W09 – Thriving, Not Just Surviving: Exploring Work-Life Balance in Psychiatry

W09 – Thriving, Not Just Surviving: Exploring Work-Life Balance in Psychiatry

Thursday, Oct. 19
15:45 – 16:45 (1 hr)
Meeting Room: Parksville (3rd floor – North Tower)
Nikhita Singhal*, MD; Rhys Linthorst, MD; Tina Guo, MD; Nikhita Singhal, MD; Hilary Bohler, MD, FRCPC; Amanda Degenhardt, MD, FRCPC; Andriy Samokhvalov, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Supported by the Members-in-Training & Fellows’ Section

CanMEDS Roles:

  1. Professional
  2. Leader

At the end of this session, participants will be able to: 1) Understand key considerations in maintaining personal well-being during psychiatric training and practice; 2) Identify personal and career-related goals and resources to assist with achieving these; and 3) Develop mentoring relationships with colleagues from a diverse array of geographical and professional backgrounds.

Although we may be aware of the risk of burnout — and often advise patients to strive for an optimal work-life balance, knowing how detrimental overworking can be to one’s mental health — it can be extremely challenging to attain or maintain this ourselves during medical training and beyond. This workshop highlights that it is possible to thrive, not just survive, both as a psychiatrist in training and as a practising psychiatrist.

The session will open with a panel discussion featuring a resident and several early career psychiatrists (ECPs). The panel discussion will address important questions surrounding physician wellness and factors that might contribute to preserving a positive outlook on professional duties and career development. General thematic areas will include the unique challenges psychiatrists face, barriers to wellness, and practical strategies to protect against burnout. Consideration will be given to the challenges of maintaining balance at various stages of one’s career trajectory and lifespan, including navigating parenthood. The session will culminate with an open question-and-answer period, during which participants can ask more specific follow-up questions and engage in a deeper exploration of the topics raised.


  1. Wallace JE, Lemaire JB, Ghali WA. Physician wellness: a missing quality indicator. Lancet 2009;374(9702):1714–1721.
  2. Eckleberry-Hunt J, Kirkpatrick H, Taku K, et al. Self-report study of predictors of physician wellness, burnout, and quality of patient care. South Med J 2017;110(4):244–248.