Our #GOATs are doing great things to promote physician wellness

PFSP Perspectives

October 6, 2017

Sue Reid, MBBS, FRCPC, Director, Office of Staff Wellbeing, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta and Resident Wellness Rounds Coordinator

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).

Our first Physician Wellness #GOAT to be profiled is Sue Reid, MBBS, FRCPC, Director, Office of Staff Wellbeing, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta and Resident Wellness Rounds Coordinator. To get her perspective on physician wellness, we caught up with her fresh off vacation and preparing to host her podcast series Real People in Anesthesia.

Dr. Sue Reid gets our physician wellness #GOAT

What three words describe the current state of physician wellness?

Burnout. Depression. Imbalance.

What three words (or statements) describe your goals for physician wellness?

Leadership. Institutional and cultural change.

Sharing of challenges and solutions.

What are you currently working on?

In addition to creating my very own podcast, I’m working on next month's Wellness Newsletter, a talk for our residents and a wellness presentation for the Alberta Anesthesia Summit conference. Plus, I’m eagerly anticipating the Canadian and US physician wellness conferences in the fall.

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

I meditate. I start. I stop. I start again. (I wholeheartedly recommend the Headspace app.)

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

Losing self-confidence. Feeling overwhelmed. Emotional eating.

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

Physical health and exercise.

How are the challenges of your wellness different now than earlier in your career?

Earlier in my career I didn't have the tools to support my mental health. I became burned out and depressed, but fortunately PFSP was there to help.

What can your colleagues expect from you as the chair of the wellness of anesthesiology?

Passion, enthusiasm, commitment and humor!

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

I would disable our perfectionism, activate our self-compassion and make self-care the norm.

What one thing do you want your colleagues to know?

We are all human; we are in this together. Put your own oxygen mask on first and don't be afraid to ask for help. Also don't believe everything you think!

With respect to physician wellness, who (or what) gets your #GOAT?

My #GOAT goes to Dr. Gigi Osler, President-Elect, Canadian Medical Association, who is committed to making the CMA a leader in physician health. She also tweets cute pictures of her adorable dog!

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

Dog or cat?        Dog

Introvert or extrovert?        Extrovert

Rural or urban?        Both! Love all the culture of the city but love to escape to wilderness.

Yoga or Zumba?        Yoga

Journal or meditate?        Meditate

Smoothie or protein bar?        Protein bar

Energy drink or coffee?        Don't be daft! Good strong English tea, of course ... but never Earl Grey!

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.

Editor’s Note: Throughout her campaign, Dr. Osler promised to address physician health, ensure work-life balance and promote leadership development for all physicians. Excellence in medicine runs throughout her family, as Dr. Osler is the great-great-great niece-in-law of Sir William Osler, one of Canada's most famous physicians and former CMA president.

The Alberta Medical Association stands as an advocate for its physician members, providing leadership & support for their role in the provision of quality health care.