Doctors speaking

Physician Health and Safety

Doctors of BC is committed to supporting the health and safety of physicians. We do this on two fronts by:

  • Addressing systemic challenges such as the impact of COVID-19, pressures on primary care and specialist physicians, and the burden of paperwork and administrative tasks.
  • Sustaining programs to respond to help physicians and their families in times of need, and developing new programs and supports to meet current and future needs.

Existing programs

  • The Physician Health Program of British Columbia provides support for physicians in BC seeking to pursue counselling, coaching, addressing career and life transitions, strengthening professional relationships, experiencing substance use, finding a family physician, and addressing concern for a colleague’s well-being. In addition, PHP allows users to directly connect with a fellow physician colleague, providing peer-to-peer support. Access PHP’s 24-hour helpline at 1.800.663.6729. *PHP services are available to all BC physicians, medical students, residents, and retired physicians.
  • Physician Peer Support Sessions offered by the BC Physician Health Program (PHP). Psychiatrist Dr Jennifer Russel and registered clinical counsellor Roxanne Joyce discuss issues and challenges physicians are facing. Sessions focus on peer support, not psychiatric care.
  • Supports being developed through the Memorandum of Agreement on Physical/Psychological Safety within the Physician Master Agreement (PMA).
  • Physician Wellness Network: A network offering ongoing opportunities for communication, networking, sharing of ideas, and strategic alignment of wellness activities for those involved with MSAs, Divisions, public health, UBC’s resident doctors, and others.  
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Skills Training: For a limited time (2022-2023), physicians can meet in virtual groups to train in CBT-based skills and apply evidence-based strategies to support their own health and wellbeing, while also learning practical tools to share with patients. Some physicians who participate in this program may also go on to train as CBT Skills Group facilitators for the provincially accessible patient program. These groups are funded by Shared Care, facilitated by CBT Skills Group physician facilitators, and administrated by UBC-CPD, in partnership with the Physician Health Program and the CBT Skills Groups Society.
  • Physician Peer Support Network: PHP will train physicians across the province to deliver one-to-one emotional peer support. Evidence shows that physician peer support helps to foster a culture where physicians feel comfortable seeking and offering help.
  • Expansion of PHP Family Doctor Connection Service: PHP will engage with Divisions of Family Practice to increase the capacity to attach physicians with their own personal primary care physician.

Doctors of BC Resources 

Additional Resources

College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC (CPSBC): The CPSBC website posts all of its Practice Standards (minimum standard of professional behaviour) and Professional Guidelines (recommended course of action) to assist physicians in meeting a high standard of medical practice. Here are a few more links that may be useful:

Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA):

Questions? If you have any questions related to physician safety, please email .