At the CMPA, I have the privilege of hearing from physicians across Canada every day, and listening to you with the intent of helping. What I’m hearing is that many of you are tired, upset, and burning out.
Stories of burnout and distress concern me. I worry about the effects of burnout on your personal lives. The work you do should not be leaving you with feelings of exhaustion, frustration, and low morale. I also worry about the system-wide impact of what’s happening. Burnout significantly affects medical-legal risk, quality of care, and financial sustainability. When physicians are unwell, the entire system suffers.
We know there are multiple causes of physician burnout. Heavy workloads, increased administrative demands, growing public criticism, and inadequate institutional support can all play a role. Because there is no single factor leading to burnout, there is no single solution.
What we need instead is a collective response. At this year’s CMPA Annual Meeting and Information Session, I called on stakeholders across the healthcare system to respond to physician burnout and support wellness. I believe that medical schools, hospitals, medical regulators, and medical associations across Canada should be creating environments that promote inclusion and caring, and allow you to thrive.
The CMPA provides considerable support to physicians facing the stress of College complaints and medical-legal issues, and I encourage you to talk to one of our physician advisors if you need assistance.
I also want you to know that we are actively working with other stakeholders to promote physician wellness. As a mutual defence organization, we have long recognized that we’re all better off when each of us is well. I look forward to hearing from more of you as we strive to create a better healthcare system that enables you to flourish.
MD, FRCSC, FACS, ICD.D