Key Supports Outside McMaster
Professional organizations and associations offer a range of services and resources to assist postgraduate medical trainees.
Professional Association of Residents of Ontario (PARO) is the official representative voice for Ontario’s doctors in training, with the mandate of advocating on behalf of its members and optimizing the training and working experience of trainees.
24/7 confidential helpline:
- 1-866-HELP-DOC (1-866-435-7362) for emergency or urgent matters, as well as for referral to resources on a variety of issues
OMA Physician Health Program (OMA-PHP) provides confidential advice, preliminary assessment, intervention coordination, and referral for counselling and clinical services to trainees and their family members.
They will assist with issues such as stress, burnout, marital and family issues, substance abuse or dependency, conduct or behavioural problems, sexual boundary issues, gambling, and mental health.
- Monday to Friday 8:45 am-5:00 pm
Wellness in Medicine
There are many wellness resources that deal specifically with the wellness concerns of those practicing medicine. They provide insight and practical direction on how to achieve and maintain wellness.
AAFP Articles about Physician Life Balance – Variety of articles with tips and suggestions regarding work/life balance
Ten Strategies for Staying Human During Residency Training – Practical strategies from Dr. Allan Peterkin, author of “Staying Human During Residency Training
How to Find Joy in Practicing Medicine – Blog post by an internal medicine resident
Overcoming Compassion Fatigue – Informative article from Family Practice Management journal
Building Physician Resilience – Qualitative research study conducted in Hamilton, ON
If Every Fifth Physician is Affected by Burnout, What About the Other Four? Resilience Strategies of Experienced Physicians. – Qualitative research project from Germany
The following resources provide suggestions to mitigate fatigue
- Extended Hours Duty
- Post Call
- Check out the MacPFD Spark Podcast – Fatigue Risk Management with Dr. Andrew Latchman
- Grand Rounds Presentation by Dr. Andrew Latchman – February 2021: Sleep is my Superpower
Taxi Program – Postgraduate medical trainees are at greater risk of fatigue-related road traffic accidents due to working extended shifts (up to or exceeding 24 hours), including on-call shifts which are often overnight, and given their long working hours in general. Inspired by the principles outlined in the Fatigue Risk Management toolkit (Principle 3) and discussion in our Fatigue Risk Management Committee, starting January 2022 the FRM committee and PGME are implementing a preventive strategy to reduce the risk of accidents and improve medical trainee safety and well-being. This program is a 6-month pilot.
- Learners are entitled to request two (2) taxi reimbursements (including the return journey back to their car) over a 6 month pilot, to a maximum of $50 per trip (either 1 way or return depending on distance). Residents are encouraged to reach out to resident affairs to discuss proactive strategies to allow for consistent safe travel home after a call shift.
- Eligible Shifts: Your taxi ride home is eligible for reimbursement if you have worked an extended shift (greater than 12 hours), or an overnight shift, and you determine you are too fatigued to safely drive home.
- Please submit your receipt to email@example.com for MOH funded trainees and to firstname.lastname@example.org for non MOH funded trainees for reimbursement.
- Origin: Your origin point must be a McMaster PGME training site.
- Destination: Your destination must be your residence.
- Receipt: The photo must capture the original receipt along with clearly legible date, time, company name, and cost. You can write the tip on the receipt if you have paid in cash.
- Retrieval of personal vehicle: Your taxi ride back to the hospital to retrieve your car is also eligible for reimbursement if total cost is less than $50.
- Deadline: There is a 30-day deadline for all reimbursements, after which the reimbursement is forfeited.
CanMEDS Physician Health Guide – A practical handbook for physician health and well-being released by the Royal College
e-Physician Health – Online physician health & wellness resource hub, with learning modules on a variety of relevant topics
CMA Physician Health Information – Information, resources, and videos related to physician health from the Canadian Medical Association
CMPA Physician Wellness Articles – Articles on a variety of physician wellness and medico-legal topics from the Canadian Medical Protective Association
The Basics: Strategies for Coping with Stress and Building Personal Resilience for Physicians – Guide prepared by the OMA Physician Health Program
RDoC Resiliency Project – Resident Doctors of Canada are developing a national resiliency curriculum
Resident Wellness and Work/Life Balance in Postgraduate Medical Education – Environmental scan of resident wellness by AFMC in 2011
CMA Physician Health Matters – A mental health strategy for physicians in Canada, prepared in 2010
Professional Quality of Life Scale – (ProQOL-5) Assess your compassion satisfaction and burnout with this self-assessment
Understanding and Coping with Compassion Fatigue – A guide to understanding what compassion fatigue is and how to cope
Podcasts on Physician Health
Healthy Practices podcast series, hosted by Dr. Mamta Gautam.
Doctors Make Mistakes, Can We Talk About That?
A TED Talk by Dr. Brian Goldman, an emergency physician in Toronto and host of CBC radio’s ‘White Coat, Black Art’.
By being aware of the various domains of wellness, trainees can empower themselves to achieve a balance in their professional and personal lives.
Stress & Work-Life Balance
- The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Stress – Talk by Dr. Mike Evans
- How to Make Work-Life Balance Work – TED Talk by Nigel Marsh
- Work-Life Balance Quiz – Canadian Mental Health Association
- Life Balance Assessment Worksheet – Standford WellMD Center
- Oldenburg Burnout Inventory
- Maslach Burnout Inventory
Mental Health & Mental Illness
- Canadian Mental Health Association
- Mental Health Online
- Mental Health Matters: Module from Here to Help
- E-couch: Interactive self-help program
- Mood Gym: Interactive self-help program
- Computer Assisted Learning for the Mind (CALM): Information from the University of Auckland about mental health, managing mental illness, and more.
- Healthy Thinking: Module from Here to Help
- Anger: Module from Here to Help
- Open to Hope: Online forum to support those who have experienced loss.
- MyGrief.ca: Information and support about coping with grief.
- Complicated vs. Uncomplicated Grief: information from the Centre for Clinical Interventions.
Substance Use & Addictions
- Substance Abuse Among Physicians: Article from CMAJ
- Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction
- Smoking Cessation Program: Hamilton Public Health
Fitness & Exercise
McMaster & Hamilton Community
- McMaster Athletics & Recreation
- Hamilton Parks & Recreation
- Goodlife Fitness (PARO & CMA members receive special offer)
- 7-Minute Workout
- Top 25 At-Home Exercises: Guide from the American Council on Exercise
- Do Yoga With Me: free online yoga classes
- Guided Mindful Yoga: guided audio
- What is the single best thing we can do for our health? Video by Dr. Mike Evans
- Eat Right Ontario: information, find a dietician, and more
- Dieticians of Canada: information, self-assessments, find a dietician, and more
- Eating and Living Well: Module from Here to Help
- Cookspiration: website and app for cooking ideas from the Dieticians of Canada
- Principles of Mindful Eating: from the Center for Mindful Eating website
- National Eating Disorder Information Centre
- Body Brave: Hamilton not-for-profit providing support and guidance to anyone struggling with body image issues, disordered eating, and eating disorders
Eating Out in Hamilton
- Hamilton Health Sciences Food Service Locations
- 21 Amazing Restaurants You Need to Eat At in Hamilton
Sleep & Fatigue
- Getting a Good Night’s Sleep: Module from Here to Help
- Canadian Sleep Society: information and resources
- Sleep Education: information from the American Academic of Sleep Medicine
Improving Your Sleep
- Epworth Sleepiness Scale: Self-assessment
- Sleepio: Online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for sleep program
- Guided Bedtime Meditation
- Sleep Resources from MIT Medical: tips, guided meditations, etc.
Managing Fatigue for Physicians
- Fatigue Risk Management: Information from Resident Doctors of Canada
- Managing Resident Fatigue: Video from University of Arkansas
- Social Wellness Self-Assessment
- Social Support: Module from Here to Help
- Bob & Helen Brown Resident Social Networking Grant Application
- Understanding the Medical Marriage: qualitative research study
- Medical Marriages and Other Intimate Relationships: article
Family & Children
- Having a Family During Residency: information and resources from RDoC
- Raising Children During Medical Residency: article from Mom MD website
- City of Hamilton Childcare Registry: find and register for childcare
Community Events & Activities
- Museum of Art
- Planetarium: public shows every Wednesday evening
- Nuclear Reactor: tours available Monday-Friday
- Calendar of Events: McMaster Student’s Union
- Clubs: McMaster Student’s Union
Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity
Gender & Sexuality
- SVPRO’s topics page on Sex, Gender, and Sexual Orientation (McMaster Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office)
- McMaster Queer Students Community Centre (QSCC)
- Brock Pride LGBTQIA2+ Club (Niagara Campus)
- Glow Centre for Sexual & Gender Diversity (Waterloo Campus)
- GLBT Medical Students of Canada: organization for medical students and physicians
- Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality (formerly GLMA)
- Federation of Medical Women of Canada (FMWC)
- McMaster Indigenous Students Health Sciences Office (ISHS)
- Brock Aboriginal Students Services (Niagara Campus)
- Myeengun Henry, Manager of Aboriginal Services (Waterloo Campus): contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada (IPAC)
- National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO)
- McMaster International Student Services (ISS)
- Canadian Association of Physicians with Disabilities (CAPD)
- Society of Rural Physicians of Canada (SRPC)
- In my white coat, I am more black than ever: Article by Chika Stacy Oriuwa, Black medical student at U of T
Spirituality and Religion
McMaster & Hamilton Community
- McMaster Multifaith: spiritual and faith based resources at McMaster & in Hamilton
- McMaster Chaplaincy Centre: support with relational, faith, and spiritual issues, open to individuals of all faiths and backgrounds
- Places of Worship at McMaster & Surrounding Community
- Calm.com: website with relaxation and meditation tips
- Staying Mentally Healthy with Technology: Module from Here to Help
McMaster & Hamilton Community
- FHS Program for Faculty Development: mindfulness events and resources for health professionals
- Mindfulness Hamilton: group offering free mindfulness events and workshops, and paid courses.
Mindfulness Theory & Information
- What is Mindfulness? Module from Here to Help
- Mindfulness in Medicine – U of Wisconsin: lessons for integrating mindfulness into medical practice, research students, and more.
- Self-Compassion: Dr. Kristin Neff’s website about the research and practice of mindful self-compassion, including a self-assessment and exercises.
- Mindful: articles, resources, and information about integrating mindfulness into your life
- Mindfulness without Meditation: article about alternative ways to practice mindfulness in the context of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Free Online MBSR Course: online Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course
- UCSD Center for Mindfulness: large list of free MBSR guided audio meditations, from 5 minutes to 45 minutes, including mindful yoga
- UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center: variety of guided audio meditations from 3 minutes to 20 minutes
- Harvard University Center for Wellness: Koru mindfulness guided meditations
- OMA Physician Health Program – Mindfulness in Medicine: information about mindfulness in the context of medicine and list of guided audio meditations
- Headspace: app that helps you learn mindfulness through progressive steps. The first set of guided meditations is free, then there is a monthly fee.
Information and Resources
- MD Financial Management: financial resources and tools, and access to advisors offering financial advice and planning services to CMA members and their families.
- Wealth and Wellness: articles about finance from Emergency Physicians Monthly
- Credit Counselling Society: information, resources, and tools about finance, debt management, and more.
Finance & Budgeting Tools
- Finance Calculators: debt payment, interest, expense, and saving calculators from the Credit Counselling Society
- Budget Calculator: free interactive excel spreadsheet for budget tracking from the Credit Counselling Society
- Mint: free online budgeting tool, finance tracker, and more
Archived Financial Wellness Talks
CMPA: Resources and articles related to medical-legal issues
Fundamentals of Civility: OMA Physician Health Program series
Behaviours of Highly Professional Resident Physicians: Comparative research study
Workplace Strategies for Mental Health: Information about psychological health & safety in the workplace and managing workplace issues
Resources for Physicians
- CanMEDS Time Management Guide
- Recapturing Time – A Practical Approach to Time Management for Physicians: Published paper
- Time Management – A Review for Physicians: Published paper
- Five Ways to Say ‘No’ Effectively: Article from Family Practice Management
- ‘Getting Things Done’ (GTD) Resource List
- 50 Tricks to Get Things Done Faster, Better, and More Easily: article
- Problem Solving: Module from Here to Help
- RDoC Career Planning Page: Career resources and resident profiles
- PARO Career Counselling Handbook: Career tips and resources
- Thinking About Leaving Medicine? Article from Medical Economics
Transition into Practice and Job Search
- CMA Career Centre for Physicians: Job postings
- Health Force Ontario: Career advising, transition into practice resources, and more
- American College of Physicians Career Guidance: Job search tips and more
- Overcoming Perfectionism: online workbook from the Centre for Clinical Interventions
- The Perils of Perfectionism: blog post from the ‘Wellness Rounds’ Blog
Test Anxiety & Studying
- Guided Visualization for Test Anxiety: guided audio from MIT Medical
- How to Study During Your Residency: blog post from the ‘Wellness Rounds’ Blog
Managing On Call Stress
- Top 10 Ways to Survive Being On Call: blog post from the ‘Wellness Rounds’ Blog
Research & Publishing Tips
- 9 Top Tips for Getting Published in a Medical Journal: article from AMA