W08 -​​ A Road Map for Advancing Physician Wellness, Engagement, and Excellence in a Mental Health Setting​​ 

Saturday, 24 October​​ 

11:15 – 12:45 (1.5 hrs)
Treena Wilkie*, MD, FRCPC; Tania Tajirian, MD, CCFP, FCFP, DTMPH; Vicky Stergiopoulos, MD


CanMEDS Roles:​​ 

  • Leader​​ 

  • Professional​​ 

  • Communicator​​ 

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:​​ 1) Describe physician burnout and the personal and systemic consequences; 2) Understand the basis of the development of initiatives to address factors related to physician burnout; and 3) Consider the issues of sustainability and evaluation of wellness initiatives.​​ 

Physician burnout is a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and diminished feeling of accomplishment. In addition to personal consequences, burnout can impact quality of care, efficiency of practice, and physician retention. In this presentation, we describe the development of a Physician Engagement, Wellness and Excellence Committee at the Centre for​​ Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Canada’s largest academic mental health hospital. The results of a needs assessment survey completed in December 2017 will be presented, as well as a related qualitative thematic analysis that highlighted the importance​​ of developing a culture of safety and well-being and increasing leadership accountability. Subsequently, a multi-pronged wellness strategy, with six initiatives, was implemented.​​ 

In this presentation, we will discuss the development, implementation, and​​ early evaluation of the initiatives, with a focus on the following:

1) Peer support program: based on a model developed by Shapiro et al. (2014), the program involves physicians reaching out to other physicians who may have been personally affected by an​​ adverse event in the workplace; 2) Office of professionalism: given the connection between physician burnout and professionalism, there has been a focus on addressing unprofessional behaviour, including bullying and harassment; and 3) Addressing electronic​​ health record (EHR)-related burnout: under the leadership of the chief medical information officer, a physician engagement strategy was implemented to identify challenges with EHR use and deliver evidence-based initiatives to mitigate them.​​ 

We invite the audience to explore additional strategies to enhance wellness within our profession in their own practice settings.


  • West CP, Dyrbye LN, Erwin PJ, et al. Interventions to prevent and reduce physician burnout: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet 2016;388:2272–81.

  • Panagioti M, Geraghty K, Johnson J, et al. Association between physician burnout and patient safety, professionalism, and patient satisfaction: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med 2018;178:1317–31.


/ Virtual Conference 2020