba members and their families as they navigate challenging experiences in their professional and personal lives. Outside of work, Thomas is a musician and loves anything to do with movies, games, and comics.

Confidentiality at PAR

We understand the immense amount of trust placed in PAR therapists and physicians when DRMB members and their families reach out for support. To protect and ensure patient confidentiality: 

  • All therapists, physicians, and staff at PAR are bound by PHIA and have received PHIA training 
  • PAR utilizes an EMR with Integrated-Level Certification where patient records are stored and maintained 
Last updated
June 13, 2024