MD Financial Management, in collaboration with Scotiabank, announces new series of funding to address physician wellness

April 18, 2019

MD Financial Management Inc. (MD), in collaboration with Scotiabank and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), is proud to announce support for an initial grouping of specialty societies to target the pressing issue of professional burnout among Canadian physicians.

Physician health and wellness are critical to the long-term sustainability of the physician workforce and the health system at large, yet it is well documented that stress and burnout are escalating issues within the Canadian medical community. MD, CMA and Scotiabank are proud to work with the physician community, including specialty societies, provincial territorial medical associations, CMA affiliates and other key collaborators to address this issue and to support the medical profession.

“As the only national financial services firm exclusively dedicated to the financial well-being of Canada’s physicians and their families, we’re invested in physicians and the issues most important to them,” said Brian Peters, President and CEO of MD Financial Management. “That includes health and wellness initiatives that support a vibrant medical profession.”

The $625,000 funding, to be distributed over three years, is the latest in a series of $115 million contributions Scotiabank is making to Canada’s medical profession as part of its 10-year affinity agreement with the Canadian Medical Association. Additional announcements for the physician community are forthcoming, recognizing that such collaborations are essential to support the profession and effect meaningful change.

The funds will provide much-needed support for research, advocacy, education and training at the following seven national specialty societies:

Physicians face unique circumstances that contribute to high rates of burnout, which can manifest in depersonalization and exhaustion and lead to self-doubt and loss of motivation. A recent survey of Canadian physicians found 30% were experiencing burnout.[i] It also found that physicians’ overall mental health can be linked to their area of practice. Emergency physicians, for example, are three times more likely to report burnout than physicians in other specialties;[ii] physicians in surgical specialties are nearly twice as likely to report burnout than those in other practice areas;[iii] and radiologists experience high rates of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization.[iv]

“The health and well-being of Canadian physicians is critical to the health of this country as a whole,” said Glen Gowland, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Wealth Management at Scotiabank. “Scotiabank is proud to invest in national programs that will have a positive impact on the lives of physicians and the communities they serve.”

"Physician burnout is a chronic and urgent problem in Canada, where a significant number of medical professionals endure stress and exhaustion amidst an often overwhelmingly difficult work environment," said Dr. Rodrick Lim, Chair, Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians Wellness Committee. "It’s an important and sensitive issue that deserves investments like this one, so that novel, targeted wellness initiatives can be developed to support physicians and their ongoing ability to provide high-level patient care." 

ASSOCIATION QUOTES

“This funding will allow us to develop a meaningful wellness program for CAEP members and emergency physicians which will be informed by the first-ever national survey on emergency physician burnout. The survey will allow CAEP to gain important insight from emergency physicians, which will in turn help inform a new online repository of resources for clinicians and a health and wellness track at our annual conference. MD Financial Management’s support helps address these overdue efforts to support extremely busy professionals who operate under often heightened levels of stress.”—Lynn Garrow, executive director, Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians

“This investment represents a timely and considerable boost to our ability to improve the health and wellness of Canadian surgeons. The support from MD Financial Management will permit us to roll out a screening tool to identify areas of risk specific to surgeons, help them better assess their own well-being, and access a wealth of local and national resources targeted to when they need them most.”—Dawn Wilson, executive director, Canadian Association of General Surgeons

“Support from MD Financial Management is instrumental to our vision of delivering a national summit for pathologists, residents and medical geneticists striving to be leaders in the field. This important event will explore and advance ideas to address physician burnout, gender gaps, positivity in the workplace, pathology advocacy, and using technology and innovation to achieve career prosperity.”—Heather Dow, executive director, Canadian Association of Pathologists

“Physician burnout is an acute issue within radiology as overworked professionals manage high-demand procedures and lengthy waitlists. With the integral support of MD Financial Management, our association will help our members cope with a stressful practice, achieve a healthy work-life balance, and recognize early symptoms of burnout through a series of educational and advocacy-based initiatives over the next year. Reducing stress in this way will not only benefit radiologists, but also their staff, patients, and institutions.”—Nick Neuheimer, CEO, Canadian Association of Radiologists

“The MD Financial Management support will enable us to expand our delivery of targeted workshops and seminars that directly support our members, outside of what is found in typical Continuing Professional Development events. In 2016, our members identified physician wellness as a strategic priority and with this support, will be able to design and deliver content that offers practical guidance on physician wellness from a variety of perspectives at the personal, practice and system levels.”—Jennifer Brunet-Colvey, CEO, Canadian Ophthalmological Society

“This commitment from MD Financial Management enables our Society to deliver a special symposium at our annual conference that will bring physician wellness into the spotlight and deliver the tools and insights our community needs to improve self-care. The support will allow our members to learn from national experts who will provide guidance and tools for attendees to maintain an optimal work-life balance.”  Marie Adèle Davis, Executive Director, Canadian Paediatric Society

“Opportunities for professional learning are critical to our community, yet one subject that requires far more emphasis is the health and wellness of Canadian obstetricians and gynecologists themselves. With the help of MD Financial Management, the Society will hold a new health-care provider wellness symposia including a discussion around physician burnout, how to be resilient in the face of stress, and the obligation of the workplace to create a healthy environment for our professionals and our patients.” Dr. Jennifer Blake, CEO, Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada

About Affinity Contributions
Scotiabank, MD Financial Management (MD) and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) together are firmly committed to supporting the medical profession and advancing health in Canada. As proof of this commitment, and in collaboration with the CMA and MD, Scotiabank will invest $115 million over the next 10 years to support physicians and the communities they serve across Canada.

About Scotiabank
Scotiabank is Canada's international bank and a leading financial services provider in the Americas. We are dedicated to helping our more than 25 million customers become better off through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of more than 98,000 employees4 and assets of over $1 trillion (as at January 31, 2019), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit www.scotiabank.com and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankViews.

About MD Financial Management Inc.
With 50 years of physician-focused experience, MD has one main goal: to help Canada’s physicians achieve financial well-being. MD has more than $49 billion in assets under administration and is dedicated to serving Canada’s physicians and their families. MD provides financial products and services, the MD Family of Funds and investment counselling services through the MD Group of Companies. For a detailed list of these companies, visit md.ca.

About the Canadian Medical Association
Since 1867, the Canadian Medical Association has been the national voice of Canada’s medical profession. We work with physicians, residents and medical students on issues that matter to the profession and the health of Canadians. We advocate for policy and programs that drive meaningful change for physicians and their patients.


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Media Contact
Katie O’Dell
Lead, External Communications
katie.odell@md.ca / 647 472-5857




[i] Canadian Medical Association, “CMA National Physician Health Survey” (October 2018), 8.
[ii] E. Berger, “Physician Burnout,” Annals of Emergency Medicine, vol. 61, issue 3 (March 2013): A17–A19.
[iii] Canadian Medical Association, “CMA National Physician Health Survey” (October 2018), 13.
[iv] Nanxi Zha, Michael N. Patlas, Nick Neuheimer, and Richard Duszak Jr., “Prevalence of Burnout Among Canadian Radiologists and Radiology Trainees,” Canadian Association of Radiologists Journal, vol. 69, issue 4 (November 2018): 367–372.

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