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8th Annual Sunnybrook Education Conference

Sunnybrook Education Conference: Friday, November 22, 2019

This full-day event is designed for the GTA health-care community and external partners in education, and will include a broad range of world-class speakers, presentations, posters and interactive workshops.

Friday, November 22, 2019

8:30am - 4:30pm
Registration: 7:30am - 8:30am, McLaughlin Auditorium (E-Wing, Ground Floor)
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON

Registration has now closed.

Keynote talk

Clinician Well-Being: Can’t Break a Stick in a Bundle


  • What is “clinician well-being” and why it is important
  • Organizational, professional and personal factors that affect clinician well-being
  • The roles and responsibilities of organizations and leaders in promoting clinician well-being
  • The roles and responsibilities of individuals in promoting clinician well-being
  • Invitation to take action

Presented by Maryam S. Hamidi, PhD

Maram Hamidi

Associate Director of Scholarship and Health Promotion at the Stanford Medicine WellMD| WellPhD Center and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Read her bio »

Dr. Hamidi has particular expertise in nutrition and behavioral medicine. The focus of her current research is to use latest scientific evidence to reduce fatigue and improve the cognitive performance of healthcare professionals. Dr. Hamidi also leads initiatives that promote personal well-being, self-care and culture of wellness at Stanford Medicine.

Dr. Hamidi completed her masters and doctoral studies in clinical nutrition, nutritional epidemiology and medical sciences at University of Toronto in Canada. Over the course of her career, she has authored many highly cited scientific papers on nutrition and physician well-being.

Conference objectives

Appreciate the stigma associated with burnout and increase understanding of the concepts, meaning and factors contributing to burnout and resilience. 

Promote education about wellness and resilience through diverse teaching methods.

Describe evidence-based interventions to enhance the wellbeing of healthcare providers and learners.

Support networking amongst healthcare providers, educators, researchers and leaders.


  • 7:30 a.m. Registration and Light Breakfast
  • 8:30 a.m. Registration and Opening Remarks
  • 8:40 a.m. Opening Keynote Address with Maryam S. Hamidi PhD
  • 9:25 a.m. Discussion Panel with Dr. Shelly Dev, Kristen Winter, Ted Bober and Dr. Hamidi
  • 9:55 a.m. Oral Research Presentations
  • 11:20 a.m. – 12:50 pm Workshops 
  • 12:50 p.m. lunch and poster presentations
  • 1:50 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. Workshops
  • 3:30 p.m. Debate with Dr. Julie Maggi and Dr. Leslie Nickell (Moderated by: Dr. Ari Zaretsky) Title: “Focusing on burnout is demoralizing and detrimental to building high performing teams”
  • 4:15 p.m. Awards Ceremony and Closing Remarks

Workshop Details 

Narrative Medicine/Creative Writing for Wellness »

Workshop time: 11:20 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.

Developed at Columbia University in 2000, Narrative Medicine fortifies clinical practice with the ability to recognize, absorb, interpret, and be moved by stories of illness. There is a large body of scholarly work showing the multiple benefits to both clinicians and patients of medicine practiced with narrative competence. Among these is the ability to understand what we as clinicians undergo in our everyday work, to build therapeutic and collegial relationships, improve patient outcomes, and live and work in a more reflective and engaged way.

In the era of high rates of physician burnout, narrative medicine is one tool to reclaim meaning and joy in our work as physicians. By creating space for reflection and connection in an increasingly complex working environment, narrative medicine gives us permission to pause and to seek to understand.

Through a series of guided close reading and reflective writing exercises, workshop participants will:

  1. Gain a deeper understanding of the skills of close reading and reflective writing
  2. Practice being both the story-teller and story-listener
  3. Be able to apply these skills in their clinical and teaching practice
  4. Gain perspective on how incorporating narrative strategies can have multiple benefits including increased personal well-being and better interprofessional relationships

Saroo Sharda MD, MMEd, FRCPC
Anaesthesiologist, Assistant Clinical Professor, McMaster University
Department of Anaesthesia

Navigating Faculty Wellness "Tensions" –
How to be a successful and fulfilled rebel »

Workshop time: 11:20 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.

Clinical faculty and staff who teach often experience challenges to their wellbeing that result from tensions that exist relating their various roles. Some of these are a result of tensions relating to differing expectations of individuals and the organization in which they work. Other tensions arise between the healthcare setting and ‘academia’ (university/colleges). In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to both explore these tensions and identify ways to address them. Helen Bevan’s concept of being a rebel will be used to discuss ways that individuals can take action to effect change.

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify where tensions exist for their own roles within the organizations in which they work that impact wellbeing
  2. Discuss an approach to ‘navigating’ these tensions
  3. Identify a plan for day to day action as a rebel

Karen Leslie MD, MEd, FRCPC
Director, Centre for Faculty Development at St. Michael’s Hospital
Professor of Paediatrics
Faculty of Medicine
University of Toronto

Managing Wellness:
Macro and Micro Perspectives for Health Care Professionals »

All-day workshop: 11:20 a.m. – 12:50 p.m. and 1:50 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

This interactive workshop will review the value of making wellness a priority for healthcare professionals in the complex and challenging healthcare settings. During the session, the ability to identify and strategies to address the many different elements that affect wellness at both the system and personal level will be undertaken.


  1. To understand the implications and importance of well being for health professionals at the macro and micro level within health systems
  2. To identify areas within setting where there are challenges to wellness
  3. To reflect on personal approach to maintaining wellness
  4. To maintain an open perspective to different wellness approaches

Participants will be attending for morning and afternoon components of this workshop and will be asked to undertake a pre-workshop exercise. Participants should bring cell phone or tablet for this session.

Barbara-Ann Millar MBChB, MRCP, FRCR, FRCPC
Associate Director of Education Scholars Program, Centre for Faculty Development, University of Toronto and St. Michael’s Hospital

Heather Flett MD, FRCPC
Associate Director of Wellness, Post MD Education, University of Toronto

Equity, Identity and Dominance: Structural Barriers to Wellness »

Workshop time: 1:50 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

This workshop will introduce participants to the concept of equity and how equity combines with different social identities to determine power and privilege.

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Explain the difference between equity and equality
  2. Identify dominant groups within their own context and relate how institutional or structural norms may affect their own wellbeing or that of colleagues
  3. Discuss opportunities for demonstrating empathy and compassion through allyship and/or solidarity with structurally marginalized groups

Zac Feilchenfeld, MD, MHPE, FRCPC - Staff Physician, Division of General Internal Medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto

Morag Paton, MEd
Education Research Coordinator, Continuing Professional Development, PostMD Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
PhD Candidate, Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, OISE

Resilience: A Silver-Lined Glass, Half-Full of Lemonade »

Workshop time: 1:50 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Define “resilience”
  2. Describe qualities and behaviours associated with “resilience”
  3. Reflect on approaches to daily challenges using newly acquired “resilience skills”

Shelly Dev MD, FRCPC
Director, Resident Education; Co-Director, Fellowship Program, Sunnybrook Department of Clinical Care Medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; Lead, Mentorship & Wellness, Interdepartmental Division of Critical Care Medicine, University of Toronto; and
Lead, Mentorship, Peters-Boyd Academy at Women’s College Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and North York General Hospital

Apps for Reducing Healthcare Provider Burnout »

Workshop time: 1:50 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

There are apps that are fun, relax and perhaps waste your time. Think Candy Crush, Angry Birds. Then there are apps that can help you reduce burnout and improve your well being. This session will review such apps and review evidence for such claims.


  1. Provide an overview of apps for that help healthcare providers cope with burnout and stress
  2. Review the evidence that supports apps for reducing burnout and stress

Clyde Matava, MD
Staff Anaesthesiologist
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)

Navigating Systems for Students/Trainees in Distress »

Workshop time: 1:50 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

This 90-minute workshop will use a combination of didactic and interactive learning modalities to assist attendees in acquiring knowledge to recognize and take action in situations when a trainee/student is in distress. There will be a focus on case example analysis. Resources will be reviewed, and the collective knowledge of the group will be used to compile a comprehensive list of valuable resources. Data from learner experience surveys will be shared to provide local context.


  1. Recognize the signs of distress in a student/trainee
  2. Identify the common causes of distress in students/trainees
  3. Be aware of the resources available to students in distress and know how to access them

Julie Maggi MD, MSc, FRCPC Director, Postgraduate Wellness Office, Post MD Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Elizabeth McLaney MEd, BScOT, OT Reg. (Ont), BA, Director of Interprofessional & Academic Education, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Associate Director, Centre for Interprofessional Education, University of Toronto

Enhancing Learner Resilience through Wellness Initiatives:
A call to action »

Workshop time: 11:20 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.

After this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the importance of wellness for all healthcare professionals with a focus on building resilience and decreasing burnout
  2. Reflect on potential needs and effective initiatives that promote wellness
  3. Discuss recent advances in the approach to healthcare professional wellness
  4. Create a framework to establish a wellness program that reaches trainees and faculty

Janet Bodley MD, MEd, FRCSC
Associate Professor, Department of Ob/Gyn, University of Toronto

Applying Quality Improvement Methods to Enhance Joy in Work »

Workshop time: 1:50 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

Health care professionals and learners/trainees are experiencing burnout and lack of wellness in their work at increasingly higher rates, leading to many leaving their chosen professional all together. There are many system-level contributors impacting health care provider joy and wellbeing that can be addressed using Quality Improvement (QI) theories and methods traditionally applied to patient safety and quality issues. Participants of this workshop will review of the Institute for Healthcare Improvements’ “Framework for Improving Joy in Work” and through applied case examples, practice core QI methods and concepts for achieving measurable improvement in provider wellbeing and joy.

Learning objectives include:

  1. Understand the literature surrounding health care provider wellbeing, resilience and burnout
  2. Identify the core components of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Framework for Improving Joy in Work
  3. Apply the core components of the IHI Framework to a quality and patient safety case example

Brigette Hales M.Sc
Director, Quality & Patient Safety

Making the Case for Peer Support: The SickKids Model »

Workshop time: 11:20 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.


  1. Describe Trauma and Second Victim responses, as well as practices all professionals can enact to support themselves, their teams, and peers in these situations
  2. Identify formal initiatives developed to assist health professionals experiencing trauma, including internal peer support programs and external resources
  3. Discuss the logistics of implementing a peer support program, including the. Operational and cultural challenges and rewards that result

Kelly McNaughton MSW, RSW, CTS
Mental Health Program, Organizational Lead
Program Manager, Peer Support and Trauma Response

Trey Coffey MD, FAAP FRCP(C)
Medical Safety Officer, SickKids and Associate Clinical Director, Solutions for Patient Safety

Performance Nutrition for Healthcare Providers »

Workshop time: 11:20 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.

In this workshop participants will learn about:

  1. The role of nutrition in medicine as a human factors issue
  2. Challenges and roadblocks healthcare providers face when it comes to healthy eating
  3. Evidence-based nutritional strategies to overcome these challenges, mitigate fatigue and improve performance

Maryam Hamidi PhD
Nutrition Scientist; Associate Director of Scholarship and Health Promotion, Stanford Medicine WellMD | WellPhD

Katelynn Maniatis MHSc, RD
Professional and Education Leader, Clinical Nutrition
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Daphna Steinberg MSc, RD, CDE, CTDP
Clinical Dietitian, High Risk Obstetrics
Aubrey & Marla Dan Centre for Women & Babies
Practice-based Researcher, Sunnybrook Research Institute
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Mindfulness in the Workplace »

Workshop time: 1:50 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.
  1. Develop an experiential understanding of mindfulness
  2. Review the findings of the Mindfulness and Staff Wellbeing pilot study conducted at Sunnybrook
  3. Discuss the opportunities and challenges of introducing mindfulness workshops into the workplace

Steven Selchen MD, MSt
Chief of Psychiatry, Joseph Brant Hospital
Head of Mindfulness-Based Interventions, University of Toronto, Department of Psychiatry
Director of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Senior Leader, F.W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre
Director, APEX Initiativ


This accredited event will provide you with:

  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada: 6.0 Section 1 hours
  • College of Family Physicians of Canada: 6.0 Mainpro+ (1 credit/hour)

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