• Getting to Know 2017 AMS Phoenix Fellow Dr. Martimianakis

    AMS would like to introduce our new 2017 Phoenix Fellow Dr. Maria Athina Martimianakis. Dr. Martimianakis is an Associate Professor and Director of Medical Education Scholarship in the Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto and a Scientist and International Strategic Lead with the Wilson Centre. How did you decide on your area of study for…


  • 2017 AMS Phoenix Fellow Dr. Jones-Bonofiglio on Compassion in Nursing

    AMS would like to introduce you to our new 2017 Phoenix Fellow, Dr. Kristen Jones-Bonofiglio. Dr.  Jones-Bonofiglio is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing and Director in the Centre for Health Care Ethics at Lakehead University. Why did you decide to become a healthcare professional? I decided to become a nurse when I…


  • Watching Someone Die and Feeling – Nothing

    The first time I witnessed a death, I was a third year medical student and at  the very beginning of my training. My patient was older – in his late 70s – and all alone. His family dropped him off at the emergency department and were not reachable by phone. One of my first nights…


  • The Serendipitous Gift of Imperfection

    Working in healthcare is challenging. We spend all day every day soaking up the sorrow of others. Far too often, we neglect to take the time to practice self-care. What is even more challenging is when we are faced with personal adversity, we are so driven by our compassion for others that the concept of…


  • Sick Patients Need Healthy Doctors

    When I took up my new position in Ottawa a couple of years ago, The Ottawa Hospital ‘vision’ was to be seen literally everywhere: To provide each patient with the world-class care, exceptional service and compassion that we would want for our loved ones.  That reminded me of the moment I was asked that question…


  • The Privilege of Practice

    For me, it was always Geriatric Medicine.  Therefore, it came as no surprise when I discovered only many years later that my childhood friend in Glasgow turned out to be the son of the late Bernard Isaacs, one of the true giants of modern day Geriatric Medicine. It was Bernard Isaacs who coined the phrase…


  • Mindfulness: More than a Buzzword

    Mindfulness is everywhere these days: on the cover of Time magazine and Scientific America; Google, GE and other corporations  have adopted mindfulness as a leadership, wellness and performance strategy; and a variety of apps are available to help you be “in the moment” (using your smart phone, the most distracting of all human inventions!). While…


  • The Stigma of Being a Superfeeler

    There are certain traits that are rewarded by our culture and certain traits that are stigmatized. Take, for example, a child who is labeled as “sensitive.” Being sensitive is something that we often discourage. I hear it all the time from parents when they bring their child to see me. We tell our kids to…


  • Courage to Nurse: Building a Community of Witnessing and Compassion

    Among the privileges of being an academic nurse is having the opportunity to spend time with young women and men as they pursue their goal – sometimes their dream – of becoming a nurse.  When I ask first year undergraduate students about their decision to pursue a vocation in nursing, the most frequent response is…


  • “Self-care” is Failing Healthcare Providers Experiencing Compassion Fatigue

    Recently, while waiting to see my own doctor for a routine visit, I leafed idly through a waiting-room copy of Chatelaine magazine.  One headline caught my eye: “The Science Behind Self-Care”.   Intriguing title, and one that seemingly promised an evidence base for the activities we undertake in order to manage our complex and demanding lives,…