Grace Zhao is a third year MD/MSc student in the Systems Leadership and Innovation program at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation.
Ontario is undergoing its biggest health system reform in 50 years. Under Premier Doug Ford, 20 health agencies will be merged into a superagency – Ontario Health. The rationale behind this is to eliminate duplicative back office infrastructure and administration in order to streamline work to achieve integrated and coordinated care. The functional unit would be the Ontario Health Teams, which are made up of local health care providers who work together to provide coordinated care through technology.
With much attention being placed on health systems innovation and transformation, I asked two health system leaders on their thoughts about leading system innovation and transformation and the current climate of Ontario’s health care system. ...continue reading
Due to the sensitivity of the post, the author wished to publish the following piece anonymously.
On behalf of the Admissions Committee, we are pleased to reward you an offer of admission to the Doctor of Medicine Program!
This year our Committee received over 5,000 applications, and extended less than 250 offers of admission. However, medicine is not a meritocracy. Upon meeting peers from diverse backgrounds, you will quickly realize that applicants differed in their advantages throughout the admissions process. “Not every applicant had the same access to opportunities to demonstrate or enhance his or her commendable qualities”. ...continue reading
Gayathri Sivakumar is a medical student in the Class of 2020 at Western University.
A cold awakening when I got a call about you
the feeling of the nightmare we all dread
You know, the one where you fall off the edge of a cliff
except I kept falling and failed to wake up
I was seeing my sickest patients that morning
I had a plan to help them
I started to figure out when and how to help my patients
I was assembling a sense of purpose in my service ...continue reading
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
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
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
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
Beatrice Preti is an R2 in internal medicine at the Queen's University.
It was a childhood dream, one that I loved well,
A fairy-tale story I’d heard someone tell
I replayed it at nights, as I lay in my bed
While visions of stethoscopes danced ins my head ...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.
plastic plants in the dentist clinic
that you haven’t visited since you were a child
wearing a yellow smile and proud stain of mustard on your shirt
that has followed every laundromat you’ve ever been to ...continue reading
Imagine yourself as a family physician seeing a 68-year-old woman with type 2 diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, and chronic knee pain. While these medical concerns are well-managed, things for your patient are tough socially. She has become increasingly isolated since her husband passed. Her apartment is in an older building with good heating but no air-conditioning and near to no sidewalks, green spaces, or public transit routes in the area. She often requires friends or a cab to drive her around.
How can you assess and mitigate the acute and chronic environment-related health risks faced by this woman, and other patients like her? ...continue reading