Physician Health Program

The Physician Health Program provides assistance to colleagues, physicians in training and their families who may be struggling with a variety of issues, including:

  • mental health

  • relationship issues (professional and personal)

  • substance abuse/addiction

  • physical health

  • work and family concerns

Support is available to physicians throughout the spectrum of their careers, from medical school and residency, through active practice and into retirement. Referral sources and those accessing service can be reassured that all information remains strictly confidential.

Physician Health Program committee members are from a variety of backgrounds and expertise, the common denominator being a dedication to the provision of non-judgmental and confidential assistance and support. Compassionate and knowledgeable in the field of physician health and well being, they assist struggling physicians and their families in whatever way necessary to access the necessary education, rehabilitation, support, and maximize the potential for physicians to continue in effective medical practice.

Contact the Physician Health Program

If you are in need of assistance or are aware of a struggling colleague, contact Brenda Senger (306-244-2196, 1-800-667-3781 or brenda@sma.sk.ca), Director of Physician Support Programs for assistance.

If you feel your request for assistance cannot wait for regular business hours, Physician Health Program committee members are also available after hours and on weekends. Log in to the members' area of the website and click here for contact information on committee members.

If you require immediate medical assistance, visit your local hospital emergency room.

Resources

Self-reflection tools (available to SMA members only)

ePhysicianHealth.com - The world's first comprehensive, online physician health and wellness resource.

Committee member contact information (available to SMA members only)

Committee Terms of Reference

Did You Know?

  • Traditionally, physicians in need of care feel guilty about accepting care and shame for needing it. So, many struggle with undiagnosed, untreated or self-treated mental health issues.

  • The most common reasons physicians and their families contact the Physician Health Program (PHP) are:

    1. mental health issues

    2. relationship issues (personal and professional)

    3. substance abuse and addiction

    4. work or family disharmony 

  • One out of every 10 physicians will become dependent on psychoactive drugs or alcohol sufficient to impair the practice of medicine at some time during their careers.

  • One out of every 100 physicians will become a narcotics addict at sometime during their career

  • The practice of medicine is often the last area to be affected for a physician in difficulty.

Risk factors for physicians

Characteristics:

  • Need for control

  • Perfectionism

  • Dedication and devotion to work to the exclusion of pleasure and interpersonal relationships

  • Emotional remoteness

  • Chronic self-doubt

Occupational Factors:

  • Sleep deprivation

  • Excessive workload and demands

  • Potential for complaints/litigation

  • Witnessing trauma and human suffering

  • Job dissatisfaction

The good news...

The Physician Health Program is here to help. We are dedicated to looking out for the best interests of physicians and their families. As a member of the SMA, the services that are available to you are also available to your family in the areas of education, rehabilitation and supports for addictions, mental health, physical health and family marital concerns. If you, a family member or a colleague is in need of assistance, please contact the Physician Health Program.