OTTAWA, August 22, 2018 — The Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) addressed the need for system-wide change and greater investment in physician wellness at its annual Information Session on August 22 in Winnipeg. The session entitled “Healthier physicians: An investment in safe medical care” assembled a panel of distinguished speakers to extend the critical conversation about improving physician wellness and reducing burnout.
Healthcare is facing a crisis of well-being, with large numbers of physicians reporting one or more symptoms of professional burnout. Physician burnout has been linked to increased healthcare system costs, adverse outcomes, and medical-legal events. CMPA data shows that, over the past five years, College and hospital complaints have risen by more than 20%. Burnout may be associated with this increase.
Physician burnout is the “canary in the coalmine” and indicates problems with the work environment. Speakers discussed the systemic causes of burnout, which include excessive workloads, increased administrative demands, high patient volumes, and inadequate institutional support. The panel stressed that, since there are so many factors contributing to burnout, there needs to be a collective response and coordinated effort from all major Canadian healthcare stakeholders in responding to the problem.
“Supporting physician wellness must be a shared responsibility,” said Dr. Hartley Stern, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the CMPA. “The CMPA will continue to support physicians during some of their most difficult times. However, to truly effect change, all healthcare stakeholders have to recognize the problem of burnout and invest in solutions.”
The CMPA has set out recommendations [PDF] outlining ways in which major Canadian stakeholders can promote physician wellness. Evidence shows that investing in physician health will lead to a safer, more productive, and lower cost healthcare system. The CMPA is committed to helping physicians respond to stress and working with other stakeholder organizations to improve physician health.
Additional information and resources on the subject of physician wellness are available on the Association’s website.
For more information, please contact:
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Canadian Medical Protective Association
About the CMPA
The CMPA delivers efficient, high-quality physician-to-physician advice and assistance in medical legal matters, including the provision of appropriate compensation to patients injured by negligent medical care. Our evidence-based products and services enhance the safety of medical care, reducing unnecessary harm and costs. As Canada’s largest physician organization and with the support of our 100,000 physician members, the CMPA collaborates, advocates and effects positive change on important healthcare and medical legal issues. The Association is governed by an elected Council of physicians.