Developing compassionate physician leaders in Northern Ontario

Dr. James Goertzen

Award: Phoenix Project Fellowship (2017)

Co-Sponsor: Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Northern Ontario covers a large geographical area with low population density, isolated communities, and higher rates of disease. Improving the health of Northern Ontarians requires well-trained, committed healthcare leaders who perform their clinical, educational, and leadership activities through a compassionate lens. 

The goal of James’s fellowship was to further develop and sustain compassionate physician leadership in order to deepen learning and compassionate care in Northern Ontario.

He found there was limited literature exploring the relationship between compassionate leadership and compassionate healthcare education and patient care.  

He dedicated his fellowship to: 

  • Exploring the relationships between compassionate leadership, patient care, and educational practice
  • Engaging patients and families to help clarify the qualities that healthcare leaders need to have in order to support compassionate care
  • Creating strategies and activities that support compassionate physician leadership within medical faculties
  • Developing a stronger network of compassionate physician leaders 
  • Advancing educational activities that support students and residents in developing  compassionate leadership 

By building strong communities of practice with physicians across Northern Ontario, James helped to lay an important foundation for compassionate care in this region. 

Hear Dr. James Goertzen talk about his work