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Resilient Doctors are Confident Doctors

Medical PostHelping Hand Column, March, 2010Resilience is the ability to deal with difficult events, be flexible and bounce back, and grow as a result.  It is a dynamic concept, an ongoing process which can vary over time.  It has many dimensions, including a sense of...

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How Resilient Are You?

Medical PostHelping Hand Column, January, 2010I have worked with physicians in distress for years.  Interventions with physicians have been based primarily on pathology: identifying, responding to, and solving problems. More recently, I started to look at physician...

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Women MDs are Changing Medicine’s Culture

Medical PostHelping Hand Column, July 21, 2009As our medical schools continue to open their doors to more women than ever, they are also opening the door to change. Now that there are more women than men in the medical education system, I have heard academic...

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Take a Lesson from Kids in Assertive Communication

Helping Hand in The Medical PostMay 5, 2009While it is true that adults teach children, it is also true that adults have a lot to learn from children.  Teaching is not a one way process. Children have a special, innocent way of viewing the world. They have taught me...

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A Quick Guide to Become Organized

Medical PostHelping Hand Column, March 10, 2009Use these tips to save time and achieve calmness I recently hosted a meeting of the Ottawa branch of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada at my home. Despite the -39° C temperatures, there was a great turnout as we...

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Conferences Provide Time for Learning, Connecting, Recharging

Medical PostHelping Hand Column, November 4, 2008Take advantage of these educational opportunities and time away from the office to explore foreign places and meet new people It’s medical conference season. I find myself travelling away from home more in the fall to...

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Stress Management for the Fall

Medical PostHelping Hand Column, September 9, 2008When life takes a detour from a planned path, ‘recalculate’ your plans by calmly looking for new options. I sat down to work on this column, eager to get started, write out a few points and take time to flesh it out....

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Let Go of the Old to Embrace the New

Medical PostHelping Hand Column, July 8, 2008“It’s the Year of the Rat”, she said. “New beginnings. It’s the start of a 12 year cycle in the Chinese calendar”.  This year is supposed to be a year of plenty, bringing opportunity, and good prospects.  We are sitting at...

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Compassion in the Workplace Improves Morale, Productivity

Medical PostHelping Hand Column, May 6, 2008I was speaking to a younger colleague last week who stopped me in the hall to thank me. She had just taken on a position as her department’s residency program director and was really enjoying it. Her youngest child had just...

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Stung by the Stigma of Divorce

Medical PostHelping Hand Column, January 22, 2008In a very personal account, Dr. Mamta Gautam explains the grief and shame she faced when her marriage ended, and how she overcame it “It’s over, I’m leaving.” My heart stopped for a second as I heard what my husband had...

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Don’t Treat Others as You’d Like to be Treated

Medical PostHelping Hand Column, November 27, 2007Even with the best of intentions, you might miss addressing someone’s needs if you only think about what you would want in their place A colleague in my office was recently shaking her head as she spoke about her...

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What to Do When the Nest is Suddenly Empty

Medical PostHelping Hand Column, November 6, 2007It can be emotionally challenging when a child moves away. Here’s how to let go, find support and embrace this new phase in life Thanksgiving weekend is over, and I find myself sending my son back to university with...

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Tackling Workplace Bullying

Medical PostHelping Hand Column, October 16, 2007If it remains unaddressed, it can have serious consequences for offender, colleagues and patient care It is wonderful to see that physician health is becoming more of a recognized issue in our current health-care...

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It’s Never Too Late to Learn Money Management Skills

Medical PostHelping Hand Column, April 24, 2007Tax time reminds us that despite being high-earners, physicians often over-extend themselves financially, creating a source of stress It’s tax time, that time of year we all look forward to . . . once we finally have...

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Nurture Your Funny Bone for a Healthy Workplace

Medical PostHelping Hand Column, March 27, 2007Contrary to the thought that humour is inappropriate for work, fun can improve productivity and collegiality while reducing stress “Incontinence hot line . . . can you hold please?” The boys laugh out loud again. As they...

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Looking to Retire? Get Ready Emotionally

Medical PostHelping Hand Column, February 27, 2007“OK, it’s now the new year. Let’s get on with it,” my patient said grudgingly, as if we were about to start a root canal procedure. I realized he was speaking about the discussion of his retirement, a topic he had been...

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Resolving to Start Exercising Again? These Tips Can Help

Medical PostHelping Hand Column, December 06, 2006It can be hard to find time, but doctors owe themselves a healthy body and mind Yesterday afternoon, I finished my workout, had a quick shower and headed out to meet a colleague over coffee. He arrived a few minutes...

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Volunteering: You May Think it’ll Suck, but it Won’t

Medical PostHelping Hand Column, October 24, 2006Like a recent campaign for an Ottawa summer camp, we need to motivate physicians to get involved in professional groups I cross my fingers as I pick up the phone to make the call. This is the fifth call I have made this...

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Unwell Colleagues Need Understanding, Support

Medical PostHelping Hand Column, September 26, 2006Reluctant to seek help, MDs who finally take care of themselves fear insensitive reaction of peers. It is September, and the leaves are just starting to turn. People are back from holidays and have returned to work or...

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