A Message from the Program Chief

Posted on Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Primrose-Bruyere Holiday Party

Dr. Kate Trebuss (PGY2), Dr. Janet Barber (PGY2) and Dr. Leigh Waters (PGY3)

This time of year tends to prompt reflection during those rare moments between clinic, holiday shopping and charcuterie binges on where we've come from and where we're heading next. Our PGY1s are now halfway through their first year and have formed new relationships, started exciting new projects, and learned much about what it means to care for their patients and themselves during their first few months as physicians. Amazingly, we PGY2s are now closer to graduation than to medical school and are beginning to make decisions about where we're going to strike out into independent practice or undertake further training.

We've been busy since July 1st. Our Site Chiefs opened the year by welcoming our new residents to the Department of Family Medicine with an Orientation event at Craft Brewery. In September, the entire resident body travelled to St. Brigid's Camp in Low, QC for our annual Resident Wellness Retreat, where residents heard from 3 amazing guest speakers, recreated the Bristol Stool chart out of flour and water, waddled balloons into Labour and Delivery, feasted on the best camp food ever to pass MY lips at least, and danced the night away. Since the retreat, Pembroke residents have been enjoying "Taco Tuesdays," while Community residents have engaged in more cerebral pursuits including meeting for a lively discussion of managing chronic MSK pain at their Journal Club. Montfort, a particularly tight-knit group of residents, tried their hands at axe throwing this fall and also enjoyed BBQs and fireworks together. Primrose residents pooled their brain power with their local faculty for a good cause, competing in a trivia tournament in support of Children's Aid last month, and they chased this event with a trip to Playback with the Bruyere residents - who learned shuffleboard isn't just for retirees! And Civic and Riverside residents recently enjoyed a festive holiday party at the Rabbit Hole on Sparks Street, which featured tons of food, drinks, dancing and a professional photo booth.

And this is only the beginning of our year. Residents are already contributing to CaRMS 2020, and we're getting excited to welcome prospective students to our program and our beautiful city next month. We have robust resident representation on the newly formed Postgraduate Curriculum Committee and are working with the Academic Day team to introduce some new models for resident teaching and learning in the spring. Residents are also collaborating on an array of projects to support resident wellness, including enhanced mentorship opportunities and a new portal for exchanging elective information. Most importantly, we're supporting one another through the ups and downs of residency and providing exceptional care to many patients across the Ottawa Valley and beyond.

On the harder, greyest days - the days when we've struggled to make the healthcare system work for the patients we serve, when we've been on call too many weekends in a row and haven't seen enough of our loved ones, and when it's tempting to crawl back into bed to indulge in grumpy feelings that match the sky above - I often think about a quote I love from Susan Sontag. She writes, "Do stuff. Be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration's shove or society's kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It's all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager."

We're doing stuff. We're paying attention. And we're definitely eager. So here's to 2019 - bring on 2020.


Dr. Kate Trebuss
Program Chief, 2019-2020

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