When we caught up with Dr. Melanie Lewis, she was working in her role as Associate Dean of Learner Advocacy & Wellness in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry (FoMD) at the University of Alberta. This office is charged with supporting the undergraduate, postgraduate (residents/fellows) and graduate students in the FoMD.
1. Associate Dean, Learner Advocacy & Wellness
2. Professor of Pediatrics
3. Medical Director, Edmonton Down Syndrome Clinic
4. General Pediatrician, Stollery Children's Hospital
5. Co-Chair, AFMC Student Affairs Committee
1. Medical learners and practicing physicians battling to acquire optimal work-life integration.
2. Medical learners and practicing physicians struggling against medical culture and systems that do not support wellness and resilience.
3. Stigma still persists around mental health and continues to be a significant barrier for learners and physicians from reaching out for help.
1. Improve the health of learners and physicians across the professional continuum.
2. Optimize our culture and systems to promote a healthy work environment.
3. Remove barriers that prevent learners and physicians from seeking help and support.
Re-conceptualizing learner health into three categories: personal health, curricular health (composition and flexibility of our jam-packed medical curriculum), and institutional health (mistreatment, collegiality, medical culture and systems).
Look after my personal health (sleep, exercise, diet), ensure time with my family, work in an environment that is nourishing and not eroding to my resilience.
When my optimism is low and my irritability with simply day-to-day issues is high.
Ensuring work doesn't creep into my family and personal time. We can't always put our patients first.
As I have progressed in my career, my roles have become more complex: Associate Dean, pediatrician, mom, wife; it all becomes more complicated to balance and still feel you are doing a reasonable job in all roles. My expectations have changed, I recognize that some days I'm just "good enough" and that’s OK.
Associate Dean: To be available, to be optimistic, to be innovative, to appreciate my colleagues and the strengths they bring to the office and to our learners.
How much I have learned from both my learners and my colleagues and how grateful I am to be a part of this profession.
sweet or salty: salty
rural or urban: rural
coffee or energy drink: coffee
introvert or extrovert: extrovert
yoga or Zumba: Zumba
drums or piano: piano
summer or winter: summer
journal or meditate: journal