Canadian Medical Association

Home Physician Wellness Hub Wellness Connection Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to participate?

Any medical student, resident, fellow, practising and/or retired physician in Canada is eligible to participate in Wellness Connection sessions. You do not have to be a CMA member.

What are the rules of engagement for Wellness Connection sessions?

Creating a safe space to share stories and experiences is of the utmost importance to us. We encourage the following rules of engagement in our sessions:

  • Honest and open dialogue: This program is intended to enable helpful and supportive discussion between participants. Please be yourself and be sincere.
  • A supportive and collaborative spirit: It’s the responsibility of every participant to create a safe space to share stories and support one another.
  • Respectful discourse: While we’re all here for the same overall purpose, we come from different perspectives. Our objectives and approaches might be different. Be open to diverse perspectives and remain respectful when they differ from your own.

Do I have to sign up for a session in advance?

Yes. We ask that all participants register in advance for the sessions they would like to attend. This ensures that the group sizes are manageable and that we have the appropriate staff in place to support the session.

How do I register for and join a session?

Registering for a session

  1. Click the session you are interested in.
  2. Click “Register” – You will be asked for your name and email address then a scheduler and link to join will be sent to your calendar.
  3. Once you have registered for a session, a zoom link will be sent to you via email. Sessions will be hosted on the Zoom platform.

Joining a session

  • Click the Zoom link in your calendar to join the session.
  • Please respect the time boundary; sessions will start and end on time.
  • If you feel comfortable, turn on your audio and video (bottom left).
  • Mute yourself when you are not speaking.
  • You may also change your name on Zoom (we suggest using your first name to increase connection with members in the session), although this is not mandatory.

Who will be providing the support services? What qualifications or credentials do the facilitators have?

Trained facilitators with specific expertise in providing peer support facilitate our sessions. They all meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • licensed and in good standing with a Canadian regulatory body as a registered counselling therapist where a College or regulatory body exists for the province or territory;
  • licensed and in good standing with a Canadian regulatory body as a psychotherapist; and/or
  • licensed and in good standing with a Canadian regulatory body as a psychologist.

Is there a fee to participate?

No. There is no cost to participate in the sessions. The service is offered by the CMA to physicians, medical learners and retired physicians in Canada (including both CMA members and non-members).

What are the group sizes?

The size of the group will vary depending on the session’s registration. The maximum group size is 30.

Is there a limit on the number of times I can participate in a session?

No, there is no limit. You may participate in as many virtual group support sessions as you’d like.

However, should you require individual, clinical or longer term care, there are additional resources and programs available to you through the Wellness Support Line, provincial and territorial physician health programs and/or your provincial or territorial medical association.

Can I use the service anonymously?

Participants cannot access Wellness Connection sessions anonymously. However, the CMA and the peer support session facilitators are committed to honoring participants’ privacy and confidentiality.

How is confidentiality respected and maintained? Is my personal information being shared in any way?

Owing to the nature of the group sessions, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. However, we are committed to honouring privacy and confidentiality regarding all issues that come up in the group, and ask all participants to do the same so that the group remains a safe place for participants to speak freely. There is no record keeping of attendance or of what was discussed at the meeting, and all polls are anonymous. Identifying information will not be shared with the CMA, the provincial or territorial medical associations or the physician health programs.

After participating in a group support session, you will be asked to complete an evaluation survey. Although your feedback is important to the program, participation is voluntary and responses will only be reported in aggregated format to respect anonymity.

I’m having IT issues. Who do I call?

If you have any technical issues joining the platform or attending a session, please contact the CMA Member Service Centre at 888-855-2555 (toll-free) weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EST) or at memberservicecentre@cma.ca.

If I have a non-IT related issue, to whom should I bring my concerns?

For any issues, concerns or questions about the virtual peer support sessions and/or your experience, please contact physicianhealth@cma.ca.

I need support now. Who can I call?

We encourage you to reach out to the Wellness Support Line and/or your provincial/territorial physician health program if you need personal assistance or are in distress. The Wellness Support Line offers 24/7 counselling and access to mental health supports to physicians, medical learners and their immediate families in both official languages.

Are you in distress? Get help now.

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