medical education

Medical trainees under too much pressure to do research


Research innovation and discovery can push evidence-based medicine forward. Still, some medical trainees have passions other than research that can result in equally valuable contributions to medicine. No matter what trainees wish to pursue, let’s give them the support they need to excel.

It’s time to examine pharma funding of doctors’ education

The pharmaceutical industry seeks to increase sales by influencing how doctors prescribe medications. To help achieve this goal, it sponsors the education and ongoing training of doctors. The College of Family Physicians of Canada – the organization responsible for accrediting continuing medical education and certifying all family doctors in Canada – has expressed concern about

Medical students choose wisely

As summer students working with Choosing Wisely Canada, we were part of a national, physician-led campaign to reduce unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures. The campaign has developed recommendations regarding commonly used tests, treatments or procedures that are not supported by evidence, and/or could expose patients to unnecessary harm. We feel strongly about the importance of

Culture of bullying: what can medicine learn from the Ghomeshi report?

Maureen Taylor

When people learn that I pivoted from broadcast journalism to health care, they are rightly surprised: the two fields don’t seem to have a lot in common. But in my experience, they share at least this:  both occasionally celebrate a culture of blame, celebrity and an eat-your-young mentality that fosters fear, undermines team work and

Can sports psychology help surgeons score better outcomes?

Stepping up to the free throw line, Toronto Raptors basketball players may find Dana Sinclair’s advice on their minds: to control their self-talk and lower tension. “The pressure shifts – the skills don’t,” says the sports psychologist, who has worked with the team, along with others, from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Canadian Olympic

Could incentives be the answer to resident burnout?

Kieran Quinn

Within our hospital walls there rages a nightly war in the Emergency Department. The front-line soldiers (a.k.a. ‘residents’ – medical doctors still in the throes of training) work endlessly through the night to admit patients to hospital and provide care to those in need. On occasion, the combination of consistently overburdened teams and overworked residents

Medical education’s silence on death a disservice to doctors and patients

Amina Jabbar

Society is in denial about death, especially in the context of medical care. People visit their doctors for cures. Few expect to be told there is no fix, let alone that their illness will lead to their deaths. Medical education reflects that same social discourse. Though I frequently provide care to dying patients, my medical education was

Family medicine attracts record number of graduates

Family doctor

Family medicine was a popular choice among medical graduates in the 1980s, when Roger Strasser was training at The University of Western Ontario. “The residents had almost a missionary zeal that they were going to be family doctors,” he says. He shared their passion, becoming a family physician. But when he returned to Canada in 2002, after going back

Tensions around physicians and environmental advocacy

A poll of Canadians from earlier this year found that the environment ranks as the third most important issue to us, behind the economy and health care. In fact, Canadians are quite divided in their opinions about the environment and what we ought to be doing to protect natural resources and regulate environmental pollutants. Some of

Loan deferral during residency: a win-win solution

Loan deferral for medical students

It is no secret that Canada suffers from an inequitable distribution of health professionals. A 2012 report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information revealed that 18% of Canadians live in rural and remote areas, yet only 8% of doctors live in these regions. The lack of access to medical services in rural communities contributes

Learning to choose wisely

Kieran Quinn

While on call on the internal medicine service at my hospital, I recently admitted a 47-year old woman overnight, who had increased swelling in her ankles and a fluid collection in her abdomen. After taking a thorough clinical history and performing a complete physical examination, I presumed the cause to be alcoholic liver cirrhosis. I