Earlier this year, Dr. Jenna Spring (Chief Medical Resident, Toronto Western Hospital) and I organized a resident retreat in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Part of our emphasis was on wellness and resilience in medicine. A central message that was conveyed was the need to share our struggles with each other-and this was most clearly captured in a breathtaking address by Dr. Shelly Dev, Critical Care, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Since that time, momentum has been building internally at the university.
Today, I am attending a symposium run by post-graduate education at the University of Toronto on Building Resilient Medical Communities. In conjunction, today the UofT Med Magazine summer edition was released and focuses on mental health and wellness in medicine. See the article entitled “Who Heals the Healer” for our contributions.
To quote Dr. Dev: “Mental health should be equated with any other organic health issue….And the only way that can happen is if the more experienced members of our profession share our journeys with it. Because when we do that, we set the stage for what the response to mental illness should be: appreciation, encouragement, respect, compassion and support. We need to walk the talk on wellness.”