New physician wellness programs and enhancements coming with the help of an additional $1M

October 8, 2021

Over the next four years, Doctors of BC is expanding existing wellness support services with the help of $1 million in funding provided by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), Scotiabank, and MD Financial Management’s Physician Wellness+ Initiative. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make a major impact on physicians in BC, with greater levels of stress, burnout, and other difficulties being reported by our members across the province, one result has been a 58% increase in doctors seeking support from the Physician Health Program (PHP) since 2019.

This additional funding will be used by Doctors of BC to augment programs already in operation, while developing innovative new initiatives to meet the needs of our members, both now and in the future. While many of the challenges doctors face are down to historical and/or systemic factors, it is important for the association to provide immediate supports to prevent burnout, alongside ongoing work in advocating for the necessary changes to systemic concerns.

What are the new programs?

  • Physician Wellness Network – A network offering ongoing opportunities for networking, ideas sharing and communication for members involved in groups such as Medical Staff Associations, Divisions, public health, and others. 
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Skills Training – This program will help physicians learn new skills to support patients with mild to moderate mental health concerns, and add to their own wellbeing toolkit. This will be offered by the Shared Care Committee (SCC).
  • Physician Peer Support Network – PHP will train BC physicians to deliver one-to-one emotional support to their peers, which has been proven to foster a culture where there is less stigma around seeking help.
  • Expansion of PHP Family Doctor Connection Service – PHP will engage with Divisions of Family Practice to increase the patient attachment capacity to assist physicians in finding their own primary care provider.

Doctors of BC understands that wellness programs are not the sole method of ensuring our members are feeling supported, but these initiatives will hopefully meet some crucial needs vocalized by our membership. Through the development of these new programs in the short and medium term, members will have more options for support and help as we navigate an ever-changing, and increasingly challenging, healthcare landscape.

To read more about the programs, and the timelines, read Dr Matthew Chow’s latest President’s Letter. Please watch for further updates on the above announcements, as the programs continue to evolve.

Have a comment or a question? E-mail us at