The Faculty Wellness Program (FWP) organizes seminars in an effort to educate our Faculty. The seminars touch on a series of wellness-related topics and include a Q&A session.
For additional information please contact the FWP at [email protected].

Webinar Recordings

Cultivating Compassion and System Thinking to Transform Medicine

Dr. Agnes Wong  provided a talk about Cultivating Compassion and System Thinking to Transform Medicine. 

Based on the scientific principles of neuroplasticity, epigenetics, and inborn goodness, Dr. Wong will present the scientific evidence supporting compassion as both innate and trainable. 

She discusses the difference between empathy and compassion, and explains why compassion fatigue is a misnomer. Contrary to common beliefs, compassion is an inexhaustible source of energy and resilience that acts as an antidote to burnout, which is a multi-faceted phenomenon. 

She introduces system thinking to guide us to look deeply into the systemic and structural factors contributing to physician distress. By cultivating compassion and system thinking, we can transform both ourselves and the system so that we can all flourish in medicine and build a kinder, gentler society.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. To discuss the scientific evidence affirming that compassion is both innate and a trainable skill.
  2. Develop system thinking skills so we can look deeply into the systemic and structural factors contributing to physician distress.
  3. Using these trainable skills to build inner resources and improve the healthcare system so we can flourish in medicine.

Click here to view the recording!

Empowering your time: How to do more of what matters with less stress

Dr. Christina Shenvi provided a talk about empowering your time: How to do more of what matters with less stress. 

Too often we are busy without being productive. Our days are full without being fulfilled. We have too much on our plates and not enough time for the things that matter most. 

Managing your time is not just something you do, it's how you do everything in your life. When we think about time management, often things like task apps, calendars, and scheduling programs come to mind. However, good time management requires a much deeper understanding of our own minds. The reasons you procrastinate or avoid certain tasks go much deeper than just needing another app on your phone. 

In this session, Dr. Shenvi use concepts that range from Stoic philosophy to modern educational psychology literature to explain why we avoid certain tasks and will give practical strategies to help you manage your time better with less stress.

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  1. Decide intentionally what is most important for you.
  2. Planning your work with deep and shallow frameworks.
  3. Understanding how your emotions influence your work.
  4. The importance of reflection for continuous improvement.

Click here to view the recording!

Narrative Medicine: Re-humanizing the practice of medicine

Dr. Regine Krechowicz provided a talk about Narrative Medicine as a discipline that integrates aspects of literary studies with the practice of medicine. The concept was developed by Internist Dr. Rita Charon at Columbia University as a response to a medical system of training and patient care that de-personalizes both patient and healthcare workers.  

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe Narrative Medicine and understand how integrating it into your practice can build resilience 
  2. Recognize the types of illness narratives told by patients and learn practical tips to better handle the most challenging narratives
  3. Learn how creative writing can help process difficult cases
  4. Get experience "doing" Narrative Medicine 

Click here to view the recording!

Medicine: Renovating Toxic Culture - Cultivating a Health Promoting Learning & Work Environment

Dr. Melanie Lewis, Chief Wellness Officer and Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Alberta provided a talk in which participants explored Occupational Hazards in Medicine: Addressing the Wellbeing Crisis.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the fertilizer and the pests in health-promoting learning and work environments.

  2. Illuminate the barriers to meaningful change in academic and clinical environments.

  3. Discuss the systemic and structural drivers of unhealthy learning and work environments.
  4. Review tangible interventions to support positive health outcomes and enhanced professional fulfillment for learners and clinicians.

Click here to view the recording!

Moral Injury and Moral Residue in Health Professionals Post-Pandemic: Shifting the Focus From Wellness and Burnout Towards Dealing with Moral Distress

Dr. Ed Spilg, provided a talk in which participants explored the latest evidence on moral distress and the impacts of health professionals during COVID-19 and what interventions can address these.

Click here to view the recording!

Finding Joy at Work. From Languishing to Burnout to Flourishing and Everything in Between

Mankind's search for happiness is as old as recorded human history. From Aristotle to Freud all philosophers have an opinion regarding it. Blaise Pascal once said that even people who are trying to commit suicide are trying to be happier. Joy is similarly elusive and fleeting when experienced. Even before the pandemic, the WHO declared that depression was the leading cause of disability as of 2012 and an epidemic of the developed world. This was despite the fact that external stresses were diminishing; extreme poverty was on the decline, life expectancy was on the rise and other indicators of health were improving. Why, when external stressors were decreasing, were people experiencing increased internal stress? As we come out of this pandemic, the world has experienced a global threat unseen for over a century. What will the effects on our mental health be? What is the connection to work place mental health, productivity and job satisfaction? What is the connection between workplace engagement and joy at work? Is there such a thing as work life balance or does the concept of harmonics make more sense? What is the connection between mental health and mental wellness? Are they just two extremes of the same continuum or are they different things? Join Dr Lau as he will discuss possible answers to these and many other questions.

Click here to view the recording!