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What providing medical care in a refugee camp is like — and why it should matter to physicians here at home

It’s the girl in the red dress that haunts me. I first saw her when I sat in a refugee tent, listening to a woman tell me about the horrors she’d lived through: her baby snatched from her arms and tossed into a burning homestead; her husband’s throat slit in front of her; how she endured rape over a two-week period. It was all too much to bear, but then I saw the woman’s daughter, sobbing silently in the back of the room. The girl was about 12 — the same age as my daughter — barefoot and wearing a filthy red dress. read more

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We claim to value mental health.
So why don’t the numbers add up?

Calls for increased and better access to mental health services have reached an all-time high, but the public dollars to support this outcry are still too low to address needs here in Alberta, and throughout the rest of Canada. This funding discrepancy, or spending disparity, represents a persistent issue in our healthcare system: mental health is not afforded nearly as many resources as physical health. read more

Vital Signs | September 2019

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Silenced by Stigma: Meet the team working to bring awareness to physician substance use disorder. read more

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Picture yourself standing in front of a blank map, ready to chart the course of physician wellness over the next five years. The surge in its recognition, general awareness, and the many sub-topics would leave you staring at countless plot points, a web of criss-crossing lines obscuring the path. read more

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Physician wellness is only the beginning: We need to start talking about physician mental illness

The reality is that we work in one of the highest risk professions for suicide because of the high rates of mental illness, and it’s a risk that deserves more attention, conversation, and action. read more

Vital Signs | June 2019

The myth of ‘breast implant illness’ When misinformation amongst physicians causes harm

I have been practising plastic surgery in Banff for 35 years. Recently, about two weeks after my patient underwent a breast augmentation procedure, she developed an itchy rash all over her back. When I learned that an ER physician told her that she could be allergic to her breast implants, I was shocked. read more

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It seems you can’t open a magazine, turn on the TV, or even sit down to a holiday family dinner these days without hearing the word “keto.” What exactly is keto, and why should we as healthcare providers be paying attention? read more

Things I learned in my first ten months of practice

Attention fellow new-in-practice physicians and residents: here are ten pieces of wisdom I’d like to pass on from my first ten months of practice as a family physician. read more

Vital Signs | May 2019