- Doctors Manitoba Award Nominations
- Fixing Manitoba’s Doctor Shortage
- CFPC Residency Proposal
- Special Opportunity — Health & Dental Coverage
- Help Shape the Future for Doctors Manitoba
- CPSM Fee Rebate
- Health System Updates
- Opportunity at Doctors Manitoba
- Meet Dr. Kara Wettig, our Physician of the Week!
- Fantastic Physicians
- Upcoming Events
Nominations Open for Doctors Manitoba Annual Awards
Our 2024 Awards Nominations are open!
We are pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the 2024 Doctors Manitoba Awards!
Nominations are due by December 4, 2023.
As we focus on rebuilding the health care system and addressing the physician shortage and high levels of burnout, we want to be sure we are recognizing excellence in the medical profession in Manitoba. The Doctors Manitoba Awards are the highest honour in the province for physicians. There is no shortage of physicians who have been demonstrating excellence this year and throughout their careers.
There are five different awards available to recognize physicians:
- Humanitarian Award – to celebrate a current or former member of Doctors Manitoba for their outstanding contributions to improving human well-being or their commitment to community service. Doctors Manitoba now offers support for the humanitarian or community service work of the winner, including a significant financial contribution to the charity or non-profit organization of the award winner’s choice and/or promoting that charity or non-profit organization and soliciting donations at our Annual Awards Gala.
- Physician of the Year Award – to celebrate an exceptional achievement or contribution to the practice of medicine and/or to the community by a member of Doctors Manitoba.
- Resident of the Year – for excellence in academic and clinical training and noteworthy contributions to the resident’s home program/specialty or residency program.
- Distinguished Service Award – to recognize a long career of services to patients and the community that embodies the highest standards and ideals of the medical profession, and in the promotion of the art and science of medicine through teaching, writing and administration. This is an excellent option to consider for physicians approaching retirement or who have recently retired.
- Medal of Excellence – to recognize those who demonstrate excellence in the medical profession and whose actions are a source of inspiration for other physicians.
Fixing Manitoba’s Doctor Shortage
Last week, we gave a you preview of a new national report on physician resources, and that our analysis shows the physician shortage has continued to grow in Manitoba.
On Monday, our President Dr. Michael Boroditsky released our report to raise awareness of the growing physician shortage, and the need for more urgent action to turn the issue around.
To recap, the national report finds the number of physicians per capita in Manitoba has actually declined over the last five years, which means the growth in physicians in Manitoba is not keeping pace with our population growth. Manitoba now has the second lowest number of doctors per capita, and it would take 445 more doctors to reach the national average. When it comes to family physicians, Manitoba now has the fewest per capita in Canada. What’s even more concerning is that 51% of existing physicians plan on retiring, leaving Manitoba, or reducing their clinical hours in the next three years. The top issues contributing to these plans include feeling burned out, frustration with system issues, excessive administrative burden, and not feeling valued by the health system.
However, this data behind these statistics is from 2022 and early 2023. “While these statistics are alarming, there is reason to be optimistic,” Dr. Boroditsky explained.“The province has initiated multiple actions over the last several months that directly respond to advice from physicians about how to reverse our physician shortage.”
Those actions, following persistent advocacy from Doctors Manitoba and many of our members, include:
- Expanding medical school by 15 spaces this year, with plans to add an additional 25 spaces over the next two years.
- A new Physician Services Agreement with historic funding increases for physician services including new competitive models of remuneration.
- Actions to reduce administrative burdens on physicians.
- Steps by the new government to reset the tone in health care with more respect for and engagement with front line physicians, and strong collaboration with Doctors Manitoba.
- A robust health plan from the new government including new recruitment incentives, a significant expansion of team-based care, and a commitment to recruit at least 400 more doctors.
Our report was completed to help continue our advocacy to press for the resources and support physicians need, as well as to support health human resource planning in the province.
The release of our report and Dr. Boroditsky’s commentary received widespread media coverage, including the front page of the Winnipeg Free Press, as well as a supportive and receptive response from both Premier Wab Kinew and Health Minister Uzoma Asagwara.
CFPC Residency Proposal
As Manitoba confronts the biggest shortage of family physicians in the nation, the College of Family Physicians of Canada is considering extending the family medicine residency from two to three years. For any members attending the CFPC Annual General Meeting tonight, we understand the residency proposal may become a point of discussion. We are taking this opportunity to provide an update of our concerns about this proposal.
Earlier this week, our President, Past President, and President Elect wrote to the CFPC directly to outline our concerns, namely that extending the length of residency by 50% at this time would be a major blow to trying to tackle Manitoba’s and Canada’s family physician shortage. This follows extensive outreach to various stakeholder groups within Manitoba and across Canada. You can read our letter here.
In addition to the timing, we raise concerns that some of the proposed new curriculum could be delivered in different ways, using a more collaborative approach to provide additional mentorship, coaching, and structure for family physicians as they begin their practice, rather than delaying the start of the practice.
Doctors Manitoba joins a growing chorus of stakeholders raising concerns with the CFPC, including the Ontario Medical Association, Resident Doctors of Canada, and the Canadian Federation of Medical Students. In fact, just last month all provincial, territorial and federal Health Ministers across Canada came out against the proposal following a presentation by CFPC, noting they “reaffirmed their support for the medical residency requirement for family medicine to remain at two years.”
You can read more in this recent CBC article on the matter. You can also see the CFPC’s own site designed to debunk “myths” about their proposal, though we should recognize some physicians have taken offense to describing their concerns as myths.
Special Opportunity for Health and Dental Insurance
We have opened up a special enrollment opportunity for members who want extended health and/or dental insurance coverage!
We have a list of dozens of members who have requested an opportunity to apply for this insurance coverage, so we have worked with Blue Cross to opening up that opportunity for all members under age 70.
There are two optional insurance plans open for enrollment:
- Our extended health plan, which includes coverage for prescription drugs, vision care, paramedical services, travel health, and more. Learn more about our extended health plan here.
- Our dental plan, which includes generous benefits for basic and major dental services, orthodontics, and other specialty dental services. Learn more about our dental plan here.
The deadline to apply is December 8, 2023. After that date, eligibility is limited to new members or those who lose other third-party insurance coverage.
Both of these plans have been designed by physicians for physicians as part of our larger suite of not-for-profit insurance options, including life, disability and overhead . This means we keep costs low, and any surpluses are returned to plan participants as rebates. Over 50% of our members have signed up for at least one of our insurance coverage options.
Help Shape Future of Doctors Manitoba
Our current strategic plan ends in 2024. The last four years have seen many challenges and changes in our profession, as we confronted a pandemic and under-resourced health system, negotiated a new Physician Services Agreement with government, and then saw a new government elected on a health care mandate. This is the opportune time for us to take a step back and examine who Doctors Manitoba is and how we need to grow to best serve physicians and medical learners in a changing health care environment.
We need your help to make us the medical association you and your colleagues need today and into the future.
We have hired an independent consultant to engage a wide range of physicians and stakeholders, to provide us with honest feedback and perspectives. This information will help us understand where we are today and what we need to do to create a focused strategy that meets the need of our membership so that you can thrive and succeed in your role, providing the best possible care to your patients.
We invite you to an engaging research workshop the evening of Thursday, November 23. To accommodate our membership province-wide we are providing the option to join in-person or virtually.
- Location: Masonic Memorial Centre, 420 Corydon Avenue (free parking available)
- Doors open and Light dinner: 5:00pm
- Workshop: 6:00 – 9:00pm
- Location: via Zoom
- Workshop: 6:00 – 9:00pm
Access link to be provided after registration.
You will be joined by other physicians, residents, medical students, Doctors Manitoba staff, and leadership. Your commitment to attending is very important to us. Participants will be working in small groups and discussing provocative questions that explore the Doctor’s Manitoba strategy from many angles and identify different paths to move forward. All information gathered will be kept confidential and anonymous.
Please RSVP by clicking here and registering for the event.
CPSM Fee Rebate Notice
As members ensure they pay their CPSM Fees on time this week, we want to reassure you that you will be able to apply for a rebate on your CPSM fees for this year. This will be the second year in a two-year commitment we negotiated with government to reimburse your license fees to help with recognizing your service and retaining physicians.
We will announce the application process for your 2023/24 CPSM Fee Reimbursement shortly.
Under this initiative, the province has agreed to reimburse physicians for the full cost of your annual fee to renew your CPSM license, or certificate of practice, for a fully-licensed physician. The two-year period covers your CPSM fee for 2022/23 and 2023/24. All fully licensed physicians are eligible, provided their CPSM fees are not already reimbursed under other arrangements.
If you have not yet applied for your rebate for your 2022/23 CPSM fees, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Health System Updates
Shared Health Recruiting New CMO
With Dr. Perry Gray announcing his retirement as Provincial Chief Medical Officer for Shared Health when his current term ends, recruitment is already underway for the next CMO.
This position has grown in recent years, and now provides senior medical leadership on behalf of Manitoba health system, leads the Provincial Medical Leadership Council and Provincial Clinical Services Integration Council and oversees medical staff within Shared Health, Manitoba’s Provincial Health Authority.
This unique opportunity will suit a collaborative leader and innovative thinker who is interested in achieving excellence in client-centred care, education and research throughout Manitoba.
If you want to make a difference in the lives – and health care – of your neighbours, communities and province, apply today. Provincial Chief Medical Officer
Deadline for application is November 10, 2023.
COVID Vaccine and Tariff Updates
Physicians are reminded to use the correct vaccine tariff codes when providing a COVID immunization to your patient. Manitoba Health has noted some providers are using the Novavax tariff, when this vaccine is not currently available in Manitoba. Any submissions using that tariff will need to be resubmitted, both to ensure payment to physicians and to ensure the patient immunization record is correct.
Respiratory Webinar on Demand
You can now watch a special webinar we hosted last week on demand.
Last week, we held a special webinar about respiratory season, vaccines, testing, and precautions, as well as an STBBI update. The webinar featured Dr. Brent Roussin, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer, and Dr. John Embil, Medical Director for Infection Prevention and Control with HSC and WRHA. We will also hear from Medical Officers of Health, including Dr. Carol Kurbis, Dr. Jazz Atwal, and Dr. Davinder Singh.
Canadian Mental Health Association Bounceback® Program
BounceBack® is a supported self-management program designed to help individuals (13+) with mild to moderate depression and/or anxiety, who would benefit from improvement in their emotional well-being. The program comprised of evidence-based cognitive behavioural therapy interventions and has been proven to be very effective in managing symptoms. BounceBack® is free and has no waitlist, allowing for your patients to engage quickly in the program.
This program is offered Canada-wide. Analysis of pre-and post-intervention data for participants who completed BounceBack® in Manitoba show post-intervention depression and anxiety scores have decreased by almost half, while quality of life, physical health and mood rating scores have all improved. For more information visit their website and explore their resource catalogue for practitioners.
Stroke Day is November 17th
The University of Manitoba is hosting Stroke Day 2023 on Friday, November 17th. Please see the infographic below for further information and to register for the virtual event. Stroke day is a full day of education about stroke and related cerebrovascular diseases. This will include hyper acute, acute, inpatient and outpatient managements of stroke (ischemic and hemorrhagic), stroke prevention at the family physician’s office, management of atrial fibrillations and uses of anticoagulation, TIA recognitions and managements, stroke in the young, brain images in stroke and an update on Stroke Rehabilitation.
During this event the participants will have good opportunity to establish network connections with other colleagues and to have a direct communication with local speakers. Register here.
Heart & Stroke will also be hosting our Stroke Webinar 2023 on November 21st titled:
“Unseen, Unheard: The mental health impact of stroke on women” starting at 1:00PM CST. Click here or more information and to register.
Opportunity at Doctors Manitoba
In our ongoing efforts to better serve our members, we are expanding our team! We are currently recruiting for a new position, Practice Advisor, to a rewarding role that will work closely with physicians to support their professional and economic well-being. Please help us by sharing this opportunity with your contacts, including those with experience managing a physician practice or clinic, meeting and educating physicians, or those with expertise in medical remuneration and fee-for-service claims. The Practice Advisor will be responsible for developing and delivering resources for physicians. A key focus will include engagement and education for physicians about remuneration and billing as well as making it easier to fulfill other professional obligations and responsibilities including the business side of medicine, such as successfully running a physician practice and clinic management.
Click here for the full job description, which you can share with contacts who may be interested. The deadline to apply is November 3, 2023.
Physician of the Week
A full-scope family physician, Dr. Kara Wettig enjoys working in women’s health and “being able to connect with and support families at some of their most vulnerable moments.” The continuity of care that comes with family medicine means she is able to watch and care for the children she delivered, as they grow up. Dr. Wettig feels privileged to work in the community in which she was born and raised. Colleague and friend Dr. Jacie Grobb says “Kara is one of the most hard-working, caring, genuine people I have ever met.” Read more about Dr. Wettig and other physicians featured throughout the year!
Congratulations to Dr. Don Klassen who was recently awarded both the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal and the Southern Health/Sante Sud (or SHSS) Regional Medical Advisory Council’s Physician Emeritus Award. Dr. Klassen has dedicated his career not only to medicine, but to championing medical education in rural Manitoba. Read the full story on UM News.
In Case You Missed it
Here’s our most popular recent posts, in case you missed them:
- The Premier and Health Minister’s wrote a letter to Health care Workers
- Call for Abstracts — Annual Scientific Assembly
- Ten New Tariffs for Minor Injuries and Illnesses
- Communication Tariffs: A New Frontier
- Want Help Recruiting Family Doctors? We are accepting requests on behalf of Shared Health and the recruitment firm, including from independent fee-for-service clinics. Best of all, this recruitment help is free of charge. Learn more.
MD Financial sponsored content
Preparing for the family meeting: how to talk to your children about your estate plan. Sharing your estate plan with your children can reduce the risk of conflict, strain, or misunderstandings and help you leave a positive and lasting legacy. Here are some points to cover when you decide you and your loved ones are ready for the family meeting. Read more.
Whether you’re looking to expand your knowledge, increase your awareness, or build leadership skills, we have many sessions planned!
DRMB Book Club!
The Doctors Manitoba Physician Health and Wellness committee is excited to invite you to an opportunity for building connection and community in medicine. Join us for the third virtual meeting of the Doctors Manitoba Book Club on Monday, November 20th from 7:00pm – 8:30pm. We will be reading the Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition“Yellowface” by R.F Kuang. There will also be a chance for the group to discuss the book and share thoughts. Register Here!
Western University’s 1st Annual Physician Wellbeing Symposium — November 22, 2023 — 7 – 11am CT
Women in Medicine Retreat (Nov 3 – 5, Gimli) — This retreat, focusing on wellness and professional development, is open to practicing women physicians and residents. An initiative led by Dr. Astrid Guenther, the agenda includes Cultivating Self-Compassion to Heal from Shame (3.5 CME), yoga, mindfulness, networking, and is fully catered. For more information, contact email@example.com by October 13 (limited spots available).