The Burden with Referrals

We are looking for feedback from physicians about the unnecessary administrative burden associated with referrals and testing.

We have heard from physicians, both those sending and receiving referrals, about how often the process can be dysfunctional. Our preliminary data shows:

  • On the sending side, physicians indicate that in 50% of referrals the process is unnecessarily complex and they spend more time on referring than necessary. They estimate spending 40 minutes per week, or 30 hours per year, of extra unnecessary time on referrals due to these challenges. 

  • On the receiving end, physicians indicate that in 44% of referrals the process is unnecessarily complex and they spend more time on receiving and responding to referrals than necessary. They estimate spending 56 minutes per week, or 41 hours per year, of extra unnecessary time on referrals due to these challenges. 

For physicians sending, the top concerns we have heard include the need to follow up due to a slow or non response from the receiving practice, needing to redirect the referral to another physician, being asked for unnecessary information, and challenges knowing where to direct referral for appropriate care. 

On the receiving end, physicians noted that referrals often come with incomplete patient information, and referrals being misdirected to physicians not specialized in a specific area or who aren’t currently accepting new referrals. 

CPSM’s Standard of Practice for Collaborative Care outlines some of the obligations for referring and consulting physicians, including the need to include appropriate information, and the need to respond to referrals within 30 days of receipt. 

Of course, the infrastructure to support referrals, and to meet the CPSM standards, was often cited as a challenge by physicians sending and receiving referrals. Unreliable fax machines and disconnected patient apps were frequently mentioned as contributing to the confusion about the current status of a referral.

We want to hear from you. What works well for sending and receiving referrals? What doesn’t work? 

→ Send us your thoughts to adminburden@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

This information will be shared, anonymously, with the Admin Burden Task Force to help inform its recommendations on the issue of referrals and collaborative care.

Getting Healthy Update

We have launched our new public awareness tool, the Getting Healthy Guide! Manitobans can enter their age and gender to get a personalized Guide on preventing disease and living a healthier, longer life. The Guide is packed with tips from Manitoba’s expert doctors, including everything from immunizations and medical screenings, to regular check-ups, to health concerns they may be at risk for and mental health and substance use resources.

We invite you to test out our Getting Healthy Guide with different combinations of age and gender, and to send your feedback to GettingHealthy@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

This initial version of the Guide is based on input from dozens and dozens of specialists and family physicians, aligned with guidelines from Public Health, CancerCare Manitoba, and national medical and health groups as well. You’ll find some of the topics in the Guide right now link to external resources, but we are adding articles one-by-one with localized content from local physicians, because the research has shown this helps to boost the public’s trust in online content. 

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. Both doctors and patients have said it can be challenging to find up-to-date Manitoba guidance for things like screenings and immunizations in one place, and often visits are rushed and there isn’t enough time to talk about preventing disease. 

This is why Manitoba’s Doctors created Getting Healthy, to support the 4 in 5 Manitobans who believe they could be doing more to live a healthy life, and to support physicians by offering common disease prevention tips in a reliable and trustworthy way.

Thank you to the dozens of physicians who provided feedback and advice for the Guide, and congratulations to Dr. Astrid Guenther who won our Getting Healthy prize pack. Of course, we continue to invite your feedback by email to GettingHealthy@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Get Your Getting Healthy Greens

Join our Golf Tournament!

Here’s a fun way for members to get moving while also supporting our Getting Healthy public awareness initiative. Register today for the 2nd Annual Doctors Manitoba Getting Healthy Golf Tournament planned for Tuesday, September 3 at Southwood Golf & Country Club. 

Hurry — early bird pricing ends June 26!

The format is friendly for less-experienced golfers, with a shotgun start and best-ball scramble, while more experienced golfers will enjoy the challenge of a premier championship course.

All proceeds will go to support our Getting Healthy public awareness initiative. 

Presented by MD Financial and Scotiabank with support from Bokhaut CPA.

Find out more and register at doc​tors​man​i​to​ba​.ca/​g​olf24

Get the Latest with New DRMB Social Media

With the launch of Getting Healthy, we are making some exciting changes to our social media to keep both the public and members up to date.

We have created new @DRMBinfo social media accounts that will focus on updates for physicians, students and residents. You will find regular updates here about membership benefits, events, opportunities and other health system news. We will be carefully curating content to help you stay up to date.

Our existing social media accounts (@DoctorsManitoba) will now focus on informing the public about preventing disease with regular Getting Healthy content. 

We invite you to follow both sets of accounts on your preferred social media platform.



X (formerly Twitter):

LinkedIn: @DoctorsManitoba for member updates

YouTube: @DoctorsManitoba for a mix of member and public updates

FMWC Night Invitation

For nearly 100 years, the Federation of Medical Women of Canada (FMWC) has been connecting Canadian women in the medical profession with each other, medical students, and the community.

Join us on Tuesday, June 18 at 7 p.m. at the Doctors Manitoba office at 20 Desjardins Drive in Winnipeg for an information night about starting a local branch of the oorganization. The evening will be hosted by Dr. Laura Chisick and Dr. Shelley Zieroth and is generously sponsored by MD Financial Management.

Allies, students and residents are welcome. RSVP here.

Family Medicine Webinar 

Family physicians are invited to join a special Doctors Manitoba Family Medicine webinar on June 19 at 5:30 PM.

The webinar will provide key updates and tips on:

  • Family Medicine Plus

  • Other new tariffs

  • Administrative Burden Reduction

  • Our new Getting Healthy Guide

  • Other Family Medicine updates

Please register here. You will be able to submit questions during registration, or email us questions at practiceadvice@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Southern Health-Santé Sud Survey — win $500!

For physicians and learners practicing in Southern Health-Santé Sud: Doctors Manitoba is collaborating with physicians and senior leaders in SH-SS to improve physician well-being through the work of a Physician Health and Wellness Community of Practice. Make your voice heard to inform the development of a local action plan - fill out this survey by June 17. You could win a $500 gift card!

Pride Month Continues

Pride Lunch & Learn Events

The Rainbow Resource Centre is offering Lunch & Learn virtual events throughout June. Subjects include Allyship 101, Queer History in Manitoba, The Stonewall Uprising & Modern-Day Pride Movements, and Dispelling & Challenging Anti-2SLGBTQ+ Stereotypes. Learn more here. 

Pride Winnipegosis

Winnipegosis has several opportunities to participate, including:

  • Friday, June 7: Educational session and public forum at the WDRS Day Program Building beginning at 7 p.m. titled An Introduction to Sexuality and Gender: Exploring Hormones and Puberty Blockers.

  • Saturday, June 8: Winnipegosis Boulevard 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. drag storytimes and performances, food, games, vendors and speakers.

  • Saturday, June 8: Pride Parade, line up at 3:30 the old bus garage.

What Matters to You?

When it comes to caring for individuals there is great power in shifting from a typical What’s the matter with you?” clinical-based approach to a combined What matters to you?” values-based approach to care.

Doctors Manitoba recognizes International What Matters to You?” Day on June 6, 2024. By asking individuals what matters to them, clinicians can more readily provide values-based care to their patients. This blog post from The Conversation Project shares resources to support these meaningful conversations.

Career Opportunities

The University of Manitoba (UM) invites applications for a part-time (0.4 EFT, 16 hours/​week) International Medical Graduate Training Program Director for a 2‑year term, within the International Medical Graduate (IMG) Program in the Department of Family Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. The expected salary for this position is $72,424.69. Read more.

Doctors Manitoba is looking for an experienced Program Coordinator for a one-year term to lead and enhance physician and medical learner peer support capacity in Manitoba. This will be achieved by partnering with committed organizations/​departments, to develop and implement physician and medical learner individual peer support programs. Find out more here and please share the listing with your networks. 

Effective communication for groups

Proper communication can be a difficult to achieve. Despite our best efforts, our thoughts and ideas may not be received or interpreted as intended, which can lead to misunderstandings and conflict. You may have heard people say, I don’t see why we need to change how things are?” or They don’t know what they’re doing!” when previously attempting to implement change. This highlights the need for good communication in order to alleviate any fear, trepidation, or uneasiness that comes with change. 

A big part of quality improvement includes communicating various aspects of the change initiative with those outside the working group. This will help individuals that are not directly involved in implementation develop a better understanding of the direction of change and building clinic-wide buy-in. Key components of effective communication with the larger group include frequent updates that are simple in language and transparent in nature, delivered in a variety of ways (emails, posters, word-of-mouth at meetings, etc.). Moreover, offering people the ability to provide feedback allows the group leading the change to understand how others are feeling about the change, as well as ensuring their voices are heard. 

By participating in the Access Improvement Model (AIM) program, your team will learn about effective communication and will put that knowledge into practice by providing frequent updates on your progress to the larger clinical group. We are always looking to engage with new primary care clinics and have openings available as early as Summer 24!

If you would like to explore AIM in greater detail, please visit the AIM website and be sure to reach out to us at aim@​sharedhealthmb.​ca.

Health System Updates

June is Heart Month

This Stroke Month, Heart & Stroke is highlighting the FAST signs of stroke public awareness campaign. Recognizing the signs of stroke and acting quickly can mean the difference between life and death, or the difference between a full recovery and lasting disability. Lifesaving treatment for stroke begins the moment you call 911 or your local emergency number. Too often, the signs are missed or quick action isn’t taken.

To learn how we can work together to beat stroke in your community, please explore the resources in our FAST toolkit and media release. Register here for the webinar: Optimizing CVT Care and Outcomes: Closing the Evidence of Practice Gap on June 13 at 11 a.m.

Publicly funded physio assessments drop 85 per cent since 2017

A new study led by UM researchers has found that initial physiotherapy assessments conducted per month in Winnipeg have dropped by 85 per cent since services were consolidated seven years ago raising alarm bells that some populations who require physio services — but cannot afford a private clinic — are failing to receive vital assessments and treatment.

The sample consisted of adults who attended publicly funded musculoskeletal physiotherapy in Winnipeg between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2022, representing almost two years of data pre-consolidation and about five years of data post-consolidation.

In the period before consolidation, there were 18,261 initial assessments in 23 months. In the 61 months after the consolidation, there were 6,715 initial assessments.

Read the full story in the June 5 UM News.

Upcoming Events

You can always review upcoming events on our events calendar page.

Caring for our Relatives: Practicing Emergency Medicine on Turtle Island
Take part June 8 from 8 a.m. to noon in this session from Bimaashi Migizi Mashkiki Gikinoo’ Amaagewinan, Soaring Eagle Medical Teachings. More information including objectives and presenter biographies here. Registration link.

CANPAD CME Conference and Family Event
The annual CANPAD Annual Continuing Medical Education Conference and Family event August 1 – 5 at the Fort Garry Hotel Spa And Conference Centre goes beyond the education sessions, including activities and programs tailored to all ages. Youth activities include movie nights, speakers, and volunteer opportunities. Events also include a ladies night, financial talks, family day at the zoo, picnic and gala night. Established in 2001, CANPAD has been at the forefront of advocating for the interests of Nigerian physicians and dentists across Canada. Register now.

IPAC Mentorship Gathering 

Registration is open for the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada’s Annual Mentorship Gathering and AGM July 12 – 14 in Halifax. The gathering is an opportunity for Indigenous medical students, residents, and physicians, both members and potential members, to come together to share stories of their academic journeys, grow their networks, and enjoy cultural activities.