The Shift: Burnout to Joy

“I totally needed permission to take time off because medicine is all, it just pushes you to work so hard, and you always feel like you’re failing someone if you’re not there, not helping someone more.” ~ Dr. Micah Peters

Dr. Peters’ story on burnout is both refreshing and courageous. He talks specifically about the tools and mechanisms that supported his recovery and how he was able to bounce back and regain his health and sense of well-being.

(Thank you Dr. Kornelsen for the forward!)

The Shift: Physician to Patient

(Image Courtesy of James Maskalyk)

“An ER doctor says being diagnosed with a rare and serious form of cancer has been like ‘coming out as human.’ ‘I thought I knew all this stuff, I learned in school how to prevent these types of things, and now I’m just human after all,’ said Dr. James Maskalyk, an ER physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. Maskalyk was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in May, after he found a lump in his neck. A biopsy showed it to be a rare type of thyroid cancer.

‘That’s the healing process. It’s just a more complex idea of something that includes the mind and the body, and includes the community and ecology,’ he said. At the beginning of the pandemic, Maskalyk was leading people in daily meditation sessions on his social media accounts — and talked through that practice with The Current.

Maskalyk spent part of the summer at Indigenous healing centres (the Turtle Lodge in Manitoba, and the All Nations’ Healing Hospital in Saskatchewan), and said observing and working with elders there has helped him to process his diagnosis. He recalled advice he received from a knowledge keeper named Dave Courchene, who said that whenever anyone’s time comes to die, they ‘only get asked one question.’

‘Did you bring love into the world? … If you did, you’ve done it, you’ve done the work,’ Courchene told Maskalyk.”

More here on Dr. Maskalyk’s journey: Doctor who helped people meditate through pandemic fears diagnosed with stage 4 cancer via CBC Radio.

The Psychological Toll of the Pandemic

Fantastic article on the psychological toll of the pandemic featuring Dr. Lakshmi Yatham, professor and head of the department of psychiatry at UBC and regional head of psychiatry for Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care. In this article, he explores the psychological toll of COVID-19 and offers his advice on combatting stress and anxiety as society adapts to the new normal. Read more here.

Comprehensive Supports: Children with Medical Complexity

“Children across BC with extraordinary health needs, requiring complex care, will soon have access to a children’s complex care transition centre in Vancouver. Operated by the BC Children’s Hospital, the facility will fill gaps in services and supports for children and young people with complex care needs and will complement what is currently provided in acute care and community settings. This will be the first centre in the country to provide such a comprehensive range of supports for children with medical complexity at a single site. The centre will serve as a stepping stone between acute hospital care, community care, and home, providing services under a new, unique model of care designed to support patients and families in the transition.”

Learn more here on Comprehensive Supports for Children with Medical Complexity via BCMJ.

Skin Cancer: Interactive Scenarios & Practical Approaches for Primary Care

November 13, 2020 Virtual Fall Conference:

Skin Cancer: Interactive Scenarios & Practical Approaches for Primary Care, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm Pacific Time

Register via Learning Hub (Log-in or create an account in seconds. Once logged-in, enter Skin Cancer in the Search bar.) 
Cost: $50 all disciplines. Event Details
2.75 Mainpro+ credits. 


Dermatology Component
13:00 – 13:05      Start and Dermatologist Introduction
13:05 – 14:35      Common Skin Cancers 
14:35 – 14:45      Break

Surgical Oncology Focus
14:45 – 14:50      Surgical Oncologist Introduction
14:50 – 15:50      Melanoma 
15:50 – 16:00      Close and Evaluation

Learning Objectives:

Dermatology focus:

  • Describe effective and practical skin cancer prevention strategies;
  • Demonstrate improved visual literacy of malignant skin lesions;
  • Determine appropriate management of common skin cancers by primary care physicians; and
  • Review principles of skin cancer screening in high risk populations.

Melanoma focus:

  • Review indications and pitfalls of sentinel lymph node biopsy for melanoma;
  • Summarize a practical approach to melanoma staging; and
  • Describe current management implications of melanoma staging and of lymph node recurrence.

BCCDC COVID-19 Language Guide

“‘We all have heard of the golden rule — treat others as you wish to be treated — and this document is a practical how-to-guide of the platinum rule: treat others as they want to be treated,’ said Harlan Pruden, educator with the Chee Mamuk program at the BC Centre for Disease Control and lead author of the guide. ‘Our guide offers a way to create safer environments for employees and all community members with a focus on using person-first language, meaning the focus is on the individual rather than their diagnosis or behaviour.’”

Learn more here.

Thank you Dr. Holmes for the forward.

CHES Cutting Edge Series: Patient Engagement

Increasingly patients and parents of patients are included in medical decision-making and medical research. This is apparent the popular press, in funding agency guidelines such as the recent CIHR SPOR initiatives, and in collaborative doctor-patient treatment strategies. Patients are even receiving courses and certification in “patient engagement”. The need to inform patients and research participants is fundamental in clinical care and research. A fundamental question at the root of these endeavors is, how is information exchanged by medical professionals and patients? This presentation examines basic communication models encountered in clinician-patient interaction.

Register here.