In today’s message you will find:

Getting Healthy Public Campaign

This week, we launched our winter edition of Getting Healthy, our public awareness campaign, and we’re looking to you to help spread the word! 

Manitobans are invited to visit Get​tingHealthy​.ca for tips and advice from physicians on the simple steps Manitobans can take towards Getting Healthy this winter. Plus, we’ve created a fun, exuberantly positive contest with a chance to win 6 months of free groceries ($5,000 value) for anyone who pledges to do one thing towards getting healthy this winter. We encourage you to enter too. 

How can you help? Spread the word by:

  • Sharing the campaign on social media.
  • Adding the campaign to your practice or clinic website.
  • Take a photo of yourself doing something to get healthy and share it on social media or send it to us to share on our social media. Any posts should encourage Manitobans to join you in getting healthy this month and invite them to enter our free contest at GettingHealthy​.ca.
  • Posting signs in your clinic or practice about the campaign.
  • Talking about the campaign with your patients.

You can see sample posts and download images to use on this page. Posters have been sent out to dozens of clinics in the province, and should arrive in the next few days. You can request posters by contacting our office at general@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca. You can learn more about the campaign and how to spread the word here.

Our hope is this campaign fills a real need for public awareness information about disease prevention and healthy lifestyles, while also reminding Manitobans that doctors care about their health and well-being.

Why are we doing this?

Members told us they want us to continue our public awareness efforts with a focus on disease prevention and healthy living. In our public research, we found most Manitobans (83%) believe they aren’t doing enough or could be doing more when it comes to physical activity, eating well, improving their sleep, reducing their stress, and/​or catching up on immunizations and medical screenings. This is why Manitoba’s Doctors created Getting Healthy, to support the 4 in 5 Manitobans who believe they could be doing more to be live a healthy life.

A big thank you to our Healthy Living Advisory Group of physicians for your input and advice on developing the campaign and the advice on the site. We welcome your feedback if you have suggestions or additions at general@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Our first Getting Healthy campaign last June motivated 9,000 Manitobans to make a pledge. In a post challenge survey, over 85% said they followed through with their pledge towards getting healthy, and 93% said they were planning to take another step towards getting healthy in the months that followed. 

Providing Advice to the Health Minister

Health Minister Uzoma Asagwara joined our Board of Directors this week to hear about physicians’ concerns, ideas, and priorities as their government focuses on trying to fix the health care system.

Several Board Directors raised concerns we are hearing from physicians and medical learners. This includes:

  • The need for more physician-led team-based care. Dr. Alexis Botkin, Victoria Medical District Representative, spoke about how important this is for family physicians, and also for specialists where other providers working in her practice could help her see more patients, reduce wait times, and reduce the work she has to take home with her each night. 
  • Addressing the physician shortage. Dr. Selena Papetti, Representative for the Eastern Medical District, spoke about the urgent need to focus on recruiting and retaining more doctors by offering more incentives and support, as well as taking a more wholistic approach to recruit the physician and their family by focusing on child care and other needs if they are new to a community. Dr. Chukwuma Abara from the Northern Medical District talked about the need to streamline the path to licensure for internationally-trained physicians with an all-in approach” with all partners working together, including CPSM and Doctors Manitoba, UManitoba, Shared Health and RHAs, and even local municipalities and chambers of commerce. Ms. Taylor Nimchonok, representative from the Manitoba Medical Students Association, applauded the move to expand medical training, but made an impassioned plea to ensure there are better supports and resources for physicians involved in teaching and supervising medical learners.
  • Engaging physicians. Dr. Nichelle Desilets, Representative for the Assiniboine Medical District, talked about how the routine in the health system for many years now has been to plan and implement change with little to no communication or feedback from physicians. She connected this lack of engagement as a contributor to burnout, as physicians experience distress as they work in a system that is changing or eroding with no opportunity to have a say in what is happening. Dr. Edin Tunovic, who represents the Concordia Medical District, talked about the complete lack of input physicians had into hospital consolidation changes a few years back. He stressed this cannot be repeated if the government proceeds with plans to reopen ERs in Winnipeg, and encouraged the health system to seek out and incorporate physician feedback into their plans. 
  • Making care safer and more inclusive. The daily impacts of racism that still exist in the health care system was described by Dr. Yvette Emerson, who represents the Interlake Medical District. She talked about how stereotypes can be brought to the surface for some health care staff working in an overextended and under-resourced health care system, and asked for help in ensuring Indigenous patients can access safe and respectful care. Dr. Kristen Creek, Misericordia Medical District Representative, raised opportunities to make gender-affirming care more accessible for patients.
  • Improving physician health and administrative burden. Several physicians spoke about burnout and distress among physicians and how to tackle this. As Dr. Botkin pointed out, while illness starts with an I, wellness starts with we.” Focusing on the we” by addressing staffing shortages and expanding team-based care could be a big help to tackling these challenges. Reducing administrative burdens also came up, including for physicians trying to navigate the research and clinical trial process, as Dr. Alon Altman from the HSC Medical District explained. 

Minister Asagwara listened and thanked each speaker for sharing their views. They said the only way we will work through the challenges we face is by addressing them together,” saying this must start happening every step of the way.” Clearly, the Minister had studied in advance and embraced the Doctors Manitoba tagline, as we seek to support physicians every step of the way. The Minister asked for the dialogue to continue and said if they ever misstep, they want to hear about it so they can fix it. The Minister has already reached out personally and followed up with calls to physicians on our Board to learn more about the issues that were raised, which we deem as a very positive and authentic step forward.

Dr. Michael Boroditsky, President of Doctors Manitoba, thanked the Minister for coming and explained physicians are hopeful change will come. He stressed that the government doesn’t have to fix health care alone, offering up help from Doctors Manitoba and the medical community to ensure physicians are contributing to the changes in the months and years ahead. 

You can share your views too! The government has launched a health care listening tour” to hear from front line physicians and other health care workers. We encourage physicians to participate, either in-person or online. The online tool allows you to submit views anonymously, and asks about your opinion of the health system, challenges you experience, suggestions for improving it, and what makes you feel valued and appreciated. While time will tell if and how the culture in health care will be improved in Manitoba, taking the time to share your views on these topics can only help. Traditionally, physician participation has been low in health system surveys because of how they were distributed. Doctors Manitoba is sharing this request as we think there is an authentic attempt to listen, learn and improve the culture. 

In our new Physician Services Agreement, negotiated last summer, we also secured a commitment to engage and consult physicians on changes that will affect your day-to-day work. We are working on recommendations for health system leaders to put that commitment into practice.

NEW Group-Based Peer Support Opportunities 

Group peer support brings together people who share a lived or living experience and provides a confidential, non-clinical, supportive space where peers can listen without judgment, share insights, and provide hope and encouragement to one another. For information about current and upcoming peer support groups, click here.

  1. NEW BIPOC Peer Support Group — January 17, 31, February 28, March 27, April 24, and May 29. — Register here to join our new virtual peer support group for medical students, residents, and practicing and retired physicians who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour. For more information about the group, click here.
  2. NEW Female Surgeons and Surgical Residents Peer Support Group - February 12, March 11, April 8, May 13, and June 30 — Register here to join our new virtual peer support group for female surgeons and female surgical residents. For more information about the group, click here.

Hippocratic High Notes

Do you secretly sing in the shower? Do you proudly sing on stage? Or are you somewhere in between? Well, then join us as we launch a new choir comprising of female physicians, active and retired, residents and medical learners.

This promises to be a fun, bucket-filling activity also aimed at building bridges and making connections! All are welcome! No auditions! No experience needed! Just bring enthusiasm, a desire to sing and to have fun!!

Start date January 30th 2024! Register ASAP here!

Health System Updates

CancerCare Updates

A recent update from CancerCare spotlights several updates for physicians:

Physicians are invited to share your views on esophageal, pancreatic and hepatobiliary advanced cancers as part of a CCMB study. 

You can complete a survey as part of the CPAC-funded models of care project, titled Exploring Wait Time and Decision-Making Experiences in Esophageal, Pancreatic, and Hepatobiliary Advanced Cancers: Perspectives of Patients, Informal Caregivers, and Healthcare Providers.

The survey has 17 questions and takes 15 – 20 minutes to complete. It will be open from January 18th until February 9th.

Your participation is intended identify the needs and challenges seen from a healthcare provider perspective. If you are interested in participating, or for more information, please click this link to the letter of invitation.

If you have any questions or concerns about this request or the project, please contact Baqiah Yesufu, Advanced Cancer Project Coordinator at byesufu@​cancercare.​mb.​ca or 2047842773. Thank you on behalf of the Models of Care in Advanced Working Group. 

Access Improvement Model for Family Physicians

What are your New Year’s resolutions for your clinic this year? Do you have items that need to be addressed but you are not sure where to start?

A fishbone diagram, also known as a cause and effect or Ishikawa diagram, is a powerful tool to identify the potential root causes that contribute most significantly to an identified problem.

You start by identifying the head of the fish, which represents the negative effect (i.e., the problem). This is followed by asking why or what is causing the problem, with each cause representing a category. To make things easier, commonly used cause labels already exist, with an example being the five Ps: procedures, providers, policies, place/​equipment, and patients. Finally, teams are tasked with brainstorming specific causes of the identified problem and placing each item under the appropriate cause category/​label.

One of the key objectives of the Access Improvement Model (AIM) is for teams to learn all about the Fishbone diagram and how to maximize its value in identifying the root causes of a clinic-related problem.

AIM is thrilled to extend a warm welcome to all the clinics joining us this year! We’re excited to announce that our schedule is fully booked up until March, but the good news is, we’ve got plenty of openings starting in April and beyond!

If you would like to explore AIM in further detail, please visit the AIM website and be sure to contact the team at aim@​umanitoba.​ca.

Congratulations and Farewell

Effective April 1, 2024, CHI Scientific Director, Dr. Klassen will join the College of Medicine and the Saskatchewan Health Authority as Provincial Department Head of Pediatrics for a three-year term. For the past 12 years, Dr. Klassen has provided strategic and scientific direction to CHI as the nominated principal applicant for our national CIHR-funded Strategy for Patient Oriented Research SUPPORT Unit grant. Thank you Dr. Klassen for your many years of dedicated service to CHI and congratulations on this exciting new adventure.

In partnership with the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, CHI is currently searching for an incoming Scientific Director.

In Case You Missed It

Here’s our most popular recent posts, in case you missed them:

Upcoming Events

Whether you’re looking to expand your knowledge, increase your awareness, or build leadership skills, we have many sessions planned! You can always review upcoming events on our events calendar page.

Tired but Wired: Tools for Insomnia Relief — February 29, 2024 Time: 7:00 — 8:30 pm

Join us for a virtual interactive workshop focused on practical strategies to help support healthy sleep for Doctors Manitoba members in every career stage. Register here.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review principles and core components of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT‑I)
  2. Understand factors that might predispose medical learners and physicians to insomnia
  3. Identify available resources related to CBT‑I
  4. Explore additional strategies to support healthy sleep

DRMB Book Club — March 7, 2024 — 7 — 8pm

A memoir about intergenerational trauma, healing, and connection. Facing up to a story nearly erased by the designs of history, father and son journey together back to the trapline at Black Water and through the past to create a new future. Join us for our fourth virtual book meeting on Thursday, March 7, 2024, from 7:00pm – 8:30pm as we read the Globe and Mail Top 100 Book of the year,​“Blackwater” by David A Robertson. We are thrilled to announce that the author will be joining our virtual book club for a Q+A. There will also be a chance for the group to discuss the book and share thoughts. Register Here!

The Doctors Manitoba Physician Health and Wellness committee is committed to providing opportunities for building connection and community in medicine.

Mindful Practice in Medicine Workshop ‑ February 21 — 24, 2024 in Banff

Direct from the renowned University of Rochester, the Mindful Practice in Medicine Core Workshop, developed by physicians to help medical practitioners and educators respond to the erosion of joy in their work, provides an experiential and interactive learning environment. The approach is evidence based – as it lessens the effects of burnout and improves well-being, engagement with work, and patient-centered compassionate care. 

Register for a retreat-like workshop designed to energize your clinical work while helping you find joy and resilience, through honing your self-awareness and deep listening skills that are keys to navigating stressful and demanding situations you face daily. 

Learn how to:

  • Find meaning in your work
  • Effectively manage challenges in clinical work
  • Improve communication
  • Experience clarity and focus
  • Be part of a larger community
  • Be more resilient
  • Listen more deeply
  • Cultivate compassion and gratitude
  • Become more self-aware

Registration deadline is January 21st, 2024. Register here.

Immunotherapy Toxicity — Community Oncology Rounds 2023 — 2024 Webinar — January 24, 20248 — 9am

Dr. Vallerie Gordon will be discussing Immunotherapy Toxicity. To join this session, you must register beforehand via Zoom to receive the instructions and link to join the Zoom Webinar. By attending this event you are eligible for 1.0 MainPro credit. Please click here to register. 

If you have questions about Community Oncology Rounds or Cases in Cancer, registering, or questions for our presenters on the topic, please send your questions to CCMBPrimaryCareEducation@​cancercare.​mb.​ca.