Faculty of Medicine

Foster a Culture where Health, Wellbeing and Resilience are Promoted

Ecosystem of Collaboration

Ecosystem of Collaboration

We will foster a culture where health, wellbeing and resilience are promoted across our enterprise.

We will develop a comprehensive Faculty Wellness Program that engages our clinical, rehabilitation science and basic science sectors, and collaborates with our TAHSN partners. In addition, we will develop a Faculty Professional Values Program that relates to faculty wellness.

We will review and update current policies and procedures relevant to promoting faculty wellness and professional values. We will utilize technology to ensure access to wellness and professional values resources for faculty. Technology will also enable us to collect data and adopt a QI approach to these endeavours.

2019 Dean's Report Highlights: This working group is working across U of T Medicine and with our Toronto Academic Health Science Network partners to advance wellness in our workplaces. The working group has appointed the first Faculty of Medicine Professional Values Director, and will seek to have a Faculty Wellness Director hired in 2020 and a Faculty Wellness Working Group Report completed later this fall.

The Team

Decanal Sponsor: Lynn Wilson

Co-Chairs 

  • Lynn Wilson, Professor and Vice Dean Partnerships, Faculty of Medicine
  • Julie Maggi, Director, Postgraduate Wellness Office, Post MD Education

Working Group Members:

  • Joy Albuquerque, Medical Director, Physician Health Program, OMA
  • Janet Bodley, Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Pier Bryden, Vice-Chair, Education, Department of Psychiatry
  • Elena Comelli, Department of Nutritional Sciences
  • Leah Cowen, Chair, Department of Molecular Genetics
  • Shelly Dev, Department of Medicine
  • Greg Hare, Department of Anesthesia
  • Rita Kandel, Chair, Lab Medicine & Pathology
  • Bonnie Kirsh, Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy
  • Brigitte Lavoie, Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics
  • Karen Leslie, Department of Paediatrics
  • Andrea Levinson, Psychiatrist-in-Chief, Student Life Programs and Services
  • Carol-anne Moulton, Department of Surgery
  • Leslie Nickell, Medical Director, Physician Assistant Program
  • Giuseppe Papia, Department of Surgery
  • Tony Pignatiello, Associate Dean, Health Professions Student Affairs
  • Meera Rai, Senior Partnerships & Projects Advisor
  • Ivan Silver, Department of Psychiatry
  • Adrienne Tan, Department of Psychiatry
  • Navsheer Toor, Department of Family and Community Medicine
  • Karen Weyman, Department of Family and Community Medicine
  • Ari Zaretsky, VP Education, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Staff Support: Meera Rai (project management), Diana Crozier (EA)

2019 Dean's Report Update

A. The working group has accomplished the following to date:

The Wellness Working Group has divided into four Action Teams (Research and QI, Professional Values, Literature Review and Environmental Scan), each of which has taken responsibility for an element of the overall WG objectives. We have a large number of faculty from the basic science, rehabilitation science and clinical sectors working in these groups. Collectively, we have:

  • Used preliminary data from the FoM’s ‘Voice of the Faculty” survey to help inform our goals and objectives. These data have been shared with a number of departmental Executive Committees, as well as TAHSNe and TAHSNm.
  • Conducted an environmental scan by interviewing Wellness leads at peer institutions in Canada and the United States; these are all institutions known to set the standard in Wellness programs and interventions as well as publications on their efforts
  • Engaged the help and expertise of UofT academic librarians to conduct two reviews of the literature. The Literature Review Action team is looking at high-quality review articles that are helping us reach agreement on definitions of wellness, burnout and resiliency, and to identify interventions that have been shown to promote wellness in faculty and in other groups such as airline pilots. The Research and QI action team has reviewed >500 abstracts and is now analyzing 90 original research articles in order to determine individual and organizational predictors of faculty burnout, wellness, resilience, work satisfaction and suicidality. We are also looking at research on interventions aimed at improving wellness. This team’s goal is to be able to inform future studies of wellness and burnout in our faculty, and to be able to track the impact of interventions. (The current Voice of the Faculty survey does have some wellness information but does not look it comprehensively).
  • We have hired Dr. Pier Bryden, our Faculty of Medicine Professional Values Director. She is working closely with the Professional Values Action Team which has been working on defining our faculty values, and looking at the ways in which we interact. Dr. Bryden is conducting an external review and is collaborating with education, EDI and legal leaders in studying our policies and procedures related to discrimination and harassment.
  • Lynn Wilson and Julie Maggi, co-leads of the Faculty Wellness Working Group, and Pier Bryden are part of a committee that is planning a TAHSNm/Faculty of Medicine Retreat in fall 2019. The goal of the retreat is to provide updates regarding activities and to make recommendations to TAHSN regarding moving forward in a way that is collaborative and complementary. It should be noted that a number of our TAHSN hospitals are doing excellent work in this area, including  development of a robust peer support program at SickKids and the launching of multiple initiatives at CAMH. MGH is also innovating in this area.
  • Lynn Wilson is a member of the TAHSN People Wellness Initiative, which is chaired by Sarah Downey and Catherine Zahn, and is holding its introductory meeting on September 3. This group will be holding a People Wellness Retreat on behalf of the TAHSN CEOs, and will address issues relevant to staff, clinicians and learners in their hospitals.

B. Over the next year, the working group aims to accomplish the following:

  • We will be submitting a comprehensive Wellness Working Group Report in fall 2019, with specific recommendations for program elements, evaluation strategies and recommended job positions. This report will include opportunities for partnership with TAHSN on the issue of wellness.
  • We aim to have a Faculty Wellness Director in place by late winter/early spring 2020 along with a Faculty Wellness Strategist, who will develop programs and conduct evaluations. 
  • We will conduct a Faculty Wellness survey in 2020 in order to establish a baseline.
  • We will initiate a Professional Values Program which will build on current strengths in the FOM and be informed by leading practices at a number of institutions in North America. This program will be integrated across our sectors and the education continuum. We will have revised policies and procedures, and will initiate strategies and conduct faculty development that will promote professional values.