Physician Peer Support Initiative

As physicians, your triumphs and challenges are unique, and support from trusted colleagues can have a positive impact on your experiences at work and wellbeing. To facilitate responsive local peer support programs which help to enable healthy workplace cultures, the Physician Health Program (PHP) and the Joint Collaborative Committees (JCCs) are partnering to develop a Provincial Physician Peer Support Initiative in BC. The establishment of this peer support training initiative is possible thanks to funding from the Joint Collaborative Committees; and Scotiabank, MD Financial Management Inc., and the Canadian Medical Association as part of the new Physician Wellness+ Initiative, which aims to address the urgent and ongoing health and wellness needs of physicians and medical learners.

Program Objectives

  1. To facilitate responsive and proactive formal peer support opportunities for physicians needing emotional support or experiencing work or life-related stressors.
  2. To support physician peer supporters to offer non-clinical emotional support to physician colleagues in formal peer support settings.
  3. To provide opportunities for participating local organizations (Divisions, MSAs, etc.) to share knowledge and collaborate as they develop and build their own local peer support programs.
  4. To actively pursue alignment and coordination between different peer support programs provincially.

Program Organization

Informed by feedback from a consultation with Divisions of Family Practice and Medical Staff Associations, the Peer Support Initiative will be administered through a hybrid model that involves:

  • PHP and the JCCs offering provincial peer support training through Dr. Jo Shapiro, an Associate Professor with Harvard Medical School and founder of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Centre for Professionalism and Peer Support. She has offered peer support training to many organizations including SickKids Hospital, UBC Resident Wellness Office, MSPEI, etc.
  • Local physician organizations (e.g. Divisions, MSAs, Sections, etc.) responsible for implementing the peer support program at their local site/community including recruiting peer supporters, facilitating peer support matches, promoting the initiative, etc.
  • PHP and the JCCs facilitating inter-site peer support matches for physicians not comfortable receiving peer support within their local site/community
  • PHP and the JCCs providing support for peer supporters, resources and regular opportunities for participating organizations to share knowledge and collaborate

How to Get Involved

We are currently accepting applications for 5-6 peer support prototype sites for local physician organizations that would like to start their own local peer support program and require peer supporter training. We are also accepting interest from physician organizations with existing peer support programs to participate in peer support knowledge sharing and collaboration opportunities. Please use the link below to apply or indicate interest by May 12th, 2022.

Prototype sites will be selected based on perceived need and organizational readiness (i.e. leadership sponsorship, existing organizational structure, time, etc.). It is important that we prototype in a variety of settings, so we will be ensuring that selected prototype sites are diverse in terms of geographic location, facility vs. community-based, rural vs. urban, organization type and others.

If you have questions or encounter technical issues with the form, please email programs@physicianhealth.com.