Continuing medical education and leadership development—better for you, better for your teams

By Lindee David

At Joule, not a day goes by that we don’t feel grateful for the opportunity to work in healthcare with physicians who can see a brighter future.

If you’re one of those doctors who knows we can do better, whose ideas could really change the world, you also know the challenges of implementing change and scaling new ideas. No physician expects things to be easy. The members of this profession are nothing short of resilient.

This being said, physician burnout is still a great concern. We know that system level issues play a significant part in physicians feeling disengaged with the passion that once inspired them but it could also be work-related stress and an inability to recognize quick wins also diminishes professional satisfaction and contributes to burnout.

A September issue of CMAJ included a story on physician burnout which suggests that physicians are facing a constant challenge—with the system, with other professions they feel no longer respect them, within the profession, and with staying on top of changes in the profession. The stressors seem endless.

Without the skills to advocate for what you need, to improve interpersonal relationships, to influence change to the benefit of your patients while also staying on top of medical developments, one cannot possibly feel they are at their best—for their patients, their colleagues or their families.

For 35 years, Joule’s Physician Leadership Institute has provided physicians and their health teams with continuing medical education (CPD) and leadership development. These courses are designed to fill the gaps in medical education, help physicians stay on top of new developments and, to help them build leadership skills.

What does this have to do with physician burnout?

It does not matter how confident you are about your clinical training. If you manage staff or work on a team, there’s a good chance that your medical training didn’t prepare you for personnel management or interpersonal negotiation. Gaps such as these create workplace stress. Joule has accredited CPD courses to help build skills and confidence and reduce stress and anxiety.

Bombarded by changes in the health system—medical assistance in dying (MAiD) for example? Changing expectations of your patients, evolving policies, and wrestling with your own personal ethics can be draining. At Joule we don’t want you to feel impacted by change but rather, empowered by it. That’s why Joule created the MAiD curriculum–so you could navigate these changes more easily.

And then, there is the matter of leadership. Tired of being impacted by change and want to lead it? Or maybe you’ve been nominated for an unexpected leadership position or are in one, and have a strong desire to make a difference. Despite what you might read on social media, leaders are rarely born. Whether you want to get your head around change management, conflict management, or developments in patient-centered care, Physician Leadership Institute courses will reduce any anxiety you have of taking on a leadership position while helping you build greater professional satisfaction. The sense of achievement you will get from building these skills and earning a certificate are well documented amongst course alumni.

There is an added benefit of leadership training. Did you know that being a strong leader reduces the stress and improves professional satisfaction of those you lead? Did you know you have that power? At a time when everything might feel like a challenge, isn’t it nice to know that there is something you can do to reduce that stress, for you and your team?

Lindee David is Chief Executive Officer, Joule.