My dear colleagues, it has been a true honour and privilege to serve as President of Doctors Manitoba.

After over two years on the frontlines of this pandemic, the vicarious trauma healthcare workers have endured weighs heavily, with reported levels of burnout, depression, and moral distress reaching all-time highs. 

But we cannot afford to lose hope.

There is much work to be done — certainly for all our patients, who need us now more than ever, but also for our physician colleagues. Healers need healing too, and we must do all we can to support one another as we endeavor to recover and rebuild. I am grateful for my amazing colleagues: physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals who have sacrificed so much for their patients and who were a true source of strength and inspiration during the most trying times throughout the pandemic.

I am grateful for our fantastic Board of Directors, our forward-thinking and courageous CEO, and our
steadfast and committed Doctors Manitoba staff, who all work tirelessly to strengthen and support our
profession. We heeded the call to action, and not only rose to the greatest challenge our organization has faced, we thrived.

Every step of the way, we have been the compelling voice, striving to ensure every physician has the support they need to deliver exceptional care to their patients. I look at how far we’ve come, how much we have accomplished, and I am filled with so much pride, gratitude, and hope.
But what gives me the most hope, is knowing that the best is yet to come. With all of you and with our incoming president, Dr. Candace Bradshaw, I know that our organization is in great hands, and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store!

As I reflect on the weight of the last two years, and my optimism for what’s to come, I am reminded of the wise words from the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu:

Despair can come from deep grief, but it can also be a defense against the risks of bitter disappointment and shattering heartbreak. Resignation and cynicism are easier, more self-soothing postures that do not require raw vulnerability and tragic risk of hope. To choose hope is to step firmly forward into the howling wind, baring one’s chest to the elements, knowing that, in time, the storm will pass.”

So, let us be hopeful, and work towards a better healthcare system for our patients and our colleagues — together.