In today’s message you will find:

Help Plan for the Future of Manitoba’s Physicians & Medical Learners

We want you to thrive and succeed while providing the best possible care to your patients. Our current strategic plan ends in 2024 and you can help shape our new strategic plan going forward. Taking part in this research workshop is the opportune time for physicians to help 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 this ever-changing health care environment. We need your help to make us the medical association you and your colleagues need today and into the future. With the help of an independent consultant, providing us with honest feedback and perspectives, we will better understand where we are today and what we need to do to create a focused strategy that meets the needs of all our members. 

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 join us in-person or virtually for engaging research workshop from 6 – 9pm on Thursday, November 23. A light dinner will be served at 5pm for those attending in person at the Masonic Memorial Centre (420 Corydon Avenue).

Please RSVP by clicking here and registering for the event. Access link for virtual attendees will be provided after registration.

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 42023.

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 including: Humanitarian of the Year Award, Physician of the Year, Resident of the Year, Distinguished Service Award and Medal of Excellence. 

If you are thinking about nominating someone, let us know as we may be able to help. Email Keir Johnson at kjohnson@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca.

Nominate a colleague today.
Learn more about the awards criteria and nomination requirements here.

Depression in Medicine

Earlier this week, the Free Press profiled Dr. Joss Reimer about her experience living with depression. The article, a must read and available to you here through our exclusive subscription service, followed a simple post by Dr. Reimer on X, formerly Twitter. As she has done for several years, Dr. Reimer sought to tackle misinformation online, this time that exercise alone can cure depression. 

Daily physical activity, including running several times a week, is an important part of maintaining my mental health, but even more so are my antidepressants,” she wrote. Running has been helpful for my mental health, for sure, but it does not cure depression.”

Opening up about her personal journey, Dr. Reimer sought to reassure readers that you can have a significant mental illness that would be debilitating at one point and you can still flourish in your personal life, your career – it is possible to achieve. You can even be a physician practising and the chief medical officer of an organization or even the president of the CMA with depression.”

Sharing personal stories like this is important to help end stigma about depression and mental health, including for those studying and practicing medicine. In fact, our research finds over 30% of physicians and medical learners in Manitoba are showing signs of depression. 

Our Medical Lead for Physician Health, Dr. Shelley Anderson, told her own story a year ago. 

Today, after reading Dr. Reimer’s story, Dr. Anderson encourages us to continue this dialogue: 

Let’s talk.
Not just on that one day per year.
Let’s talk now. And tomorrow. And the next day.
Let’s talk about our health…mental, physical, spiritual, emotional… and the steps we can take to ensure that our health is as good as can be.
Let’s create space and safety to allow for these talks, to recognize that despite our best laid plans, life happens”.
Let’s allow ourselves and each other some grace for being human and let’s practice compassion, not just for our patients and each other, but for ourselves.
Let’s listen. To each other’s stories and without judgment.
Let’s encourage and support one another wherever and whenever we can, shifting our medical culture to one of acceptance. One that not only recognizes but celebrates our common humanity.
Let’s have these conversations.
And let’s have lots of them.
But most of all, let’s thank Dr. Reimer for starting this one here today. Well done, Joss.

Help and support are available to all physicians, students and residents, as well as your families, through our Doc360 Physician Health suite of services. Learn more at Doc360​.ca or call the Physician and Family Support Program at 1 – 844-433-DRMB (18444333762).

Join us in Brandon!

We will be visiting Brandon on November 14 and 15 and we hope you will join us. We will be holding meetings to discuss concerns with physicians in person, and we are hosting a special social event for physicians in Western Manitoba too. 

Social Event

Join us for an informal evening to connect with colleagues from across Western Manitoba and our team from Doctors Manitoba. 

When: Tuesday, November 14, 7 – 10 PM

Where: Canad Inn Brandon

RSVP: Please click here to RSVP and confirm your attendance.

Physician Meetings

We want to hear from you and find a path to resolving your concerns. We have planned a number of tours and meetings with different physician groups, and we have scheduled a drop-in session for physician unable to join us at a planned meeting time. We have large meetings set up to meet with hospitalists and ER physicians, as well as several other groups. Our drop-in meeting will be held at the Canad Inn from 5 – 7PM on November 14 and is open to all physicians. 

Check this page for evolving details on our meeting schedule, with instructions on confirming your attendance.

Add Your Feedback on Admin Burden 

Share your views on administrative burdens you face in your day-to-day work, to help the Joint Task Force push ahead with reducing these burdens on physicians. 

All physicians should have received an email earlier this week from our President, Dr. Michael Boroditsky, inviting you to complete a questionnaire on administrative burdens. If you did not receive the email, please email us at adminburden@​doctorsmanitoba.​ca and we can provide the link.

This survey is from the Joint Task Force, created as a partnership between Doctors Manitoba and the provincial government. They have been examining a number of administrative burdens identified as priorities by physicians, and they need your feedback to help advance this work and achieve reductions. Survey responses will only be shared with the Task Force in a de-identified, anonymized manner. 

The survey includes several administrative burdens, but you can select only the topics that affect you, such as sick notes, return-to-work forms, referrals and consultations, private insurance forms, eChart, and more. They also want to see the worst forms you encounter as a physician. 

Complete the survey by Monday, November 20, and you will be entered to win a $250 Visa Gift Card, courtesy of Doctors Manitoba. 

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:

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.

Three Year Family Medicine Residency Plan Shelved

Last week we told you about the College of Family Physicians of Canada’s (CFPC) plan to increase family medicine residency from 2 to 3 years. Our President, Past President, and President Elect several physician organizations across the country by writing 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. The CFPC met on November 6 and 7 and have decided to cease the implementation of the third year in family medicine residency training and will undertake a comprehensive review of this decision guided by the member motion that was put forward at the 2023 AMM.” This is an important step forward. Read their release here.

Physician of the Week

Dr. Premal Patel is the sole Male Infertility and Sexual Health specialist in the province and has also been instrumental in developing ambulatory men’s health surgery here in Manitoba. He also started the province’s first Urology Fellowship Program. Colleagues commend Dr. Patel’s consistent commitment to medical education and resident advocacy, for which he was awarded the Residency Teacher of the Year (20222023). As the Director of Urologic research at UM, Dr. Patel has revamped the program & implemented monthly research meetings, resulting in multiple publications for trainees. He has mentored almost every resident in the program with various research projects. He advocates for more learning opportunities for residents and for improvements in rotation schedules. Good friend and colleague Dr. Jay Nayak applauds Dr Patel’s efforts to think of​“new ideas for the program to strengthen the curriculum and to optimize the learning experiences for residents.” Read more about Dr. Patel and other physicians featured.

A Legacy of Advocacy & Care for Manitoba’s 2SLGBTQIA+ Community

Manitoba’s 2SLGBTQIA+ and medical communities are mourning the loss of Dr. Dick Smith. After moving to Manitoba in the early 70s, his career spanned over half a century. A gay physician who was one of the few physicians to provide care for HIV/AIDS patients during the height of the crisis, 80 year old Dr. Smith died at his home on Tuesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Dr. Smith played a key role in the founding of the Village Clinic, now Nine Circles Community Health Centre. After retiring at 65, he returned to work and founded the Gay Men’s Health Clinic, later renamed Our Own Health Centre. He officially retired in 2019, but remained a Doctors Manitoba member. This past summer he was named to the Order of Manitoba. 

In an interview with the CBC just 24 hours before his planned death, Dr. Smith expressed his hopes that Manitobans would remain vigilant in ensuring the rights of systemically oppressed groups. My biggest thing that I want people to really get a grip on is that no minority of any kind, whether it be religious or sexual or racial, is ever safe. he said. Adding, Democracy is a wonderful thing, but there is always a risk of a majority of people suddenly thinking this or that.… Be very careful and be aware that everything that has been achieved could be taken away in a single election.” Read the full story.

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!

Lunchtime Webinar: Boundaries — The New Self Care (November 20th, Noon — 1:00 pm)

Being a physician is challenging with huge responsibility and often unrealistic expectations. Saying no is neither encouraged nor part of medical training and most physicians by nature have trouble setting limits, yet the consequences over time lead to depletion, anger/​resentment, entitlement, deterioration in health/​relationships and numbing behavior. Learn how to recognize these issues and practical ways to set limits. Open to all DRMB members. Facilitated by Tom Lloyd, MD and Dawn Martin, PhD.

Register Now (or explore other offerings in the Physician Leadership Practical Skills Series)

DRMB Book Club! — November 20 — 7 – 8:30pm

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

Register here for the free, virtual symposium showcasing Schulich Medicine & Dentistry’s systems-based scholarly wellbeing initiatives. See the agenda & poster for more information.

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 astridsantin@​gmail.​com by October 13 (limited spots available).

Other Events