Alberta physician signs up as premier contributor to online network for Canadian physicians

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“Because of the intense front-line work they do, physicians are a particularly vulnerable population when it comes to anxiety and depression.”

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A new online support network for Canadian physicians has recruited a physician from Edmonton to be one of the first speakers to help launch the program.

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Dr. Stephanie Smith, infectious disease specialist and attending physician at the University of Alberta Hospital, is an early contributor to ResilienceRx-By The Rounds. The Rounds is an online network that was launched in 2012 for doctors to connect with each other, making connections across the country and exchanging ideas and interesting cases about each other.

ResilienceRX is a new initiative from The Rounds that focuses more on physician well-being and mental health, an area of ​​concern that has been highlighted during the ongoing pandemic.

Smith was interviewed early on for ResilienceRx, after its launch on April 27, discussing how these connections can help doctors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“I think it just gives a little bigger voice across the country,” Smith said. “Let’s say you are having difficulty with a situation in your own work, so at least you could go out and see if this is something other people are struggling with and what solutions they have found.”

“There has been a lot of talk about burnout and burnout in healthcare workers and I think that’s true and I think we really need to see how do we prevent that, as opposed to just process it after it has happened. “said Smith.

Stephanie Smith, Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, at the Mazankowski Heart Institute in Edmonton, Tuesday, January 26, 2021.
Stephanie Smith, Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, at the Mazankowski Heart Institute in Edmonton, Tuesday, January 26, 2021. Photo by Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

A 2018 survey of physicians by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) found that 26 percent of responding physicians reported feeling exhausted, while 19 percent had had suicidal thoughts at least once in their lifetime. life. Since the onset of the pandemic, many physician advocacy groups have expressed concern over increasing burnout in the medical profession.

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Tim Rice, president and CEO of The Rounds, said in a press release that the pandemic has shown how important it is for doctors to support each other.

“Because of the intense front-line work they do, physicians are a particularly vulnerable population when it comes to anxiety and depression,” Rice said. “ResilienceRx provides a dedicated space for physicians to connect and share stories with their peers, without the pressure or apprehension that they will be judged. “

Smith said the need for doctors to have a support network will help continue beyond the current pandemic. She said ResilienceRX can’t fix the whole problem on its own, but it’s a good tool that will help you.

“We certainly face difficult situations and I think it’s so important to have that support in the healthcare facility and beyond.”

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