Six Canadian moms share the stories of their abortions

In recent years, women have shared stories of their infertility, miscarriages, postpartum depression and birth trauma. But there is one area of reproductive health that moms are still reluctant to open up about, and that’s abortion. It may surprise you to learn that many of the women who have abortions in Canada—perhaps the majority—are moms. According to data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, about 39 percent of the women who had abortions at Canadian hospitals reported at le

The Vagina Bible: Beating bad science on women's sexual health

FOR more than 10 years, Jennifer Gunter has been fact-checking claims about women’s bodies and writing about it all – sometimes humorously, at other times using expletives. She has been called Twitter’s resident gynaecologist and her Twitter fans (she has over 200,000 followers) describe those she has admonished for their ignorance as having been “guntered”. Now, she is poised to reach out to many more when her book …

Canada’s faculties of medicine commit to improving Indigenous health

Boosting the number of Indigenous medical students, bolstering Indigenous curriculum among measures promised. The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada has approved a Joint Commitment to Action on Indigenous Health that Indigenous health leaders say provides a much-needed roadmap for training medical students to better serve Indigenous communities. In May, leaders representing Canada’s 17 faculties of medicine committed to building stronger relationships with Indigenous communities, i

New resources to aid doctors in lowering opioid doses

New resources are emerging to help physicians across Canada reduce opioid doses for patients. They come at a time when doctors feel pressure from regulatory agencies to deprescribe opioids but don’t feel trained or supported in the process. “We spend a lot of time in medical schools teaching doctors how to start medications — not just opioids —and we don’t really talk about stopping any of them,” said Dr. Lori Montgomery, medical lead of the Calgary Pain Program for Alberta Health Services.

Challenges of treating chronic pain contributing to burnout in primary care

Primary care providers who treat patients with chronic pain appear to be exhibiting signs of burnout, in large part because they often feel unable to help patients overcome their complex challenges. This was a conclusion of the authors of a recent paper in PLoS ONE based on interviews with 19 doctors and 8 nurses in primary care, supplemented with 40 hours of observations. “Their narratives suggested experiences of depersonalization, loss of job satisfaction and emotional exhaustion in relation

Ontario premier’s unprecedented partisan attack on public health worries health experts

ntario Premier Doug Ford may be dialing back some of his cuts to Toronto Public Health but not before he attempted to justify his decision by calling the Toronto Board of Health a “ bastion of lefties ” in Ontario’s legislature. That kind of partisan attack on public health is unprecedented in recent history, according to health experts and academics. “I have no recollection of an attack by a politician of this magnitude on public health officials,” said Ian Culbert, the executive director of t

Why Aren’t the Doctors Where the Sick People Are?

West Hill is a quiet neighbourhood nestled between the branches of the Highland creek in east Scarborough, bounded by the elite Scaroboro Golf and Country Club to the west and Lake Ontario to the south. In the 1950s and 60s, middle-class families drawn by the area’s affordable houses and rural beauty turned the community into a post-war suburb. Along Kingston Road, which cuts through the neighbourhood, motels and plazas served drivers passing through towards Toronto. When the 401 was built nort

Here’s why you can ignore the Dirty Dozen foods list without guilt

You’ve probably heard of the “Dirty Dozen,” a list of 12 fruits and vegetables named annually by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to be the most laden with pesticides. The US advocacy group’s message is that people can limit their exposure to pesticides by buying these 12 products from the organic aisle. Toddler favourites are routinely among the top offenders, and this year’s list, released in March, is no different: strawberries and grapes are named as pesticide peddlers. If you’re pregna

Is it ethical to recruit doctors from countries with physician shortages?

As Nova Scotia looks to the United Kingdom for doctors, and Britain comes under fire for importing more doctors than it trains, health human resource experts are calling for ethical and local solutions to Canada’s physician shortage. Staff from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration, the Nova Scotia Health Authority and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia recently travelled to four cities in England and Scotland to meet with 36 doctors interested in working in the province. The

How female physicians are supporting each other in addressing professional inequities

ith the launch of Time’s Up Health Care , the discrimination women face in medicine, from the gender pay gap to harassment to leadership barriers, is more visible than ever. What’s less known is how women are surviving in their sometimes-toxic work environments, and how they’re pushing back to address system inequities. One key, and simple, strategy is to demand the Dr. title. Dr. Justine Amaro, an emergency physician and assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, warns female trainees ag

Promises to change working culture of medicine still mostly lip service

The new generation of doctors is demanding change in many aspects of the culture of medicine — from the hierarchical structure to problems related to work–life balance. Senior doctors have praised younger physicians for starting conversations on issues like parental leave, harassment and burnout. But some worry the culture isn’t changing fast enough to meet the expectations of millennial doctors.

Scrubbed: Ontario emergency room chief faces questions about failing to hire any female doctors in 16 years

Dr. Marko Duic has been celebrated by health ministry officials, hospital leaders and doctors for transforming emergency medicine. But over his 16 years as an emergency chief, another truth about Dr. Duic has emerged: He had not hired a single female doctor to work in his departments until October, weeks after The Globe and Mail began asking questions about his hiring practices.
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