Sarah Chauvin is a PGY2 Family Medicine resident at McMaster University.

 

 

 

Palliative care empowers and comforts individuals with life-limiting illnesses. It may be sought at any point and serves as an adjunct to other treatments provided it falls within someone’s goals of care. It is not just trendy terminology or a “feel-good” concept; it is the cornerstone of a good death.

So why, then, after weeks of advocacy, was it denied from my grandmother. Denial? Arrogance? The belief that despite multi-system organ failure at the age of 88 years old we might still be able to “fix” her? So that rather than allowing her to control her environment and provide us with the opportunity to say goodbye, she passed away alone, minutes after being offered a colonoscopy. In fact, minutes after refusing further intervention stating, “I want to go home”. Perhaps an option she never knew existed to her until that moment. ...continue reading

Eleftherios Diamandis is Professor and Head, Division of Clinical Biochemistry, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

 

In the 1970s, my mentor and Professor at the University of Athens, Greece, Dr. Themistokles Hadjiioannou, asked me periodically to go to the library and check his citation record. I remember grabbing from library shelves printed volumes of the “Science Citation Index”, which were as heavy as 5 kg each, going through the pages and then recording manually as to who cited his work. This task required many days of intellectual and physical work ...continue reading

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Mei Wen is a currently a PGY1 in Family Medicine at St. Paul’s Hospital.

 

 

 

I walk in,
tired, threw my backpack down and headed to my work desk,
robotically and unconsciously, as if my body is used to this routine,
only to catch a glimpse of myself in the reflection of my hallway mirror. ...continue reading

Kirsten Patrick is Deputy Editor at CMAJ

 

Yesterday an open letter addressed to the leaders of Canada's federal political parties was published calling for a firm commitment to implementing a universal, comprehensive, public pharmacare plan for Canada in election manifestos. I signed this letter, along with my colleague, CMAJ Deputy Editor Matthew Stanbrook, the former federal Minister of Health Dr. Jane Philpott, 537 other physicians, and 700+ more academics and policy experts. Altogether, there are 1282 signatories.

I signed it because, in Dr Philpott's words, ...continue reading

Kacper Niburski is a medical student in the Class of 2021 at McGill University. He is also the CMAJ student humanities blog editor. Follow his writing instagram: @_kenkan.

 

 

It happened, and then there is the small tragedy of eating in a cafeteria with relentless, raw light. My eyes blur to adjust to the homeless white hospital walls. Around, heads bob like pistons. There’s work to be done. Always work to be done. On this sandwich too. Is it rye? What did I order? A dripping fusel lodge of a tomato splatters on to the plastic wrapping. It looks like a prebiotic eye staring up at the ceiling, trying to see a way out.

Hello. ...continue reading

Richeek Pradhan is a Ph.D. candidate in Pharmacoepidemiology at McGill University.

If you want to find out what Lady Gaga’s met gala costume looked like, or where Queen Elizabeth dined last night, you Google. In a world that spins out terabytes of data every day, awareness of the minutest triviality is the norm. It is intriguing, thus, when data regarding some of the most important aspects of our lives remains hidden from public access. ...continue reading

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Arundhati Dhara is an Assistant Professor at Dalhousie University in the Department of Family Medicine

Saroo Sharda is an Anesthesiologist in Oakville and an Assistant Clinical Professor at McMaster University

 

There are few data available on the racial make-up of Canadian female physicians. What data exist suggests that South Asian and East Asian groups are over-represented relative to their proportion of the general population and Black and Indigenous people remain underrepresented.

There is also evidence that non-white physicians experience discrimination from colleagues and patients ranging from daily microaggressions to more overt acts. While organizational anti-discrimination policies often exist, we are generally ill-prepared to deal with incidents when they occur and in their immediate aftermath. The clinicians experiencing bias are often left to act, and must weigh power dynamics against speaking up. The damaging effects of physician discrimination based on race or gender are clear, and yet we know little about the ways in which gender and race intersect to further marginalize women physicians of colour. ...continue reading

Puneet Seth is a practicing family physician in Toronto, part-time Assistant Clinical Professor (Adjunct) in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University and Chief Medical Officer of InputHealth Systems

 

As someone whose life is deeply entrenched in health care technology, both as a physician tinkering with a variety of digital health tools in my own practice and as an entrepreneur helping to build these tools, I've become acutely aware of the growing trend among health professionals in viewing "virtual care" as some kind of magical endpoint that will solve all of the woes of health care. ...continue reading

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Kate Peiyin Zhang is a medical resident at University of Toronto.

 

“I can’t afford to see a dentist or pay for medication,” says the patient sitting across from me. “Can you help me?”

Ten years ago, I was in this patient’s shoes. I immigrated to Canada with my parents when I was 13; we were a family of three living on $12,000 a year. It was tough being poor. I worked multiple jobs to help make ends meet while attending school full-time. Studying medicine never crossed my mind as a possibility. My family experienced multiple barriers to accessing health care, but we also met compassionate physicians who made all the difference in our lives, and they are the ones who inspired me to pursue a career as a doctor.  ...continue reading

Domhnall MacAuley is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK. He recently attended the Society for Academic Primary Care annual conference in Exeter, England.

 

The declaration of Alma Ata, over forty years ago, was a key milestone in the development of general practice. Generations of physicians may remember how it defined their career. Dr Shannon Barkley, World Health Organisation Technical Officer for Primary Health Care Services and Family medicine, described the changes that have occurred since then, leading to the 2018 Declaration of Astana. Looking back, we can see why the Declaration of Alma Ata was so important and how the principles outlined are still as fresh and relevant as they then were. There has been progress although different countries move at different speeds. “Health for all by the year 2000” wasn’t achieved but the Millennium Development Goals” were quite successful and the focus has been, more recently, on universal health coverage. I asked Shannon to tell us a little more about the Declaration ...continue reading