SHATTERED by Sonam Maghera, Student, U of Ottawa Medicine
For the past eight years, the Canadian Conference in Medical Education (CCME) has acted as host to a fabulous medical trainee and practitioner art exhibit. Called White Coat Warm heArt, it celebrates coast to coast Canadian medical creativity.
CCME participants routinely visit the exhibit, seen by many as a sanctuary for reflection in an otherwise busy conference setting. There are benefits for the trainees and practitioners in making the art ...continue reading →
Nicole Le Saux is Associate Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Ottawa *
As physicians we should be concerned about the inappropriate use of antibiotics. Have you ever had a patient with an extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL), E. coli or Klebsiella urinary tract infection, a Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) or a drug-resistant N. gonorrhoeae?
Whereas resistant bacteria and CDI were rare a decade ago, these clinical situations are now commonplace in hospitals, long term care facilities and emergency departments. According to the Canadian Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System Report 2016 the rate of CDI in hospitalized patients is 3.4 cases per 1000 patient admissions (approximately one in every 300 patients admitted). As of 2014, 18.2% of isolates of Neisseria gonorrhoeae were resistant to penicillin with worrisome decreased susceptibility to cefixime, ceftriaxone and azithromycin. ...continue reading →
Barbara Zelek is Associate Professor and Co-Chair for the Section of Family Medicine at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Marathon, a rural community on the North shore of Lake Superior, made CMAJ headlines in 1997 because it boasted a stable workforce of seven physicians for the first time in over a decade. 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of that CMAJ article and of the arrival of Dr. Sarah Newbery and Dr. Eliseo Orrantia in Marathon.
The article described “a medical renaissance” taking place in Marathon and an end to “the revolving door that has affected rural medicine across the country”. That door has stopped revolving in Marathon since 1997 thanks, in many ways, to the leadership of Eli and Sarah.
Larry W. Chambers is Research Director at McMaster University's Niagara Regional Campus, School of Medicine
Eric Larson committed his career to researching how to delay and prevent Alzheimer’s disease, other forms of dementia, as well as declining memory and thinking. He led the “Adult Changes in Thought study”, which began following a large general population cohort in 1986. It has one of the largest research populations that included individuals aged 85 years and older.
Larson’s new book, “Enlightened Aging: Building Resilience for a Long, Active Life,” coauthored with professional writer and journalist Joan DeClaire, is based on information from hundreds of research papers Larson has authored and co-authored. The reader benefits from his profound understanding of health and aging research and his clinical experience as a practicing physician. Evidence is presented alongside useful patient stories to aid comprehension, engagement and to pique ...continue reading →
Catherine Whicher is a graduate student of Global Health Policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Varoon Mathur is a Software Engineering/Data Science student at the University of British Columbia
Last week Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) published the 2017 University Report Card for Global Equity in Biomedical Research, evaluating fifteen of Canada's universities (U15) for their contributions to neglected health needs including biomedical research, equitable licensing, global health education, and transparency. This is the 5th iteration of the report card, but the first time UAEM focused exclusively on public research schools (and exclusively on Canada, for that matter). While there were some promising highlights of what our universities can do when they set themselves to it, overall it is clear that Canadian schools are failing to use their considerable power to address many neglected aspects of global health. ...continue reading →
Daniel Miller is a Physiatrist (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) in Lethbridge, Alberta
Income splitting has come under attack by the current Federal Liberal Government as an unfair tax advantage for certain individuals and several proposals put forward to eliminate certain “tax loop holes” may have a further reaching impact that revenue generation and impact our charter rights. We shouldn’t be discussing tax loop holes, but rather the effects of income splitting being a charter right for all Canadians. While I use the term marriage specifically, I would also include civil union and common-law partners to whom the same legal rights apply.
I recently met with my accountant to review the financial details of my medical practice. He told me and my wife that we would no longer be able to income split due to the proposed changes in Federal taxation legislation. ...continue reading →
This post really needs no introduction. First came #WomenBoycottTwitter when Twitter straightjacketed Rose McGowan and women reacted angrily to what they felt was unfair ‘victim silencing’. But many pointed out the irony and probable ineffectiveness of self-imposed silence to protest enforced silence. Then yesterday my social media feeds were full of the hashtag #MeToo along with story after story after story from women friends, of sexual harassment, abuse and unwanted physical attention. Women I look up to; tough women…the sort about whom you might think, “It would never happen to them.” Lawyers, a chemistry professor, a neuroscientist, respected colleagues in medical research.
Last week, writer Anne Donahue tweeted, “When did you meet YOUR Harvey Weinstein? I’ll go first…,” which has tens of thousands of replies and ‘quote’ retweets and prompted Trevor Noah to tweet"The number of replies to this tweet is insane. As men we have to do better to stop this."
Earlier this year I took my 13 year old son out to lunch to talk about mental health. It just happened that Son #2 and my husband were out for the day and I had a rare opportunity to be alone with Son #1. I didn’t say ‘I’m going to take you out to lunch so that we can talk about mental health.’ I just reckoned that the odds of him listening to me would be higher if a) we were somewhere removed from the all-consuming ‘call of the PS4’, and b) there was a favorite food to both fill his mouth and free his hands from electronic device. So out to eat we went.
I had no idea how to have the conversation I wanted to have. I can tell you that figuring out how to talk him through the gaps left by school sex ed was easy by comparison.
Max Deschner is a medical student at the University of Ottawa
Maaike de Vriesis an epidemiologist & PhD candidate at the University of Toronto
Jonathan Gravel is an epidemiologist & resident physician at the University of Toronto
Pain is one of the most common reasons patients present to emergency departments and primary care clinics, as well as a common complaint among patients treated by subspecialty services. Physicians will agree that treating pain is vital. Yet despite grossly inadequate training in pain management – physicians are expected to offer multimodal pain management (including pharmacological, non-pharmacological and behavioural therapies). All too often, patients with acute or chronic pain also do not have a complete understanding of what options should be available to them and how to access them. Needless to say, an informed and bidirectional discussion between providers and patients about pain management before an opioid prescription is written is an all too rare occurrence. ...continue reading →
In the last two weeks I’ve attended three very different scientific conferences on behalf of the CMAJ Group. In fact you couldn’t get more different than the 33rd International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology and Therapeutic Risk Management (ICPE - all Big Data and massive record linkage aimed at finding out more about the benefits and harms of medicines and devices) and the 5th Canadian Conference on Physician Health (mainly focusing on the major problem of physician burnout and what we should do about it). And yet the same study was mentioned by plenary speakers at both conferences to support the same message: that physicians are overburdened by administrative and data-capture demands. Across four medical specialties, “for every hour physicians provide direct clinical face time to patients, nearly 2 additional hours is spent on EHR and desk work within the clinic day,” ...continue reading →