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Postgraduate Medical Education

Supports and Resources for Well-being in Training

At McMaster there are numerous supports available to assist trainees who are dealing with issues, either in their academic or personal lives. When needed, they will also help to secure appropriate and timely aid.

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.

Office contact:

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.

Confidential helpline

  • Monday to Friday 8:45 am-5:00 pm
  • 1-800-851-6606

Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) provides information and resources regarding medico-legal concerns.

Resident Doctors of Canada (RDoC) is a not-for-profit organization representing over 10,000 resident doctors across Canada and providing a unified, national voice for its members.

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

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.

Taxi Program Workflow

  • 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 for MOH funded trainees and to 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’.

Physician Wellness
A presentation by Dr. Mamta Gautam, psychiatrist and internationally respected expert on physician wellness. She is the CEO of Peak MD.

Wellness Domains

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

General Information



Mental Health & Mental Illness

Key Resources


Self-Help Resources


Key Resources

Substance Use & Addictions

Key Resources



Fitness & Exercise

McMaster & Hamilton Community

Online Resources



Key Resources

Eating Disorders

Eating Out in Hamilton

Sleep & Fatigue

Key Resources

Improving Your Sleep

Managing Fatigue for Physicians


Social Support


Family & Children

Community Events & Activities

Hamilton Area


Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity

Gender & Sexuality

Indigenous Groups



Spirituality and Religion

McMaster & Hamilton Community



McMaster & Hamilton Community

Mindfulness Theory & Information

Guided Meditations


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


Professional Resources

RDoC – Discrimination and Harassment Prevention: A variety of resources and a position paper

CMPA Article: When Physicians Feel Bullied – Effective Coping Strategies



Career Planning

Transition into Practice and Job Search



Test Anxiety & Studying

Managing On Call Stress

Research & Publishing Tips