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Telehealth, what does it mean?
Public

Telehealth collageWith tongue in cheek some might say it was about time we made more use of the tech we've got and now here we are all using telehealth. What does it mean? What does it look like? How does it work?

Federal Government seeks intervenor status in B.C. health care court case
Public

Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver - April 26, 2016.

Below is a link to the Globe and Mail article from April 13, 2016.

Hopefully, the debate around the court case, involving Dr. Brian Day's private Cambie Surgery Centre and the BC Provincial Government with a trial scheduled to begin June 6, will not become polarized with views of exclusivity between public and private health care but instead what we could and should do to make public health care more effective so that escape valves, like private care, are less needed without eradicating access to private care by individuals should they need it.

How far do individuals have to go? If the public system delivers the needed service great. If not, is there private care here at home in Canada or do people have to go to other countries?

Burnout and Resilience
Public

Vancouver BC - Oct 19, 2011.

burning candleA talk on burnout in doctors at a recent conference in Vancouver provided good information and stimulated further exploration.

During questions the speaker said the prevalence of burnout in doctors is 20 percent and tends to occur in pockets or clusters.

The talk focused on burnout resulting from lack of recognition while caring for others. Although burnout can also result from lack of recognition from colleagues and co-workers, lack of resources, and degree of bureaucracy.

Burnout can also occur in other aspects of our lives besides our work.

Good news from the talk is research shows that when individuals examined their level of burnout and attended to the risk of burnout they were not only able to reduce their current risk but their future risk of burnout continued to remain less and even improved further over time.

What are ethics and why are they important?
Public

PM Justin Trudeau, politics and tech giants.2019-03-12 Dr Z.Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC

Ethics are a big part of our lives as principles that govern our actions. Doctors take an oath to serve the patient's interest and not their own or that of others.

We expect ethical actions of people involved with our daily lives: teachers, accountants, professionals, merchants and others. It is the basis of the trust we have in them. We depend on them as people with privilege and power over ourselves, children and others.

It's not just ethics in medicine and health: it's ethics in politics, in technology, in corporations and the list goes on. People are growing more concerned about the decline of ethical leadership in politics and also business tech giants like Facebook, Google and others.

What happens when an individual's actions run contrary to ethical principles?

The late Dr Morris VanAndel, a well-respected GP and subsequent Registrar of the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons, reminded doctors in 2002 this way: "An ethical principle, by nature, is not modified by circumstances, regardless of the validity or justification of the reasons leading to the action."

The Future of Psychiatry?
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Dr. Chris Sedergreen.

A highly respected psychiatrist has recently sent a letter to her patients announcing her decision not to return to clinical practice. I've known her professionally for over 15 years and can attest that her departure will leave a gap in her patient's lives that will be almost impossible to fill.

Media depiction of Flu shot technique
Public

David Naismith (retired physician), Vernon BC, January 15, 2019.

On January 11th I was so disturbed by the portrayal of health professionals on TV, both in adverts and on the National, that I fired off an email to some colleagues. As usual, I learnt something as the thread progressed, so here is a distillate of that exchange.

Are band-aids the right Rx to save family medicine?
Public

band-aid solutionThe $118 million announced consisting of $75 million new money plus redistribution of existing funds as a "stabilization fund" is an interim measure, a one-time handout over 4 months October 2022 to Jan. 31st, 2023, to help family physicians (FP) in the community, both longitudinal practices and walk-in clinics with overhead costs to keep their doors open until January 2023. This first step is intended to buy more time for the government and DoBC to develop a "new payment model" that will be introduced and implemented. According to DoBC President's letter, the new model will be based on compensation determined by a number of factors including time, patient encounters, and attachments/complexity.

"Deja Vu" - Dr Norman Rigby
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Dr. Norman Rigby, Retired GP and Former Executive Director BCMA.

"The best thing we had going for us was the District 6 Newsletter."

"It excited the attention of the membership."

"What really changed things was when ... the administrator became the President of the hospital, ... and governments started to deal with the President not the Board."

Video highlight from June 3, 2006 Forum for Physicians, Vancouver.

"Deja Vu"
Dr. Norman Rigby, Retired GP and Former Executive Director BCMA.

Deja Vu, Dr Norman Rigby link to video

"Cracked Science" light-hearted in-depth science for everyone
Public

The youtube channel "Cracked Science" with Jonathan Jerry provides some good humour and scientific knowledge in ten minute episodes to bring you up to speed and get you thinking.

Take a look at CRISPR is a Puppy and learn how gene therapy may be applied to human diseases.

Another episode helps to debunk the media hype on the discovery of a new human organ - "the Interstitium, the largest organ we never knew we had", Does a New Organ Explain Acupuncture? While some of this is opinionated to the reporter's own views on acupuncture, the evidence of the Interstitium is a good reminder of what we already know.

Canadian Medical Association Board breached principles of natural justice and fairness
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Vancouver Law CourtsDr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - May 20, 2022

In a BC Supreme Court Judgment released on April 22, 2022 Justice Nathan Smith found that the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Board breached principles of natural justice and procedural fairness when it suspended the membership of Dr Charles Webb denying him the opportunity to run as a candidate in the election for the BC nominee for CMA President-Elect in February 2022.

Mistakes were made (but not by me): Cognitive dissonance
Public

Mistakes were made (but not by me): Why we justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions, and hurtful acts... a book co-authored by Elliot Aronson.

Psychiatrists specialize in the ails of individuals. Social psychologists specialize in the ails of groups. The eminent social psychologist Elliot Aronson was interviewed in a CBC audio "podcast" available from the following site:

http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/ideas_20080428_5430.mp3

It is an interesting program from the CBC radio “Ideas” on the subject of cognitive dissonance. It offers some insight into how people can so badly misinterpret things to fit their preconceived notions and prejudices and become incapable of accepting any other view.

The program runs about 50 minutes and I suspect if people even listen to just the first 12 minutes they might find it sufficiently compelling to listen to the rest. (The MP3 file can be imported into iTunes or other music manager or burned to CD.)

Requirements to be Deputy Registrar at College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSBC) – Is something different?
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Z. Essak, MD – Vancouver, BC – 2015 Apr 23

medical regulation shield imageThe College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC is looking to hire a new Deputy Registrar with the deadline for applications of April 30, 2015 fast approaching.

Is there something different about the experience required in this job posting – “a career opportunity in medical regulation”?

The proven experience and qualifications all candidates should have begins with, "minimum 10 years of senior administrative experience in a complex health-related organization (e.g. regulator, health authority, association, etc.)"

Also the requirements, while including "medical degree preferred", are open to others with "master of business/health administration or law degree also accepted".

Is this a sign of changes or a shift underway at the College (CPSBC)?

Rethinking the Internet: How We Lost Control and How To Take It Back
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Rethinking the Internet, scene of the debate.This is an interesting and thought provoking 1 hour video interview and debate. It begins with a 5 minute overview and then proceeds with an interview by moderator Bill Blakemore with Jaron Lanier, a long-time computer scientist and developer and the father of virtual reality, who is concerned about the use of behaviour modification "to engage and addict you to algorithmic exploration until we find whatever it is that will get you".

Following the interview there is a debate with four speakers; Tim Hwang, Meredith Whittaker, Aviv Ovadya, and Brett Frischmann. They touch on many aspects of not only the Internet but also power in organizations, how it's lost and who has it.

Will we see changes to copyright laws in Canada?
Public

2019-06-21 Vancouver, BC

Canadian copyright laws were updated in 2012. Now, in 2019, two Canadian Parliamentary Standing Committees delivered reports with recommendations on changes to copyright laws in Canada.

Will we see any changes to the copyright laws in the near future?

Documentary "Duty To Document" highlights the erosion of democracy in BC, in Canada, and around the World
Public

Duty to DocumentThis is a very important and timely documentary illustrating from our own governments in BC and Canada how critical records are disappearing from public view. It highlights the "triple delete scandal" from 2015 when it came to light the BC Government was improperly deleting email records concerning missing and murdered indigenous women along the "Highway of Tears". The documentary illustrates the escalating, troubling trend in the use of post-it notes and the failure to keep records. A trend seen not only in government, but in associations and corporations striking at the heart of transparency and democracy.

News Items

Request for the Doctors Of BC to send package to all doctors offices to repeal Bill 36.
Public

The next Board meeting of the Association of Doctors of BC is on Friday January 27. Doctors throughout BC who are concerned about Bill 36 can send an email request to the President and the Board to prepare and send a package to all doctors offices with a poster and the petition to repeal Bill 36. Here is a suggested email that doctors can use or modify.

It's time for all doctors and the Association of Doctors of BC to show their leadership and strength. If the Board adopts the motion to send the package that will be a good thing for everyone in BC, patients and doctors. If the Board refuses to address such a request, the member doctors will have their answer on the substance of the Board.

Is BC NDP new legislation poised to politically interfere with licensing of doctors and health professionals?
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Vancouver, BC - November 24, 2022.

 Health Professions and Occupations ActDoes the BC NDP's new legislation: Bill 36 - Health Professions and Occupations Act, introduced on October 19, 2022, set the stage for political interference in the licensing of physicians and other health professionals? Under sections 519 to 532 of the proposed Act, the Cabinet can make changes to the regulations including disciplinary measures, the composition of discipline panels and the oversight of complaints. In BC, will politics trump science when it comes to health professionals?

The Association of the Doctors Of BC has not alerted physicians and the public of problems and concerns related to the new Act. However, social media has been exploding with comments about the recently tabled legislation.

We are in grave danger, we have taken people out of the picture.
Public

Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - October 17, 2022

It’s about learning, knowledge, sharing and understanding so we can make our society and the world better.

We are in grave danger. Soon those with memories of how things were different will be gone. We will be left at risk of believing the way we do things is the only way.

We have taken people out of the picture. We have become leaders of entities, not leaders of people.

What do Family Doctors do?
Public

Family doctor with patient combo, Norman Rockwell painting and photoDr Carmen Eadie, Vancouver BC, Sep 4, 2022.

The biggest problem with being a Family Doctor is that no one knows exactly what we do. We are involved in so many aspects of a person’s life that the lens is not clear to other people.

Dr Ian McWhinney, Canada's "Founding Father of Family Medicine"
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Photo of Dr Ian R. McWhinneyDr Ian R. McWhinney was an English physician and academic who moved to the University of Western Ontario as the first chair of family medicine in Canada where he started the country's first Department of Family Medicine in 1968. He became known in Canada and around the world as the "Father of Family Medicine".

He published over 100 articles during his lifetime and is well known for his influential book, Textbook of Family Medicine. The opening chapter, The Origins of Family Medicine, provides a brief history of medicine including the emergence and need for Family Medicine.

Are band-aids the right Rx to save family medicine?
Public

band-aid solutionThe $118 million announced consisting of $75 million new money plus redistribution of existing funds as a "stabilization fund" is an interim measure, a one-time handout over 4 months October 2022 to Jan. 31st, 2023, to help family physicians (FP) in the community, both longitudinal practices and walk-in clinics with overhead costs to keep their doors open until January 2023. This first step is intended to buy more time for the government and DoBC to develop a "new payment model" that will be introduced and implemented. According to DoBC President's letter, the new model will be based on compensation determined by a number of factors including time, patient encounters, and attachments/complexity.

The I Ching or Book Of Changes
Public

I Ching Wilhelm Baynes translation title page imageThe I Ching, or Book Of Changes, is an ancient Chinese book. While there are many translations, the German translation by Richard Wilhelm rendered into English by Cary F. Baynes (1950) has become a well respected classic. The book includes a foreword by CG Jung, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, who has elsewhere described using the I Ching in his psychiatric practice from time to time. An electronic version of the text related to the hexagrams (the oracle), from the first part of the translation, can be viewed online or downloaded using the link below.

Canadian Medical Association Board breached principles of natural justice and fairness
Public

Vancouver Law CourtsDr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - May 20, 2022

In a BC Supreme Court Judgment released on April 22, 2022 Justice Nathan Smith found that the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Board breached principles of natural justice and procedural fairness when it suspended the membership of Dr Charles Webb denying him the opportunity to run as a candidate in the election for the BC nominee for CMA President-Elect in February 2022.

Time to Re-invent the Canadian Medical Association
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Dr Chris Sedergreen - 29 April 2022

The humiliating defeat of the Canadian Medical Association in the Supreme Court of BC is about as clear a statement as it is possible to make that the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is a failed entity, and that it’s present form should be dismantled forthwith.

‘Humiliating defeat’ you ask? Well, you could certainly be forgiven for not knowing about it, since the CMA, the CMA Journal, and the CMA web site have been deathly silent about it.

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