While we are only a few months in to 2022, I am already seeing a theme. This year is shaping up to be about balance.

After more than two years of COVID-19 and such a bitter winter, I will disclose that I am ready to embrace warmer weather and get back to connecting with family and friends. But I know my optimism and appetite to be social must be balanced by the fact that the pandemic is not over, and being COVID-wise is still a necessity.

From what I’ve heard from physicians lately, finding a new balance will be a focus for many this year.

In addition to some of the inspiring stories about physicians in Manitoba, this issue of Rounds has a focus on physician health and wellness.

This is not an accident.

Juggling a continued stream of new information, questions from patients, and delays and disruptions in getting your patients the care they need is exhausting. Seeing some patients left with the impression that the pandemic is over when the risks remain has been putting many physicians in a difficult position. There is no question this is taking a toll on the entire medical community. 

In the pages that follow, you will find an article about our new Medical Lead for Physician Health and Wellness, Dr. Shelley Anderson. She is also taking over a medical leadership role for Physicians At Risk from Dr. Michael Loudon, who dedicated so many years to caring for physician colleagues. Dr. Anderson is helping to expand our Physician Health services, including offering more peer support options.

You will also find a story about our Community of Practice project. This three-year, $1 million initiative is digging deep into the many system barriers to physician wellness and engaging partners in developing new actions to address them. 

With so much uncertainty and disruption these days, it’s also important to consider how we treat each other. Civility is important to finding balance for those working in medicine, but it also can improve safety for patients. Doctors Manitoba is a partner in the Civility Saves Lives campaign, and I encourage you to read our article about the initiative and consider taking the Civility Pledge and nominating a Change Champion.

In the very middle of this issue, you will find a poster about the services and supports available to physicians and medical learners. Please consider removing this poster from the magazine and displaying it for your colleagues to see.

Please remember that the team at Doctors Manitoba is here for you. Do not hesitate to reach out, for yourself, for a family member or for a colleague.

I hope you will have time this spring to focus on finding a new balance in your personal and professional lives as we all navigate what comes next. Now more than ever, we need to do this together.

Theresa Oswald