Author Archives: CMAJ

In this special episode, Dr. Diane Kelsall, previous interim editor-in-chief for CMAJ, interviews Dr. Andreas Laupacis, new editor-in-chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

They chat about:

  • first impressions after two days on the job
  • his vision for the journal
  • his life as the child of refugee parents
  • the state of health care today
  • his proudest accomplishments during his career up to this point
  • why he decided it was time to stop doing clinical work

If you want to get in touch with Dr. Laupacis, you can reach him at:
andreas.laupacis@cmaj.ca
or on Twitter: twitter.com/AndreasLaupacis

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In this interview from our archives, Dr. John Hoey has a fascinating discussion with Dr. James Orbinski. The interview was first published in February of the year 2000. At the time, Dr. John Hoey was editor-in-chief of CMAJ and Dr. James Orbinski was international president of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders, or MSF). Dr. Orbinski had just accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of MSF’s pioneering humanitarian work in several countries around the world.

Dr. Orbinski and Dr. Hoey talk about war, humanitarian medicine, refugees, genocide, and more. These themes are just as relevant today as they were 19 years ago.

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In this next "Med Life with Dr. Horton" podcast, Dr. Jillian Horton talks with both Dr. Deepu Gawda and actor Alan Alda.

In the first segment, Dr. Horton and guest Dr. Deepu Gawda, internist and associate professor of medicine at Columbia University, answer a listener question from a physician who is under so much work pressure that s/he is viewing patients only as units of time. This person wants to get back to connecting with patients in a meaningful way and is looking for advice.

In the second segment, Dr. Horton speaks with award-winning actor Alan Alda, who leads workshops for physicians through the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. They discuss how doctors can focus less on pressure from the "system" to be more time efficient and instead be more present for patients. They also talk about ageism in medicine.

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In this next "Med Life with Dr. Horton" podcast, Dr. Jillian Horton chats with Dr. Allan Peterkin about creative arts and playfulness as related to medicine and as tools to help balance out a stressful life.

Dr. Horton and Dr. Peterkin talk about:
- music, writing, theatre, improv groups
- the time Dr. Peterkin was on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon because of one of his books about beards
- how learning to interpret a painting is related to diagnostic skills
- how a practice in creative arts can influence the way doctors approach patients and can help prevent burnout
- finding a balance between pleasure and purpose in life
- the absence of play in medicine
- practical tips for picking up that long forgotten creative practice again
- and much more

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In a first "Med Life with Dr. Horton" podcast, Dr. Jillian Horton discusses CaRMS, the Canadian Resident Matching Service. In this episode, she is joined by Dr. Moneeza Walji.

They answer these questions:

  • What are some strategies for choosing and ranking programs?
  • Should I have a back-up program in my ranking?
  • What should I do about conflicting interviews?
  • What are interviewers looking for in a candidate?
  • What should I do when I can't think of an answer to an interview question?
  • Should I change my strategy when being interviewed by a resident versus a program director?
  • How does the panel score the interview?
  • Should I disclose a mental health diagnosis or personal struggles?
  • Should I talk about my partner, kids, or family?
  • How do I handle the stress related to CaRMS?
  • And more.

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In this interview, Dr. Thara Kumar and Dr. Hans Rosenberg tell us about take-home naloxone kits used for opioid overdose. They discuss how to use them, where to get them, how they work, and more. They offer practical guidance to physicians in Canada and also include tips for the general public.

Dr. Thara Kumar is an emergency medicine resident in her fifth and final year of training at the University of Ottawa, with a Global Health Certificate from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Hans Rosenberg an emergency physician at the Ottawa Hospital and an assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. Together, they co-authored a practice article published in CMAJ called "Five things to know about...Take-home naloxone."

Listen to the author interview:

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Ray Schachter is a lawyer in Vancouver. He is on the Executive Committee of the Global Sepsis Alliance and Canadian Sepsis Foundation

 

In March 1996, I was a healthy, fit 50-year-old man enjoying life with a young family.  A month later, I was in an induced coma fighting for my life against acute septic shock accompanied by severe adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multi-joint and -organ dysfunction which frequently accompanies sepsis.  My sepsis was brought on by Group A Streptococcus (Strep A) in my bloodstream which compromised almost all my joints.

My trajectory which led to acute sepsis is not unusual.  On Day 1, I had a very severe, but short-lived, bout of extremely high fever (40.5 degrees Celsius), followed by excruciating hip pain the following day.

By Day 3, the hip pain had become unbearable.  That evening, we called my family doctor’s on-call service and a doctor came to the house at midnight.  The physician felt my condition was osteoarthritis and prescribed anti-inflammatories.

On Day 4, my wife became so concerned that she called a doctor who was a family friend.  ...continue reading

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Dr. Santanu Chakraborty is Associate Professor in Radiology in The University of Ottawa and Radiology Quality Officer at The Ottawa Hospital.

Patient safety is taking its rightful place in the forefront of modern-day Canadian healthcare system that is committed to provide healthcare of the highest possible quality and value to its citizens. Medical care is not risk-free. Patients do experience complications, unintended outcomes and harm mostly related to risks inherent in healthcare but also at times due to negligence from the patient’s physicians, care team, hospital or the healthcare system as a whole. In most situations, these unfortunate situations provide opportunities for learning from mistakes and improve our healthcare system. Most if not all major accidents in medicine are preceded by a number of near misses and minor errors. ...continue reading

Photo of Kari Visscher

Kari Visscher is an artist.  She’s also a physician. And she’s turning a promising career as a radiologist into a work of art.

The fifth year radiology resident sees art and beauty everywhere - in the scans she reads, in every encounter with patients and colleagues, in day-to-day life of London’s hospitals and the world of health care. In fact, she chose radiology as a specialty because it was a fit with her aesthetics as an artist, her love of anatomy and an affinity for seeing patterns and solving complex medical problems.

Now Kari is raising awareness of the intricacies, scope and importance of her chosen profession through art. In a unique project, she is creating a series of 12 oil paintings on canvass depicting various aspects of radiology and the role of radiologists as part of the health care team.

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The new Canadian guideline presents evidence-based recommendations for prescribing of opioids for chronic non-cancer pain, including maximum dose recommendations, avoiding opioids in high-risk populations, and guidance for tapering.

Jason Busse, Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesia at McMaster University and researcher with the Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre in Hamilton, Ontario, co-authored the guideline (open access). In this podcast, he speaks with Dr. Diane Kelsall, interim editor-in-chief, CMAJ, and explains the recommendations.

Listen to the author interview:

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