Sharing your lived experience: New peer support group for BIPOC physicians in BC

November 30, 2022

BC physicians who are Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) form a diverse population with shared and variable experiences, strengths, challenges, traumas and communities. Society’s embedded racial inequities have both subtle and overt impacts for BIPOC physicians across a variety of backgrounds, from international medical graduates and third-generation immigrants to Indigenous physicians.

The Physician Health Program (PHP), offered by Doctors of BC, is launching a virtual peer support group specifically for BIPOC physicians. The group aims to harness the power of safety in community to metabolize burdens and leverage assets from participants’ cultures of origin. In this way, the group hopes to contribute to a more inclusive, humane and just health care system.

What will be discussed?

PHP BIPOC Peer Support Initiative The BIPOC Physician Peer Support Group will act as a confidential forum for BIPOC physicians to build safety in community, share lived experiences and discuss approaches to challenges they face in their work and personal lives.

During the first six months of the group, participants and facilitators will discuss a wide range of topics:

  • Understanding (and harnessing) our stress physiology as BIPOC physicians
  • Recognizing the many faces of racism: from the subtle to the obvious
  • Celebrating our heritage and reclaiming our cultures
  • Exploring our legacy burden and intergenerational resilience
  • Family matters: BIPOC physician as spouse, parent, child
  • Addressing workplace conflicts with patients, peers and administration

Please note that the specific topics for each session will be shared at a later date. There will be plenty of open discussion time so physicians can share what matters to them.

Who is facilitating the group?

Dr. Anne Nguyen is a family physician and addiction medicine specialist who is deeply grateful to work directly with physician colleagues through her role as PHP physician lead during this challenging time for the profession.

Dr. Rahul Gupta is a professional coach and mindfulness instructor who integrates trauma-sensitive approaches into all of his work. He has more than 18 years of experience as a coach certified by the International Coaching Federation.

When will the group meet?

Beginning in January 2023, the group will meet on a monthly basis. The first three meetings will take place from 7:15 pm to 8:30 pm PT on:

  • Jan. 23
  • Feb. 13
  • Mar. 13

How can I learn more?

If you are a BIPOC physician who is interested in attending, please register online, visit the PHP website, or email for more information.

How PHP is supporting physicians in BC

The establishment of the BIPOC Physician Peer Support Group is possible thanks to funding from Scotiabank, MD Financial Management Inc. and the Canadian Medical Association as part of the new Physician Wellness+ Initiative, which aims to address the urgent and ongoing health and wellness needs of physicians and medical learners.

With this funding, PHP has launched a number of other projects to help physicians across the province:

  • Care for a Colleague: An initiative to match unattached BC physicians with their own family doctor.
  • Peer Support Training: A formal peer support training program for physician organizations to build a culture of community, safety and connection.
  • Physician Wellness Network: A network of organizations that are invested in physician wellness, to share ideas and innovations and to reduce silos in this important area.