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The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre Customer Experience

Dr. Michèle Tremblay M.D., F.R.C.P.(C)

“After completing this PMI physician leadership course, I felt I had gained something not only for my patients, but also for my colleagues and myself personally and professionally. It brought out the best in each individual who attended.”

Dr. Michèle Tremblay M.D., F.R.C.P.(C)
Clinical Director, Geriatric Psychiatry Program
The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre

About The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre

The Royal is one of Canada’s foremost mental health care and academic health science centres. Its mandate is simple: to get more people living with mental illness into recovery faster. The Royal combines the delivery of specialized mental health care, advocacy, research and education to transform the lives of people with complex and treatment-resistant mental illnesses. The Royal places a sharp focus on awareness building through the “You Know Who I Am” campaign and the Conversations at The Royal and Is It Just Me? educational initiatives.

Good leadership skills enable us to provide better treatment to patients

Dr. Michèle Tremblay and her colleagues at The Royal face a number of unique challenges. Not least among these is that they travel to patients in hospitals and long-term care facilities around the province from Cornwall to Lanark County, rather than the patients coming to them.

“In the course of our daily work, we deal with many different family physicians, community health centres, medical staff in a variety of hospitals and care facilities,” says Dr. Tremblay, Clinical Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Program at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. “To do that effectively and provide equal services for all patients, we need to have good leadership skills. And, for many of us, those leadership skills are not innate.”

To build the leadership expertise of her team, Dr. Tremblay organized a two-day in-house PMI physician leadership course titled Self-awareness and Effective Leadership. The course, which was held in Ottawa, included 23 of Dr. Tremblay’s colleagues.

“I was looking for a cost-effective way to maximize the team’s valuable time,” continues Dr. Tremblay. Bringing the course to us — using the “in-house” model — made much more sense fiscally and from a team-building perspective. It was a really good way for us to improve ourselves.”

The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre

Enhancing healthcare by raising the bar on leadership

By hosting an accredited in-house PMI physician leadership course at The Royal, Dr. Tremblay was able to build organizational leadership capacity, improve the effectiveness of her team, address common issues and gain new insights.

“Everyone has a different way of approaching and making decisions,” says Tremblay. “And, every healthy team is comprised of different types of decisions makers. This course helped us to recognize — and respect — those traits in our colleagues, and, as a result, be able to collaborate much more effectively.”

Dr. Tremblay believes that when team members understand and respect one another’s ways of making decisions, it brings out the best in each individual team member and leads to better patient care.

“Having the course here enabled the team to open up in ways they probably wouldn’t have done if there had been physicians from other hospitals and other disciplines present,” finishes Tremblay. “As a team, we finished the course understanding one another much better, and also learned things that we’ve taken into our personal lives. I certainly hope to be able to do more of these courses in the future.”

About the CMA’s PMI physician leadership courses

The CMA has been delivering PMI courses developed specifically for physicians for more 30 years. PMI courses are accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada. The industry-leading; highly interactive courses are available face-to-face (in locations across Canada or at your organization) or online. The courses also count toward the Canadian Certified Physician Executive (CCPE) designation.