B.C. Ends Birth Alert System

“British Columbia will no longer ask hospitals to alert child-welfare authorities if they believe newborns could be at risk of harm due to their parents’ backgrounds, a practice that resulted in more than half of such notifications being issued for Indigenous mothers.

The B.C. government on Monday said it would end this practice, known as birth alerts, which were often issued without a parent’s knowledge or consent. The policy change is aimed at cutting the number of newborns who are taken into care, sometimes within hours of birth.

The change is to take effect immediately.”

More on B.C. ends controversial birth alert system that affected Indigenous mothers disproportionately via The Globe and Mail.

Bit by Bit

“You do not need to solve your entire life in a day. You do not need to fix everything tonight. You do not need to, nor will you be able to. So instead of feeling as though the mountain in front of you is so huge you could never scale it and give up entirely, just focus on taking one step. All you need to do today is take one step in the right direction, and then tomorrow take another. Your life is not transformed in one sweeping motion, it is changed bit by bit, ordinary moment by ordinary moment, when you decide to stop waiting for perfection, and start doing what you can right here and right now to move yourself forward.”

~ Brianna Wiest

AMEE Research Grants 2019

“The International Association for Medical Education (AMEE) Research Grant Awards provide financial support up to £10,000 for educational research projects open to AMEE Individual and Student Members.

The programme recognises the importance of research in health professions education and serves as a catalyst to promote excellence in research among AMEE members.  The receipt of a grant award will serve to recognize both locally and internationally the work of an individual or group.

The submission of pre-proposals are invited to be submitted by 17 October 2019.  Submissions received after this date will not be considered for the current grant funding cycle.  Further information and the application form can be downloaded from the AMEE website.

Applicants will be informed of the decision on their proposal by mid December 2019.

Those invited to submit a full proposal will be sent an application form to be completed and returned by 22 February 2020.”

Chasing My Cure

“I think that our medical structure is set up such that there are people that play various roles, and there are hierarchies and there are ways that things are done. I was already getting entrenched into that hierarchy. It really took a lot to make me really try to take control over my own future. I still didn’t feel like I could make a difference. It wasn’t until I had no more options and everything had kind of failed that I felt I needed to do this.”

~ Dr. David Fajgenbaum

“Dr. David Fajgenbaum has nearly died not once, but five times. The cause each time was a rare disorder called Castleman disease, an affliction on the boundary between cancer and an autoimmune disorder. It caused his entire body to swell up. Previously a muscled college football player, he first became bloated, then very thin.

Fajgenbaum, who was in medical school when he got sick, did something extraordinary. He founded a patient advocacy group, the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network. But more than that, he delved into the science of his disease, and proposed the treatment that, after five relapses, has kept him healthy since. It was an existing drug, sirolimus, that no one had thought to use for Castleman disease. Football, he said, helped him deal with the failure inherent in medical research.”

More on After nearly dying five times, a young doctor learned to treat himself. Now he wants to help others with rare disease by Matthew Herper via STAT.

CHES Celebration of Scholarship Day 2019


The Centre for Health Education Scholarship will host the CHES Celebration of Scholarship on Wednesday, October 2, at The University of British Columbia’s Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre. This event is an opportunity for the CHES community to showcase and share their work and celebrate the accomplishments of the health professions education scholarship network.

View the 2019 CHES Celebration of Scholarship learning objectives.

We have several members from the Department of Family Practice presenting :)! Learn more.

Outbreak of Lung Disease

“CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of lung disease associated with e-cigarette product (devices, liquids, refill pods, and/or cartridges) use.

  • There are over 380* possible cases of lung illness reported from 36 states and 1 U.S. territory. Six deaths have been reported from 6 states.
  • All reported cases have a history of e-cigarette product use or vaping.
  • Most patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing THC. Many patients have reported using THC and nicotine. Some have reported the use of e-cigarette products containing only nicotine.”

More on Outbreak of Lung Disease Associated with E-Cigarette Use, or Vaping via CDC.


“Today, the care of the heart has become less the province of philosophers, who dwell upon the heart’s metaphorical meanings, and more the domain of doctors like me, wielding technologies that even a century ago, because of the heart’s exalted status in human culture, were considered taboo. In the process, the heart has been transformed from an almost supernatural object imbued with metaphor and meaning into a machine that can be manipulated and controlled. But this is the key point: these manipulations, we now understand, must be complemented by attention to the emotional life that the heart, for thousands of years, was believed to contain.

And yet, medicine today continues to conceptualize the heart as a machine. This conceptualization has had great benefits. Cardiology, my field, is undoubtedly one of the greatest scientific success stories of the past 100 years. Stents, pacemakers, defibrillators, coronary bypass surgery, heart transplants — all these things were developed or invented after World War II.

However, it’s possible that we are approaching the limits of what scientific medicine can do to combat heart disease. Indeed, the rate of decline of cardiovascular mortality has slowed significantly in the past decade. We will need to shift to a new paradigm to continue to make the kind of progress to which we have become accustomed. In this paradigm, psychosocial factors will need to be front and center in how we think about heart problems.”

More on How Your Emotions Change the Shape of Your Heart by Dr. Sandeep Jauhar via TEDSummit2019.