For Canadian resident doctors, July 1st is more than a national holiday; it represents the day when newly-minted doctors become responsible for decisions in patient care. While this is an exciting day, it can also be fraught with anxiety and stress. Over the course of residency, acute work-related stressors, including traumas and patient deaths, can negatively impact residents’ wellbeing. Additionally, residents endure chronic stressors such as large debts, extended work hours, and isolation from family. These factors predispose residents to burnout. The prevalence of burnout among resident doctors is up to a staggering 75%. Resiliency interventions have been shown to work, and the time to begin implementing them nationwide is now. ...continue reading →
Much as I love the Harry Potter books and love reading them to my kids, they’re a little too fictional for my taste, and I’m not talking about the magic. Thing is… kids who grow up with the chronic stress of abuse and near-starvation in their formative years seldom – actually pretty much never - go on to be high-functioning, top-of-their-class children with great self-restraint and a well-functioning moral compass. If you heap adversity on a child you’re more likely to get a Neville Longbottom / Tom Riddle mix, not our beloved Harry. So there’s something about me that feels awkward about feeding the Harry Potter fiction to my kids.
The theme for the final morning of the conference was Resilience, and featured presentations on various aspects of that topic by Dr. Rod McCormick (Thompson Rivers University), Dr. Christine Wekerle (McMaster) and Dr. John Walker (Manitoba). A clear theme in all three talks was the importance of connection in its numerous forms, including family, community, culture, and history, among others.
Dr. Allison Dart (Manitoba) presented data from the Manitoba-based iCARE study of kidney disease among youth with Type 2 Diabetes. This cohort study is unique because of its aim to understand the influence of psychological health on physical and physiologic outcomes in youth. Some key early findings include the paramount importance of stress and distress in the lives of kids with type 2 diabetes. Preliminary results suggest significant relationships between stress and physiological measures of HPA axis activity, and inflammatory processes (another novel feature of the study). The results also connected to the resilience theme ...continue reading →