As our pilot project to launch evidence-based physician health and wellness programs in Manitoba gets off the ground, I am truly optimistic about the strides we are making to combat physician burnout. The loss of joy in the workplace and the erosion of overall physician wellness is an occupational hazard we are no longer willing to ignore or accept.

This 3‑year project will assess the environments and systems in which physicians work and will identify achievable changes which can be implemented at both organizational and system levels. We will be identifying community- specific needs by engaging with you, health care administrators, and other community stakeholders in three specific communities with the goal of incorporating the successful outcomes of the program into the core operations of Doctors Manitoba.

Make no mistake, while the challenges physicians face may be obvious, the solutions are far from simple. Access to resources and ongoing system changes continue to be contributing workplace stressors affecting both physician and patient health. With a shortage of ICU beds and nurses, changes to workflow, coverage models and more, it is clear that the provision of critical care and general healthcare continues to suffer in this province and there are no quick fixes within reach.

As always, Doctors Manitoba continues to work closely with the RHAs and Shared Health, advocating on your behalf. Alongside our ongoing efforts, this new project will bring local health authorities, physicians and administrators together to better understand how various health systems can improve your health and wellness. In spite of these challenging and uncertain times, what is certain is our dedication to creating meaningful change to the environments in which physicians work. The learnings from this pilot project will inform future health and wellness planning and enable us to contribute to improving the culture and practice of medicine in Manitoba.

Dr. Fourie Smith
President 2019/20