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Ontario Medical Review
December 20, 2022
Sophie Nicholls Jones

Top 10 OMA podcast episodes tackle key issues impacting health care

Spotlight on Health gives voice to Ontario’s doctors

The OMA’s Spotlight on Health podcast explores a variety of health-care challenges affecting physicians and their patients from burnout and workplace harassment to wait times and inequitable access to services.

Here are the 10 most listened to episodes members engaged with this year. 

Download the OMA’s Spotlight on Health podcast.

1. Financial wellness for women physicians

Dr. Jane Healey, co-founder of the online Physician Financial Independence group, shares how self-doubt and imposter syndrome felt by women physicians impact how they deal with their finances. A medical community go-to for financial advice, Dr. Healey offers listeners advice for getting their finances organized, while ensuring they’re saving optimally for retirement.

2. Prescription for Ontario: Doctors’ 5-Point Plan for Better Health Care with OMA President Dr. Adam Kassam

Using the OMA’s Prescription for Ontario: Doctors’ 5-Point Plan for Better Health Care as a backdrop, OMA past president Dr. Adam Kassam discusses how the plan’s recommendations can shape a positive future for health care not just in Ontario, but Canada, emphasizing that collaboration is key to repairing what’s broken in the system.

Listen to Dr. Kassam speak about the Prescription for Ontario recommendations. 

3. Home-care shortages impact Ottawa family

Ottawa mother Sharon Liff shares how a lack of home-care support throughout the pandemic has impacted her family’s ability to properly care for their severely disabled son, who has Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease and requires 24-hour assistance. She calls for more home-based health-care resources, so patients can stay in their homes and caregivers can access the support they need.

Access the podcast discussing this Ottawa family's challenges with home-care. 

4. Two-part series: The bullying of health-care workers

Doctors share personal accounts of feeling unsafe on the job in this two-part podcast series. Dr. Paul Roumeliotis and Dr. Jennifer Kwan talk about bullying and abuse during the pandemic, hateful speech and aggressive comments and how the recommendation to wear a masked caused so much division.

Part 1: Dr. Jennifer Kwan shares her experience of being harassed on the job

Part 2: Dr. Paul Roumeliotis discusses the ongoing bullying of health-care workers

5. Two-part series: Health-care needs in the north

Northern Ontario physicians – Dr. Stephen Cooper, Dr. Sarah Newbery, Dr. Stephen Viherjoki, Dr. Saara Rawn and Dr. Jack Haggerty – attest to the beauty of living and working in Ontario’s remote northern communities, while acknowledging the challenges they face, including a lack of physicians to meet patients’ health-care needs.

Part 1: The battles and benefits of northern health care

Part 2: Specialists’ care and the needs of the north

6. Understanding urban health care

Our city’s most vulnerable populations, including the homeless, are hardest hit when trying to access health care with the pandemic making things worse. Toronto doctors – Dr. Naheed Dosani, Dr, Jane Pritchard and Dr. Cindy Ochieng – discuss the gaps including inequitable access to services, specialized care and medications, while also acknowledging the discrimination, stigma and trauma these patients experience when they do seek care.

7. Why digital connectedness matters in the health-care system

Medical professionals – Antonia Palmer, executive director of the Kindred Foundation, Dr. Chandi Chandrasena, chief medical officer of health for OntarioMD, Justin Bates, CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists Association and Dr. Mariam Hanna, pediatric allergy, asthma and immunology specialist – discuss the imperative need for a digitally integrated medical information system to ease Ontario health-care issues including relieving backlog, avoiding human error, alleviating administrative burnout and saving time and resources to improve patient care. But to achieve this goal, all health-care entities must be on board, working collaboratively like the system they wish to create.  

8. Understanding impact of wait times on patients

The chief of surgery at St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto, Dr. Mary-Anne Aarts, speaks to the impact of 21 million delayed surgeries and procedures in Ontario due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the toll it’s taken on doctors’ practices and their patient relations when forced to refuse them the care they need.

9. Exploring the benefits of team-based care

Team-based health care is a win-win-win benefiting patients who receive more collaborative and holistic care, physicians and health-care professionals who have access to more resources and expertise, and the health-care system overall. Dr. Allan Grill and Dr. Catherine Yu explain how trust manifests between all parties when practitioners have access to the same patient information in one file, while patients need only tell their health story once.

10. Exploring Ontario’s lack of mental health, addiction services

The COVID-19 pandemic increased the need for mental health and addiction services at a time when resources became scarce. Mental health and addictions specialists – Dr. Chris Cavacuiti, Dr. Renata Villela and Dr. Michael Paré – discuss how triggers, such as isolation and stress, led to a “tsunami” of people requiring support in a system already struggling to provide it. Meanwhile, stigma within the medical community stymies patients from seeking or receiving, help. Solutions, doctors note, come from a more integrated health-care system to bolster resources and health care that recognizes mind and body connection when analyzing mental health.