Wellbeing Convene: 2021

Dr. Farah Shroff: Eye yoga & relaxation
Tuesday, January 19 at 8:00 am
As we spend more time on screens, our eyes benefit from care and attention. In this workshop, we will do some overall relaxation exercises and specific eye yoga. 
Event registration

Dr Shauna Correia: Optimizing Sexual Response
Friday, February 5 at 12:00 pm
Event registration

Dr Farah Shroff Laughter Yoga
Thursday, February 18 at 8:00 am
Laughter is a joyful form of health promotion and disease prevention. Laughter yoga combines breath, gentle movement, and laughter for a full belly workout that uplifts. Created by a family physician, Dr Madan Kataria,Laughter Yoga has spread all over the world, improving the mental, physical, and social health status of huge numbers of people.
Event registration

Dr Linlea Armstrong: Wellness & Leadership
Thursday, February 25 at 12:00 pm
Event registration

Dr Farah Shroff: Self-compassion
Wednesday, March 3 at 8:00 am
Event registration

Hunting for coronavirus variants in Canada

“This unit is over capacity as cases in the surrounding community climb out of control. To make way, they’ve had to reduce surgeries and create intensive care space in the hospital’s surgical recovery unit.

While mass-vaccination offers distant hope, Spiegelman is concerned that these new strains, especially the U.K. variant, could compound an already troubling trend.

‘It’s way more transmissible and contagious, which is concerning because we know the original virus was very contagious to start off with,’ Spiegelman said. ‘So, if this explodes into our society where our numbers double or triple, that will trickle down to patients dying from it.’

While the U.K. variant is thought to be no more severe than the original virus, a recent study suggests that it’s more than 50 per cent more contagious. If it were to take hold in the population, it could add a new level of explosive growth to an already dire situation.”

Inside the hunt for coronavirus variants in Canada via Global News.



Three UBC faculty of medicine members are recipients of Canadian Association for Medical Education (CAME) Certificate of Merit Awards. The awards recognize and reward faculty committed to medical education in Canadian medical schools.

A special big hug to our own Assessment Director, Dr. Theresa van der Goes of the Family Medicine Postgraduate Program, Department of Family Practice. Dr. Van der Goes’ outstanding accomplishments set her apart as an excellent leader in medical education. Her confident, intellectual approach is key to the successful implementation of ambitious and innovative work at UBC. She inspires us all to be better as she leads by example.

The recipients, Drs. Cary Cuncic, Parvathy Nair and Theresa van der Goes, will be celebrated at the Canadian Conference on Medical Education Virtual AGM on April 19, 2021. More here.

Teaching the Social Determinants of Health: A Path to Equity or a Road to Nowhere?

“Medical schools are increasingly called to include social responsibility in their mandates. As such, they are focusing their attention on the social determinants of health (SDOH) as key drivers in the health of the patients and communities they serve. However, underlying this emphasis on the SDOH is the assumption that teaching medical students about the SDOH will lead future physicians to take action to help achieve health equity. There is little evidence to support this belief. In many ways, the current approach to the SDOH within medical education positions them as “facts to be known” rather than as “conditions to be challenged and changed.” Educators talk about poverty but not oppression, race but not racism, sex but not sexism, and homosexuality but not homophobia. The current approach to the SDOH may constrain or even incapacitate the ability of medical education to achieve the very goals it lauds, and in fact perpetuate inequity. In this article, the authors explore how “critical consciousness” and a recentering of the SDOH around justice and inequity can be used to deepen collective understanding of power, privilege, and the inequities embedded in social relationships in order to foster an active commitment to social justice among medical trainees. Rather than calling for minor curricular modifications, the authors argue that major structural and cultural transformations within medical education need to occur to make educational institutions truly socially responsible.”

Read the full article here.

British Columbia COVID-19 Vaccines

The COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved by Health Canada are safe, effective and will save lives.

Vaccines do more than protect the people getting vaccinated, they also protect everyone around them. The more people in a community who are vaccinated and protected from COVID-19, the harder it is for the virus to spread.

Two vaccines, the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine, have been approved for use by Health Canada.

Reminder: Provincial Health Officer (PHO) orders and guidelines remain in place for everyone, regardless if they have received the vaccine.

Learn more about the cost, vaccine safety, and distribution via BC Gov.

Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines via CDC

Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?

No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, will I test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?

No. Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.​

If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, vaccine should be offered to you regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. CDC is providing recommendations to federal, state, and local governments about who should be vaccinated first.

Will a COVID-19 vaccination protect me from getting sick with COVID-19?

Yes. COVID-19 vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19.

Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?

No. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.

Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines via CDC.
Vaccines for COVID-19 via BC Centre for Disease Control.
Tips on finding credible information on COVID-19 vaccines via CDC.

6th International Faculty Development in the Health Professions Conference

The AMEE conference is excited to announce that the 6th IFDHP conference “Faculty Development in Times of Extraordinary Change” will be held on Saturday, August 28, 2021 from 8:00-4:30 pm GMT

Goals of the conference are: 

  1. To share and discuss how faculty developers promote and demonstrate adaptive expertise in the context of change 
  2. To address how faculty developers utilize change science/change management approaches in their work at individual and institutional levels. 
  3. To provide a forum for shared learning across the global faculty development community 

    February 5, 2021 is the deadline for innovation and research (short communications) and workshop abstract submission. Abstracts should be submitted to the AMEE conference abstract submission here.  

Anti-racism Praxis in Canadian Health Education: Reflections & Directions

Taqdir Kaur Bhandal
Ph.D. Candidate, UBC Social Justice Institute

Presentation: Anti-racism Praxis in Canadian Health Education: Reflections & Directions

Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Time: 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Zoom ID: For connection details, please email ches.communications@ubc.ca.

During this presentation participants will:

  • Learn the definition of ‘race’ through the lens of social justice, so we can have a reference point for where to start unraveling threads.
  • Take away 3 tips that can be used to braid anti-racism practice into health education classrooms and research.
  • Practice one of the tips together through a group meditation to support stress release during the anti-racism paradigm shift.


Taq Kaur Bhandal is a Ph.D. candidate at UBC, and work with theories & practices of intersectionality and anti-racism. She is part of the Mahwari Research Institute team, an independent think tank studying pleasurable living, pelvic health, and periods.