Reflections

Roger Hudson is a doctoral student studying Neuroscience at Western University.

Vasiliki Tellios is a Ph.D. candidate in Neuroscience at Western University.

 

 

Canadian medicine has experienced great shifts in knowledge and innovation throughout the past century, propelled by unique and resilient individuals that have devoted their lives to bridging gaps between science and medicine. Dr. Douglas Bocking is among these individuals. Bocking obtained his medical training during World War II, and later forged novel collaborations between burgeoning fields of medicine and science. His leadership as Dean of Medicine and Vice-Provost of Health Sciences at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) from 1965-1978 revolutionized clinical research and led to the creation of Canada’s first academic department in family medicine, helping to establish Canada as a leader in medical innovation. ...continue reading

Nigel Rawson is President of Eastlake Research Group

 

Donna Lawrence is Director, HTA and Health Economics, with PDCI Market Access Inc.

 

You’ve been diagnosed with a rare disorder. It’s probably taken several referrals to many different medical specialists, countless tests and some misdiagnoses for you to get here because it frequently takes years to reach a correct diagnosis. Now what? Is there a medicine available to reduce your suffering or extend your life?

The odds are against you because fewer than one tenth of the estimated 7,000 rare disorders have an effective treatment. However, more and more drugs for these disorders are becoming available. You’re lucky – your physician tells you that a safe and effective drug has been approved by Health Canada. But, accessing it will likely mean travelling the Beatles’ long and winding road, surmounting obstacles along the way.

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Ernest Cutz is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto, and a former senior pathologist in the Department of Paediatric Laboratory Medicine and Senior Research Associate at the Hospital for Sick Children's Research Institute.

 

This year’s Nobel prize for Physiology and Medicine, awarded to Drs. William Kaelin, Gregg Semenza and Sir Peter Ratcliffe for discovering details of how the body’s cells sense and react to low oxygen levels, is a remarkable feat for several reasons. The Nobel Committee cited the discoveries as ”one of life’s most essential adaptive processes”. The laureates' research answers profound questions about how the body works, helping to inform potential new therapeutic targets to treat cancer and other diseases. While I rejoiced in this remarkable accomplishment by these exceptional clinician-scientists, I was reminded of a colossal failure of the grant review process for medical research funding in Canada. ...continue reading

Sujin Im is a family medicine resident R1 at University of Toronto.

 

The morning after another 24-hour call shift at labor and delivery, I went for my routine rounding of families who delivered during my shift. Some days, patients all blur together and I am also a blur. Especially when I just feel inadequate and exhausted. But this one morning, the father offered his newborn son to my arms. "Hold him. You helped bring him out to life. You should get to see what you work so hard for." ...continue reading

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Tara Riddell is a PGY4 resident in Psychiatry at McMaster University.

Ana Hategan is an Associate Clinical Professor and Geriatric Psychiatrist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University.

Daniel L. Ambrosini is a Barrister and Solicitor in Ontario and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University.

 

Although all healthcare professionals are at risk of experiencing burnout, physicians have especially high rates. A 2019 report on physician burnout conducted via Medscape found that more than 40% of U.S. physicians reported feeling burned out. The precipitants of burnout are manifold; however, increasing bureaucratic tasks, long work hours and disparaging comments from administrators, employers or colleagues have been cited among top contributors. Once present, burnout can lead to

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Maggie Keresteci is a caregiver to her sibling who lives with a life altering disease and is committed to advocating for solutions that will improve the lives of Canadian patients and their caregivers.

 

 

"Coming together is a beginning;

keeping together is progress;

working together is success."

These words of Henry Ford, that bastion of business innovation, have been taking up space in my mind for the last few weeks, as I have contemplated the emerging world of patient and caregiver partnership in Canada. ...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.

 

 

arachnoid aneurysm

there used to be tall trees here
that stood alone
where these cluttered papers are now
with my pencil touching a thought you had fifteen years ago
you stroking the first stitch that is meant to keep the rest together
both of us dreaming of long hair that you used
to use to comb the night
though morning bleeds in like scratching wounds
and the webs must be cleaned away
by things worse than bugs
...continue reading

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Imaan Javeed is a medical student at the University of Toronto.

Warming up my dinner in the microwave, I habitually open the YouTube app to see what's going on in the world. Before the microwave can finish whirring, though, it suddenly occurs to me: do I even like this stuff?

I’m talking, of course, about politics.

I must, right? For a pill I take religiously every day, multiple times a day, which occupies an embarrassingly large chunk of my attention, you'd think it would be something I at least enjoy. The thing is, though, for me, it doesn't feel like a choice. It's not voluntary, nor is it just a hobby or a game. It's an obligation.

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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.

 

 

a voice
from mine,
to yours 

a nose
poor plumbing
when frozen

freckles
little her
left holding
onto summer  ...continue reading

Due to the sensitivity of the post, the author wished to publish the following piece anonymously. 

Dear potential Referee,

My name is Jane Doe, medical student and residency applicant. So nice to meet you. You are the 30th new staff that I have worked with in the past 15 months and among the over 100 physicians and residents who I’ve met and had to prove myself to across many disciplines and hospitals in our fair country.

So excited to be working with you, to learn from you and to incorporate some of the approaches and expertise that you have into my slowly forming future practice. Look at all that I know how to do! Please appreciate all the additional readings I have done. Did you notice that I’m wearing a perfectly professional outfit with properly groomed hair? I’m actually living out of a suitcase and couch surfing in a city I have never been to that I paid hundreds of dollars to come to just so that I could have the opportunity to spend the day with you today. ...continue reading