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Calgary to host major November meeting on the health of physicians

Health issues facing physicians will take centre stage in Calgary Nov. 15-16, 2013, when the Canadian Physician Health Institute (CPHI) and the Alberta Medical Association co-host the Canadian Conference on Physician Health.

Registration for the meeting - the theme is Harnessing wisdom across generations to promote physician health - opened June 18.

The CPHI, a national program that focuses on promoting physician mental health and wellness, is governed by the CMA, the Canadian Medical Foundation and the provincial and territorial medical associations. The institute focuses on issues such as physician stress and burnout, topics that will be front and centre in Calgary.

The November meeting will focus on several major themes, including:

  • identifying how technologies are both a benefit and a challenge to physician health;
  • acquiring knowledge and skills to assist physician, resident and student colleagues;
  • developing a personal plan for improved health and well-being.

Speakers include Dr. Michael Myers, who will discuss "Remembering our past: A beacon for today and tomorrow." Drs. James Sproule and Todd Watkins of the Canadian Medical Protective Association, as well as Dr. Paul Farnan, will address disruptive behaviour throughout the physician lifecycle. In another plenary session, Dr. David Topps will moderate a debate on whether digital connectivity is a positive determinant of physician health.

CMA President Anna Reid says the meeting is important because it publicizes issues and resources many physicians are unaware of and seldom discuss. "This is a chance to step back and take a look at some very serious issues affecting our profession," she said.

The CPHI says a 2008 survey revealed that one-third of Canadian physicians feel depressed and almost two-thirds "feel that their workload prevents pursuit of personal interests or family time." Registration details are available online.

Forward any comments about this article to: cmanews@cma.ca.