Canadian Medical Association

“In medicine we’ve been held to really unreasonable expectations of what it means to be a physician. Even the idea of 'health care heroes' during the pandemic, which came from wanting to honour providers, has actually had the reverse consequence – making health care providers feel they need to be superheroes.” – Dr. Jo Shapiro

Harvard’s Dr. Jo Shapiro is internationally recognized for her work in peer support and the peer support program she helped create as founder of the Center for Professionalism and Peer Support at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. The program pioneered the “reach in” approach, where trained peer supporters seek out medical professionals immediately after a serious medical error or other crisis events. 

In this episode, she talks with Dr. Caroline Gérin-Lajoie about her model for peer support, how it has changed since the onset of COVID-19, and the grief and stress she and her colleagues have been grappling with during the pandemic.

View transcript

This episode is available in English only.

Explore more episodes of Sound Mind 

The opinions stated in Sound Mind are made in a personal capacity and do not reflect those of the Canadian Medical Association and its subsidiaries.


Peer support Burnout COVID-19 wellness resources Crisis management Policies, standards and best practices

Are you in distress? Get help now.

Back to top