In today’s newsletter, you will read about:

Progress on Admin Burden 

The Joint Task Force to Reduce Administrative Burden for Physicians has shared a report on its progress, and it is good news! They estimate over 75,000 hours per year of admin burden have been saved through a number of initiatives, though there is no question more work is needed to make a meaningful difference for physicians. Check out where improvements have been made, what additional projects are underway, and two interim recommendations the Task Force has issued to burden owners.” Also, you are invited to share your ideas to further reduce administrative burdens in your practice. Read more here.

Guidance on AI Scribes

70% of doctors see an opportunity for artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce the time they spend on charting and documentation. Doctors Manitoba has received several requests for advice from physicians considering adopting AI scribes in their practice. While no official rules or standards have been set in Manitoba just yet, we have created a preliminary guidance document based on the emerging advice in other jurisdictions and from CMPA

Our research found there are certainly potential benefits to AI scribes, but there are also risks that physicians need to be cautious of. 

Check out our preliminary guidance document here. We would also welcome your feedback on the guidance, and we would like to hear from physicians using AI scribes in their practice. Email us at practiceadvice@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Making History Today

Last week, Doctors Manitoba was proud to host a group of Black physicians and medical learners as we mark Black History Month. The event offered a rare opportunity for doctors and learners to connect, though the group is hoping to host regular events going forward. 

Some of the greatest joys can be found in community. It is also one of the greatest sources of strength. Both were on display at this special event. 

As we gather to celebrate Black History Month, I want to take this opportunity for us to honour those who have been trailblazers in medicine, because there are people who have taken this journey before we got here,” said Dr. Bunmi Fatoye, Medical Officer of Health, You can imagine how it was for them.” Dr. Fatoye, along with medical students Ben Woldu and Tobi Morakinyo planned the February 23 event hosted by the Doctors Manitoba.

Read the full story here.

Black Physicians interested in attending future events are also invited to contact Dr. Fatoye at fatoyeb@​mymts.​net.

The Art of Mentorship

A well-played game is a work of art.

Board games and paint night supplies were both on the table at Across the Board Game Café early this week. It was the latest Doctors Manitoba Mentorship Program event, with more than 40 medical learners and practicing physicians getting together for an informal night of connection and low-stakes competition. 

Thanks to everyone who joined in the fun on a cold and blustery Monday night. Next up is an event April 19 at FortWhyte Alive. Mark your calendars and watch your inboxes for an invitation to register. 

Questions? Contact Cynthia Okojie, Mentorship and Member Engagement Coordinator at cokojie@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Meet our Humanitarian of the Year

This year, we are posthumously honouring Dr. John Richard (Dick) Middleton Smith with our Dr. Jack Armstrong Humanitarian Award. 

Dr. Smith devoted his 52-year career to the understanding, advocacy, prevention, and care for people living with HIV. He worked tirelessly to break the stigma and fear of AIDS and to provide non-judgmental, compassionate, harm reduction-centred care. 

As Manitoba’s first openly gay physician, he spoke at the first Manitoba Gay Coalition Forum in 1977 and served on provincial and national committees for infectious diseases.

While studying in San Francisco, Dr. Smith witnessed the first signs of what would later become known as HIV/AIDS. With this knowledge, he was believed to be the first physician to detect HIV/AIDS in Manitoba and organized the first Manitoba AIDS forum in 1983 to educate the 2SLGBTQIA+ community about what was then a new epidemic that was feared and stigmatizing for those affected. 

Dr. Smith spoke to media, contributed to developing health policies, and authored Manitoba’s first safer-sex literature. He was also instrumental in developing the province’s confidential AIDS testing code. He opened The Fort Rouge Medical Clinic in1979, the first clinic to specialize in health care for gay men and lesbians, and helped found The Winnipeg Gay Community Health Centre in 1989 (now Nine Circles Community Health Centre). From 2007 until his retirement in 2019 at age 76, Dr. Smith was the founding physician and Medical Director of Our Own Health Centre, originally called The Gay Men’s Health Clinic. 

Dr. Dick Smith died on November 7, 2023, just 24 hours after what would be his last media interview advocating for medical assistance in dying, another issue championed during his career.

Join us to recognize and celebrate Dr. Smith’s achievements!

Come out to recognize Dr. Smith and our other award winners at our Annual Awards Gala on Saturday, May 11, 2024. Early bird tickets are now available.

This year, funds raised will support initiatives at Our Own Health Centre focused on addictions treatment and HIV testing for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, and the Rainbow Resource Centre’s transformative capital project, Place of Pride. This initiative will establish a new campus offering a comprehensive range of queer services, including a community hub and housing for 2SLGBTQIA+ older adults. Doctors Manitoba will make a donation to support these causes, and guests at the Awards Gala will have the opportunity to support these causes as well through a fundraising initiative.

Get details about the Gala and purchase your tickets here!

Meet all the 2024 Award Winners

We have seven outstanding physicians being honoured this year with a Doctors Manitoba Award. Meet them here!

CMPA Rebate Update

Applications are now open for our liability insurance rebate, which rebates a portion of the cost for your CMPA fees or liability insurance.

This rebate came about as a way to help physicians offset costs of the liability insurance required to practice in Manitoba.

Doctors Manitoba negotiated improvements to increase the rebate beginning in 2023, resulting in 100% coverage of your fees over $1,000. This is an improvement from the previous rebate, which covered 74% of your fees over $1,300.

Meanwhile, the additional good news is that the rates set by CMPA for Manitoba are significantly lower again for 2023, with fees dropping by approximately 90%. This means most physicians’ total fees are under the $1,000 threshold, meaning you don’t need to apply for a rebate as you don’t have any costs over $1,000.

There are some specialty groups with fees above $1,000 for 2023 that still qualify for the rebate, including Obstetrics, Neurology and specified surgical sub-specialties (Otolaryngology, General Surgery, Gynecologic, Pediatric, Plastic, Thoracic, Urology, Neurosurgery and Vascular). Specialists in these areas should have received an email from Doctors Manitoba yesterday with application instructions. 

If you have any questions, or if you believe you qualify for a rebate but did not receive application instructions from us, feel reach out to benefits@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Please be assured that Doctors Manitoba is retaining duly negotiated benefit funds to help offset your CMPA/​liability insurance fees in future years, as these costs are known to fluctuate significantly year-to-year. 

Vaccine Reminders

The following two vaccine reminders from Public Health are important for physicians to review. 

Be Mindful of Measles

Public Health issued an update this week about the rise in measles cases in many parts of the world, with most confirmed cases of measles in Canada among returning travellers who were infected outside the country. 

While there are no laboratory confirmed cases in Manitoba at this time, several countries are reporting increases in cases and outbreaks. For example, the World Health Organization reported 42,200 measles cases in Europe last year, which is more than 40 times the 941 cases reported in 2022

Of course, immunization is the best way to protect against measles. Physicians should check the immunization status of patients, especially those who are planning to travel outside of Canada to ensure they are protected. All children 12 months of age and older are eligible to receive 2 doses of MMR vaccine. Infants 6 months to less than 12 months of age and traveling to a measles-endemic country are eligible for 1 dose, in addition to the routine 2 dose series. You can find full vaccine eligibility here. The Canadian Immunization Guide also recommends that adults travelling outside of Canada receive 1 or 2 doses of MMR vaccine depending on when they were born if they don’t have other evidence of immunity.

Dr. Davinder Singh, Medical Officer of Health and vaccine lead, said immunization rates for measles in Manitoba dropped during the pandemic, with 78.1% of two-year-olds immunized by the end of 2022, compared to 85.5% in 2020.

We did note the decrease in immunization rates for early childhood immunizations earlier, which is why you may have seen some of the efforts that were undertaken by Public Health to increase those immunization rates last year,” Dr. Singh said. Parents of children born between 2019 and 2021 who missed their measles vaccine received notices in June last year advising them if they were overdue for one. 

Physicians should consider measles in patients presenting with fever and rash among those who have travelled or have had a known contact with a measles case. Patients with suspected measles should be isolated immediately and airborne precautions implemented. If clinical suspicion is high for measles, health care providers are required to notify public health on the same day by sending a clinical notification form and calling Public Health (2047886736) even before test results are back. The medical Officer of Health on-call (2047888666) should be notified after hours. You can find the measles (rubeola) communicable disease protocol here.

Meningococcal Vaccine Changes Take Effect Today

Effective today, March 1, 2024 Manitoba is updating its recommended meningococcal vaccine for infants at 12 months of age from the Men‑C‑C vaccine (i.e., NeisVac‑C™) to a Men-C-ACYW- 135 vaccine, specifically Nimenrix®. This is the recommended product as it does not decrease the immune response to the pneumococcal vaccine (i.e., Prevnar® 13) that is also recommended at this age.

You are encouraged to ensure you have a supply of Nimenrix® to support this program change.

  • If you have a supply of Nimenrix® on site before March 1, 2024 you may administer it. 
  • If you do not have a supply on site and a child is scheduled to receive their 12-month vaccines before March 1, 2024, you should advise the parent or caregiver about deferring the administration of the meningococcal vaccine only until you are able to provide Nimenrix®. There is no need to defer the administration of other routine vaccines recommended at 12 months.

Catch up Campaign

Children under the age of four are at the greatest risk of serious illness from meningococcal disease. As part of the change to the quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine (Men-C-ACYW- 135 vaccine, Nimenrix®), a catch-up campaign is also available to children born between Jan. 1, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2023, regardless of whether they previously received a dose of Men‑C C vaccine. If a child previously received the Men-C‑C vaccine, the quadrivalent vaccine should be offered after at least four weeks from their Men-C‑C dose.

Read the full news release.

New physician health resource Wellness4MDs

Wellness4MDs is a free, subscription-based text messaging program to help make mental health support more accessible for busy physicians, postgraduate medical trainees and medical students.

You can subscribe to the Wellness4MDs Program by texting WELLMD to 18559474673. Each day you will receive a message with or without a related web link to provide support and build coping skills for managing stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms. You can stop receiving the messages by replying STOP at any time you want. 

Learn more about the Wellness4MDs program.
In addition, Doctors Manitoba members always have access to health and wellness support through our Doc360 resources. 

Burnout Study

Physicians and other health care workers are invited to participate in a study to help understand burnout. The study will investigate bran activity patterns and cognitive effects associated with burnout syndrome. It’s a partnership between St. Boniface Hospital, the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba. 

Key information:

  • Participants will complete a questionnaire to assess burnout, as well as complete an EEG and cognitive tasks at BrainWave Clinic.
  • Participation is strictly confidential.
  • Honorarium is provided.

You can sign up by emailing Falkenberg‑ You can also ask questions by contacting Dr. Rizwan Manji at 2042372053 or Dr. Bruce Bolster at 2047869338.

DRMB in the News

Doctors Manitoba was active in the news this week, helping to ensure physicians’ perspectives were included in issues in the media. 

Weapons at HSC: A story in the Free Press this week focused on scanning for weapons at HSC. We explained that while of course weapons are a major concern, many of the physical safety incidents involving physicians don’t involve weapons. They can include issues such as being pushed or shoved, being spit on, blocking an exit to an exam room. We shared data from this year’s Annual Physician Survey, which found 34% of physicians reported one or more physical safety incidents in the last 12 months. Among these physicians, they experienced an average of six physical safety incidents in the past year. Physicians reported an average of 5.6 psychological safety incidents, including verbal abuse, bullying, discrimination, and threats, in the last 12 months. We emphasized that hospitals and clinics are a place for healing and should be safe, inclusive, and comfortable for all patients, staff and physicians. It should offer a calm, caring environment to support treatment and recovery.

Shortage of Pediatricians and Family Physicians: The CBC reported today about how difficult it can be for parents to find a physician for their newborn or young children. We emphasized that this is a symptom of the broader physician shortage, and that solutions are needed to recruit and retain more physicians, while also focusing on team-based care in doctors’ offices to help expand access. We explained how pediatricians are focusing more and more on hospital service and care for children with unique or complex medical needs, while also emphasizing that family physicians are trained and have the expertise to care for newborns and young children. 

Access to walk-in clinics: Access to episodic primary care was a theme this week too. The Free Press covered a national report that found Manitoba had among the nation’s shortest walk-in clinic wait times. This was somewhat of a surprise given that Manitoba has the biggest shortage of family physicians in Canada, and some of the longest ER wait times too. We described the report as encouraging and recognized the hard work of physicians to keep wait times low, but emphasized that strategies are needed to help the 150,000200,000 Manitobans without a family doctor while also expanding hospital capacity to tackle long ER wait times. Meanwhile the Free Press also reported on the lack of walk-in care options in the Winkler area. We focused again on the root cause of the doctor shortage and how this is causing more and more service disruptions across Manitoba, including to primary care and ER services. 

Our Award Winners: The University of Manitoba profiled our 2024 Award Winners, unveiled a week ago, and their connections to the University. Check it out!

Health System Updates

We have several important updates from the Health System this week. 

Family Medicine Plus Update

In case you missed it, we have launched a separate newsletter about the launch of FM+ on April 1. You can find past issues here, including the second edition sent earlier this week. We have also opened up registration for a special webinar on the launch of FM+ on March 12 at 5:30pm. You can get the details and register here.

More Psychiatrists

Earlier this week, the Manitoba government announce plans to improve access for mental health care by adding nine new psychiatrist positions in Winnipeg and Selkirk. This move directly responds to advice from our Prescription for Improving Health Care plan released last year, which recommended adding 50 psychiatrists over the next four years. The province is also expanding the psychiatry residency program from 12 spaces in 2023 to 15 in 2024 and 17 in 2025. This will include spaces linked to rural and northern communities to help improve access to care outside of Winnipeg. Read the full news release here.

Improving Primary Care

The national OurCare initiative released its final report, drawing attention to the lack of access to timely primary care. They found 22% of Canadian adults do not have a family doctor they can see regularly, with many more struggling to access primary care in a way that serves their needs. The group introduces what they call the OurCare Standard with six pillars policymakers are urged to focus on:

  1. Everyone has a relationship with a primary care clinician who works with other health professionals in a publicly funded team. 
  2. Everyone receives ongoing care from their primary care team and can access them in a timely way. 
  3. Everyone’s primary care team is connected to community and social services that together support their physical, mental and social well-being. 
  4. Everyone can access their health record online and share it with their clinicians. 
  5. Everyone receives culturally safe care that meets their needs from clinicians that represent the diversity of the communities they serve. 
  6. Everyone receives care from a primary care system that is accountable to the communities it serves.

The group acknowledges the standard is aspirational, but attainable. They suggest actions such as increased funding for primary care, expanding team-based care, expanding training and increasing the number of professionals working in primary care, and legislating requirements for electronic records to be interoperable so clinicals and patients can access their data easily. 

Fantastic Physician

Congratulations to four fantastic medical students for receiving an MMSA leadership award! The awards were presented this week to:

  • Taylor Nimchonok (class of 2025), who received the Citizenship Award
  • Harram Memon (class of 2025), who received the Global Health Award
  • Guneet Uppal (class of 2026), who received the Katherine Anne Klassen Memorial Community Service Award
  • Nolan De Leon (class of 2026), who received the Leadership Award

Also, congratulations to Dr. Jayelle Friesen-Enns, recipient of a 2024 Indspire Award. The long-standing awards celebrate Indigenous excellence and honour individuals whose stories inspire, uplift, and educate Canadians about the tremendous contributions of Indigenous people. Winners’ stories are shared in a nationally broadcast celebration in April. Dr. Friesen-Enns is Red River Métis, and graduate of the University of Manitoba, where she co-founded the Indigenous Medical Students’ Association of Canada and is part of the Canadian Medical Association’s Indigenous Guiding Circle. Dr. Friesen-Enns is currently completing a five-year residency program in Emergency Medicine at the University of Calgary. Read the full story on UM Today News.

Please join Doctors Manitoba in recognizing these medical learners for their accomplishments!

DRMB Book Club 

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.


Here are some recent and popular stories, 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.

Hippocratic High Notes

Come and join the Hippocratic High Notes a brand new choir for female physicians, active and retired, residents and medical learners! where we embrace our inner rock stars and turn our stethoscopes into microphones. A musical escapade that is 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!!

Practice is on Tuesday evenings in Winnipeg with space to accommodate kids if needed! Register ASAP here!

Transplant Manitoba Quiz Night!

Transplant Manitoba – Gift of Life is hosting a fun and entertaining evening of trivia with our friends at Quizmasters this spring and we are inviting you and your organization to join the action.

This fundraising event is an early kick-off to National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week (NOTDAW 2024 runs from April 2127) and proceeds will support our continued efforts to raise organ and tissue donation awareness within the community.

For just $10 a ticket (that’s $60 — $80 a table) this signup​for​life​.ca Quiz Night fundraiser offers participants an interactive event alongside our Transplant Manitoba – Gift of Life teams, fantastic volunteers and partners to compete over the course of eight rounds of questions about current events, general knowledge, music, visual, speed and of course, organ and tissue donation. At the end of the night, the team with the highest score wins. There will be snacks and prizes!


  • When: Wednesday, April 17, 2024 from 6:309:30 pm
  • Where: Garden City Community Centre, 725 Kingsbury Ave. Plenty of free parking in the surrounding lots!
  • How: Pull together a team of six-eight, select a team name and a captain, and have them confirm your table and cash payment before March 1 with Roberta Koscielny, 2047871897 or rkoscielny2@​hsc.​mb.​ca. Space is limited, so don’t delay!

It is going to be a fun night and this relaxed evening offers you the opportunity to meet some of our staff and learn more about Leave Well, the latest national awareness campaign launched in partnership with Canadian Blood Services and meet the Orgamites, a CBS resource developed for early learning. Hope to see you there!

Rehabilitation Centre for Children Open House

The Specialized Services for Children and Youth (SSCY) Rehabilitation Centre for Children is hosting an open house for primary care providers and pediatricians on Wednesday, March 13 from noon to 5:30 p.m.

Attend for tours and information about clinics at the centre, located at 1155 Notre Dame Ave. Refreshments provided. For more information, contact Pam Becker at 2047972660 or email pamb@​rccinc.​ca.