Hitting the Books

A little over a month left of my pat leave, my return to the wards is quickly approaching. Soon I’ll be back in clinic and at the hospital caring for others.  This time with my family was wonderful, from seeing our son’s first steps to being present to celebrate two of our children’s birthdays next month.

Part of this vacation was also time for myself.  Medical school with a growing family was a challenge, and meant I had to put aside some things I enjoy.  As mentioned in previous posts I enjoy reading (1, 2, 3).  Over the last ~6 months I’ve enjoyed reading/listening to many books in addition to my time with family and occasional writing.  I have a long list of books in my queue, some I sought out, some given by friends, and some inherited. Going over my list I’ve finished 31 books and 5 graphic novels this year.  Great to have time to read for pleasure and not rush through what I’m reading.

Some favorites:

  • Letters from a Stoic – Seneca
  • The Pleasures of the Damned & Run with the Hunted- Charles Bukowski
  • Pale Blue Dot – Carl Sagan
  • Tokyo Ghost – Rick Remender
  • 50 Years of Memorable Cases – Dr. Herbert Fred
  • One Doctor – Dr. Brendan Reilly
  • JR – William Gaddis (2nd reading)



Physician Wellness

Imagine you are a first-year medical student and just moved across the country to start your training. It is a stressful time, adjusting to a new city, a school and new people. How do you find your way around campus? Do you need a car? Who should you contact if you need help?

As part of their mental health month in-Training included an article about the design and lessons drawn from Western Vitals (mentioned here), a medical student wellness initiative I co-founded. The project includes a website, awareness activities, and targeted workshops to support medical students at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. Check it out: Check Your Vitals

So Long…

Stepping off the ride for a while.

Balancing my family life and medical training have been challenging the last few years, especially during clinical rotations.  We welcomed our third child as I started residency and this fall I began looking into taking parental leave. The more I thought about it the more it made sense.  When I first brought it up those in medicine I expected resistance, instead I found strong support from my program, preceptor, and mentors. Everything is set up, all the paperwork submitted, as of today I’m taking 6 months of leave to enjoy with my family.

Thanks everyone that reads the blog and follows on Twitter.

Forging Healthier Doctors

Exploring wellness issues in medical training, the current efforts to address these issues and some paths forward.  UWOMJ Fall 2013.

The move towards physician wellness is needed to form a
connected, caring network of peers working together for their own
and their patients’ wellbeing.

Towards Healthier Doctors

Student Wellness

Thought I would bring some attention to a project being done at Western University.

A group of medical students at Schulich have been involved in the Vitals Student Wellness Initiative which launched last fall.

The project looks to support student wellness during undergraduate medical training through a website centralizing campus and community resources, workshops and awareness activities.

For a more in depth look at what Vitals is doing check out the Student Spotlight by the CFMS or follow @WesternVitals.  Vitals has also been promoted by the OMSA and is a finalist in the Mental Health 2.0 competition (Alt Link).  Descriptions of all the finalists can be found here (Alt Link) and voting is open to decide the People’s Choice Award until March 3.


Followup: Vitals Student Wellness Initiative placed 3rd overall and won the People’s Choice Award.