Jan 27, 2022

Chair's Message: Committing to wellness (Jan. 2022)

Chair's Message, About DFCM, Education, Faculty, Faculty Development, Global Health and Social Accountability, Grad Studies & Fellowships, MD Program, Quality and Innovation, Residency, The Office of Education Scholarship, Research
Dr. Danielle Martin

Dear Colleagues,

As a community and a society, we have started another year on high alert. Many of us are more tired now than we have ever been. For our faculty members, our learners, our staff and our patients, wellness has never been more important.

As Omicron continues to sweep through our communities, testing our health system and our social cohesion, I dearly hope that this wave will be the last. May we soon be able to find a more hopeful balance between putting out the fires of the present moment and dreaming about the future. What a privilege it will be to finally turn our attention to recovery – both personal and at a health system level.

Until then, each of us will have to continue to try and balance our competing demands and find opportunities to reduce non-critical work as best we can. At DFCM, we have been trying to find this balance, encouraging our extended teams to reflect on what is immediately essential and consider extending deadlines, shortening meetings and re-evaluating priorities. There have been some learnings from this exercise that I hope we will be able to carry with us into the post-pandemic era.

As we all know, wellness is not just about rest or time away from work (although that’s part of it for sure!). It is also about feeling a sense of purpose and finding joy in our work. Feeling seen and supported by our colleagues and leaders, and knowing that we are part of something bigger than ourselves – a mission we believe in – is core to wellbeing in any workplace. Learn more about our plans for wellness at DFCM.

With this in mind, I am looking ahead to the future of our department, and I want to invite you to join me. In February, we will begin the process of building a plan for the future of DFCM. Over the course of my first 100 days as Chair, I have had the opportunity to meet, listen to and learn from faculty, staff and learners from across our wonderful department. Even in these turbulent times, I have been blown away by the kindness, courage and commitment of our community. I have also heard that we have many opportunities to achieve even greater impact.

What I have heard and observed over these first 100 days will form one input into the strategic planning journey – a journey I hope you will join us on as we consider the future of primary care, family medicine and the role of our department in our society and communities.

I will be hosting a DFCM Town Hall on February 15, 8-9am, to discuss what I have learned so far and what comes next. All faculty, staff and learners are encouraged to attend.

If you have suggestions related to wellness, how DFCM can support the pandemic response and recovery, or better support you, please do share these with us. I am continuing to run Coffee Chats with the Chair and would be delighted to hear your ideas.

With gratitude,

Danielle Martin, DFCM Chair

A commitment to wellness

Wellness must form an immediate and ongoing part of our mindset at DFCM. Our new Faculty Wellness Lead, Dr. Navsheer Gill, will be helping us take an evidence-informed approach to wellness at DFCM, through our work, and in our strategic planning process.

DFCM has made a commitment to support the exploration of a holistic approach to wellness, utilizing a scholarly and evidence-informed approach to foster and role model best practices. Under the leadership of Dr. Gill and her committee, including broad representation from across our department, we look forward to improved integration of wellness within and across hospital sites, across DFCM, and at the health system level more broadly.