Our #GOATs are doing great things to promote physician wellness

Through the years, we in the Physician and Family Support Program have been impressed by physicians who are supporting the wellness of their colleagues and the various ways they are creating a more open, supportive and compassionate culture for Alberta physicians. So in this and future issues of Alberta Doctors’ Digest, we will acknowledge the work of some of these students, residents and physicians. We’ll give you a glimpse of who is doing what “on the ground” to promote physician wellness. In our eyes, each of these individuals is a #GOAT (Greatest Of All Time).

Dr. Jane Lemaire
Dr. Jane Lemaire: I spend time with my wonderful family and friends, and enjoy heaps of physical activity and the great outdoors.
Dr. Jane Lemaire
Roles, titles, accreditations:
  1. Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Calgary
  2. Vice Chair, Physician Wellness and Vitality, Department of Medicine, University of Calgary
  3. Academic physician and consultant in General Internal Medicine
  4. MD, FRCPC
What three words describe the current state of physician wellness?

Evidence-based, hopeful, accelerating

What three words describe your goals of physician wellness?

Unison, sustainability, excellence

What are you currently working on?

Our wellness team is focused on the professional culture and systems level issues that impact patient care and physician wellness. There are many things within the profession that are unpredictable, but there are some context and culture driven factors that we can influence in order to improve both patient care and physician wellness.

As a physician yourself, what is something you do intentionally to take care of your mental health?

I spend time with my wonderful family and friends, and enjoy heaps of physical activity and the great outdoors.

What is your cue that an area of your own wellness needs your attention?

When I start to feel out of control, I take a day to stop and regroup, to think about what is happening and why. This helps me get back on track, to put boundaries around work, and to prioritize.

What area of your wellness do you find the most challenging to look after?

I love my work so much that sometimes I have to recognize that I need breaks from my work too.

How is that different from earlier in your career?

I think I have always been this way. I have more experience now and can better recognize when things go off track.

What can your colleagues expect from you as Vice Chair, Physician Wellness & Vitality, Department of Medicine, U of C

Our team has spent years conducting research on physician wellness at the local level and trying to translate that knowledge into education, programming, and effective change.

If you had the magic wand for physician wellness, what would you do?

Find the perfect balance between the fact that being a physician is very challenging and yet rewarding work. Therefore, we must care for ourselves, but we can't expect that the work will not be tough.

What one thing do you want your colleagues to know?

You are not alone in your thoughts. We are all human beings, prone to imperfection. Do the best you can, whatever that best is on any given day and be kind to yourself.

With respect to physician wellness, what gets your #GOAT? and why?

Many folks are involved in wellness in Alberta, but we don't know each other. We need to connect! Watch for our newest initiative creating an Alberta-wide Physician Wellness Network. COMING SOON!!!!

And now just for fun, please choose one in each of the following pairs:

Dog or cat: Cat

Introvert or extrovert: Extrovert

Rural or urban: Rural

Yoga or zumba: Yoga

Journal or meditate: Meditate

Smoothie or protein bar: Smoothie

Energy drink or coffee: Coffee

Summer or winter: Winter

Got #GOAT?

We know many students, residents and physicians are doing good things for their colleagues’ wellness. Let us know who gets your physician wellness #GOAT, by emailing pfspadmin@albertadoctors.org