Friday, May 24 – Day 1

7:00 – 8:00 am  Breakfast and Registration

8:00 – 8:15 am  Welcome and Opening Remarks – Shannon Fraser, MD, President, Canadian Society of Physician Leaders

8:15 – 9:00 am  Keynote Address: Condition Critical: Rebuilding Medicare for the Next Generation – Andre Picard, Health columnist, Globe and Mail

9:05 – 10:05 am  Panel: Health System Realities Unveiled – Andre Picard (Moderator) Panelists: Dr. Paula Cashin, Bill Tholl, Adrienne Zarem

10:05 – 10:30 am  Break

10:30 am – 12:15 pm  Interactive Plenary Session 1: Setting the Stage for Action – Phil Cady, President, Cognitive Leadership Strategies West (Facilitator)

Using the highly engaging “Interview Matrix” technique, participants will act as interviewer and interviewee on key “questions that matter” to help them navigate the complex landscape of our healthcare system with fresh perspectives. 

12:15 – 1:15 pm  Lunch

1:15 –4:30 pm  Interactive Plenary Session 2: Pathways to Health System Reform Phil Cady, President, Cognitive Leadership Strategies West (Facilitator)

Using the empowering “Open Space Forum” method, you become the architect of change. Together, participants will collectively create the agenda for discussion and engage in meaningful conversations regarding possibilities for reform.

4:30 – 5:00 pm   Awards Ceremony – Honoring the recipient of the Chris Carruthers Excellence in Medical Leadership Award and those receiving the Canadian Certified Physician Executive (CCPE) credential.

5:00 – 5:15 pm  Closing Remarks

5:15 – 7:00 pm  Welcome Reception – Everyone welcome!

Saturday, May 25 — Day 2

7:45 – 8:25 am  Breakfast and Registration

7:30 – 8:25 am  CSPL Business Meeting – All members welcome!                      

8:30 – 8:45 am  Welcome and Opening Remarks – Dietrich Furstenburg, MD, President, Canadian Society of Physician Leaders

8:45 – 9:45 am  Keynote Address 

9:50 – 10:50 am  Keynote Address           

10:50 – 11:15 am  Break

11:15 am – 12:45 pm  Workshop Session 1

To assist in selecting workshops that align with your knowledge and learning goals, we have indicated the content level: Introductory, Advanced and Suitable for All Levels. Please consider this rating to make an informed choice.

Dr. Amanda J Brisebois, MD, FRCPC, FACP, AoDI, PCC (ICF), CCPE

Presentation Level: Introductory

The Team Optimization for Physicians (TOP) Program will be introduced by sharing case studies which exemplify how this program can bring operational and team successes. The program brings structure to working together to solve problems and creates space for teams to heighten their communication and integration skills.

Through the TOP Program principles within the model “B Better 2 B Free” are promoted. These skills lead to the creation of success through managing differences in-the-moment and facing concerns and conflict with a clear process based on mediation principles. These principles honour individuals within teams and will teach participants strategies to ensure differing opinions are embraced.

Participants in this workshop will leave with concrete examples to transform their workplaces into environments where open communication can be embraced, our differences can be turned to successes and conflict can be seen as an opportunity.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize how the current focus for “well” workplaces can be transitioned into actions.
  • Master the ‘B Better 2 B Free’ processes for turning in-the-moment differences into successes and creating opportunity from conflict.
  • Recognize the power that the TOP Program has to transform workplaces by identifying individuals and teams who need support, working through issues with process, and creating a Team Playbook focused on customized issues that a team is facing.
  • Utilize the success of programs in Alberta to start to plan your own local initiatives to support practitioners and teams in your workplaces.


Heather Murray, MD, MSc, FRCPC; Liisa Honey, MD, FRCSC; Armand Aalamian, MDCM, CCFP, FCFP

Presentation Level: Introductory

Disruptive behaviour in the healthcare workplace undermines working relationships and team dynamics. The current climate of healthcare resource scarcity, access to care challenges and provider stress and burnout are likely contributing to workplace incivility. The impacts of these uncivil behaviours can have significant negative effects on patient safety, staff morale and retention, and increased organizational costs. Physicians who exhibit incivility may have concurrent challenges with stress and mental health.

Participants attending this workshop will gain insights into the causes, contributing factors and impacts of unprofessional behaviour in healthcare workplaces. The importance of a fair, procedurally based approach, using examples of existing institutional and provincial policies to discuss the management of representative cases will be reviewed. Incorporating a structured framework, a step-wise approach to identifying, debriefing and remediating distressed individuals who are exhibiting uncivil behaviour will be applied.

Physician leaders will leave with new insights into disruptive behaviour and an approach to managing it to “do things differently” in their institutions. Participants will also have access to selected materials from the course during and following the session. 

Learning Objectives

  • Define incivility and list outcomes for patients, staff, teams, and organizations.
  • Understand the role of procedures and procedural fairness in responding to reports of unprofessional behaviour.
  • Summarize a stepwise approach that can be used to intervene and remediate unprofessional behaviour.


Michelle Ward, MD

Presentation Level: Advanced

Recent research shows that public trust in the healthcare system has declined, patients trust their physicians less than in the past, and trust issues within teams negatively impact collaboration and productivity.

This workshop will focus on trust as a core element of healthcare leadership and its ability to transform the health system from individual interactions to team dynamics to public messaging. It will examine the elements of trust, strategies to build and convey trust as a leader, and how to navigate trust dynamics in a group.

Following illustration and analysis of trust elements, small-group game-play (with assigned roles) will be used to practice skills and evaluate trust dynamics. Reflection and large-group feedback will be used to enhance learning.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the elements of trust and their role in medical leadership.
  • Demonstrate communication skills that convey trustworthiness.
  • Identify practical strategies to incorporate greater trust in your work.
  • Analyze trust dynamics within a group.

Mamta Gautam, MD, MBA, FRCPC, CCPE, CPE; Ming-Ka Chan, BSc (Psych), MD, MHPE, FRCPC

Presentation Level: Suitable for All Levels

Allyship training for leaders is essential to cultivate a safe and accountable workplace that removes barriers to access and enhances participation of teams. With an increasing recognition of the need to advance equity, access and participation, healthcare organizations have initiated policies and programs to promote the representation and participation of diverse groups of individuals, of different identities including and not limited to age, race, ethnicity, ability, disability, gender, religion, culture and sexual orientation. Research shows that the right policies alone cannot shift workplace culture. It is imperative that leaders behave and step up as allies and co-disruptors to leverage their power and privilege, take action and demonstrate commitment to the cause. Allies inspire others to act as change agents in creating a healthy culture of belonging and support. Such healthcare cultures will then have positive downstream impacts on patients, caregivers, communities and planetary health.

By integrating learning and development, storytelling, both small and large group discussions, scenarios, and skill acquisition, this workshop introduces innovative approaches to encourage crucial conversations about diversity and equity. It equips participants with practical tools to advocate for themselves and others. The content delves into recognizing and addressing marginalization in learning and workplace settings, empowering individuals to speak up against inequities, and responding effectively to microaggressions. The workshop aims to empower leaders to exemplify positive allyship behaviors, co-create collectively and work in solidarity.

Learning Objectives

  • Define allyship and associated core concepts.
  • Identify your accountabilities as a leader and potential allies.
  • Describe how to tangibly practice allyship in the healthcare workplace.

Shayne Taback, MD, FRCPC, CEC

Presentation Level: Suitable for All Levels

Physician leaders need a solid understanding of change dynamics to Achieve Results (LEADS Framework). In his 1992 book, Managing At The Speed Of Change, Darryl R. Conner initially introduced four change roles: change advocate, change sponsor, change agent, and change target, and this framework has been further improved over the years. Leaders with knowledge of these roles and their best practices will gain improved clarity around the authorization of people involved in the change and the ability to diagnose and treat alignment issues.

This workshop is intended for anyone interested in being more successful at bringing about change inside their organization.

Learning Objectives

  • Classify individuals involved in a planned change by their change roles.
  • Construct a map of these individuals.
  • Select strategies to improve alignment of people in the system.

Kristy Williams, MD, CFPC; Victoria Pawlowski, M.Ed., RCC

Presentation Level: Suitable for All Levels

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), rooted in evidence-based research, equips healthcare professionals with the skills to effectively navigate distressing emotional situations in both their professional and personal lives. MSC has been shown to significantly reduce depression, stress, secondary traumatic stress, and burnout, while simultaneously enhancing self-compassion, mindfulness, compassion for others, and job satisfaction among healthcare professionals.

Through brief presentations, mindfulness activities, hands-on exercises, group dialogues, and at-home practices, this workshop provides participants with direct encounters of self-compassion and impart practices that can evoke self-compassion in their everyday routines and contribute to the development of strong healthcare leadership.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the evidence-based benefits of self-compassion.
  • Apply the skills of mindful self-compassion to care for oneself and alleviate stress and symptoms of burnout for physician leaders.
  • Practice self-compassion in relationships and caregiving.

Gina Doxtator, NVision Insight Group

Presentation Level: Suitable for All Levels

Designed by NVision, a majority Indigenous-owned company, this workshop meets various Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. Participants will build their Indigenous intercultural capacity in areas such as adaptation skills, self-knowledge, attitude of respect, intercultural communication, and other attitudes and skills to be anti-racist and strengthen relationships with Indigenous communities, organizations, and governments.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand what race, racism, bias and culture is.
  • Identify Indigenous stereotypes and learn how to counter them.
  • Develop skills in building Indigenous intercultural capacity.

Deepti Ravi, MD, FRCPC, FCAP, Exec. MBA

Presentation Level: Suitable for All Levels

Negotiations are an integral part of healthcare, from contract signings to securing funding. However, many healthcare professionals find these conversations uncomfortable and challenging. This workshop addresses the essential need for healthcare colleagues to confidently engage in negotiations, fostering an environment where they can advocate for what they deserve.

Participants will leave with enhanced negotiation skills, increased confidence in advocating for themselves, and a practical understanding of how negotiations can contribute to long-term career satisfaction and well-being.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand and apply the principles of basic negotiation tactics in a systematic and timely manner.
  • Integrate the science behind negotiation into clinical and administrative practice to identify the shared goals between themselves and their colleagues.
  • Engage in hands-on negotiation exercises to initiate practical skills development.

12:45 – 2:00 pm  Lunch / CCPE Luncheon

2:00 – 3:30 pm  Workshop Session 2

To assist in selecting workshops that align with your knowledge and learning goals, we have indicated the content level: Introductory, Advanced and Suitable for All Levels. Please consider this rating to make an informed choice.

Kelly Tremblay, PhD. FAAA CEC- ACC

Level: Introductory

Many of us are going to live a decade or so longer than our parents and living longer presents challenges and opportunities. The United Nations describes longevity and population aging as one of the most significant social transformations of the 21st century because it will affect nearly every sector of society – including our own health and careers. Whereas our parents experienced a 40-year career span, our careers will likely span 60 years.

If living longer requires earning longer, and earning longer requires learning longer, then physicians are at a particular disadvantage. Physician burnout is an epidemic in North America, with more than 1 in 2 physicians, residents and administrators reporting weekly signs of burnout. Interestingly, these symptoms do not appear to be the result of being on the job too long because research suggests that practitioners and leaders with 20 years or less in practice are significantly more likely to be experiencing burnout compared to those late in their career (over 30 years).

In this workshop, we will review what research is revealing about the typical career span of physician leaders – and how to navigate the extra miles with burnout in mind. Specifically, peer-reviewed resources and tools designed to enhance leadership capabilities and preserve health will be shared and practiced onsite and in real time.

Learning Objectives

  • Create a personal career timeline that includes best practices for preserving health and career longevity.
  • Recognize the many symptoms of burnout and fatigue and their effects on our brains and bodies.
  • Comprehend peer-reviewed strategies for preserving health and career longevity.
  • Apply peer-reviewed leadership and lifestyle strategies designed to prevent burnout.
  • Identify available tools and resources for continued reflection.

Nicole Boutillier, BSC, MD, CCFP, FCFP, CCPE; Govind Adaikappan, BASc Mechanical Engineering, MASc Industrial Engineering, Executive MSc, Health Economics, Policy and Management

Presentation Level: Advanced

As demands on healthcare systems continuously increase, the need for physician leaders to navigate complexities and drive transformational change has never been higher. Over 70% of transformations fail – we need to do things differently. “Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.”

To pivot from the status quo, leaders need to focus on two critical aspects: i) intentionally shaping the organizational environment by influencing structure and systems to guide transformation with an equal emphasis on what and how, and ii) setting leadership behavioural norms – what are the expectations and how will they be lived?

This workshop will explore the key elements required to build an environment for leaders to be successful and provide practical steps to build such an environment at one’s own organization.

Learning Objectives

  • Share lessons learned from transformation efforts across a 25,000 staff healthcare organization.
  • Understand the core elements required to build the environment for successful transformation.
  • Recognize the core leadership behaviours needed to drive transformation.

Nancy Merrow, MD, CCFP(PC), FCFP, G(CEC), former Chief of Staff and Vice President, Medical Affairs, Orillia Soldiers Memorial Hospital

Presentation Level: Advanced (most beneficial but not limited to those in or applying for a Chief of Staff position)

The Hospital Chief of Staff holds a pivotal hospital leadership role with direct accountabilities at the highest level of the organization. Although long established in legislation and hospital Bylaws, the role is often ill defined and poorly understood. Oversight of the recruitment, retention, performance and engagement of physicians, midwives, nurse practitioners and dentists who are not in an employment relationship with the hospital is complex and requires deft handling of relationships and incidents that directly affect patient care. Successful Chiefs of Staff sometimes say that they have a tremendous amount of responsibility with limited actionable authority. Nonetheless, senior administration and the Board rely on the Chief of Staff to manage credentialed staff in a way that optimizes engagement and minimizes risk to the organization and the patients it serves.

The Chief of Staff can benefit from creating a network of relationships and supports that will accelerate their learning and sustain their energy in the role.

This workshop will use an interactive game format to explore and work collaboratively using scenarios drawn from real world experiences to create action plans using available resources.

Learning Objectives

  • Know specific methods to communicate with impact, get results at meetings and have high stakes conversations in the role of Chief of Staff.
  • Have an approach to identify knowledge and skill gaps that they have, and to create a development plan to thrive in leadership.
  • Gain a network of colleagues across Canada who can continue to learn together and share experiences that expedite solutions to sticky situations.

Eusang Ahn, MD, MD, MSc (MedEd), Dipl. KSEM, FRCPC; Kaitline Endres, MD; Jerry Maniate, MD, M.Ed, FRCPC, FACP, CCPE, CPC(HC)

Presentation Level: Suitable for All Levels

In an era of unprecedented health professional burnout, new solutions and strategies to strengthen resiliency and foster sustainable longevity are of paramount importance. Collectivism, a holistic group-based mindset model for both clinical care and healthcare professional well-being is an approach that is novel in the Western context. Collectivism may offer valuable lessons and a new perspective in how to approach the creation of better models of excellence.

This workshop aims to explore the potential applications and added value stemming from the adoption of collectivist principles in healthcare, both for clinical care and health professional wellness.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the individualist cultural aspects that exist in the current models of “team-based” practice and their origins.
  • Define and discuss collectivism and explore its application in cultural and professional contexts.
  • Co-create novel strategies that utilize aspects of a collectivist approach for cultural change within participants’ organizations and groups.

Anne McNamara, MBChB (Otago, NZ), FRACP, FRCPC, CEC

Presentation Level: Suitable for All Levels

Considering one’s leadership as existing within an ecosystem supports development of different perspectives. Many medical leaders struggle to develop meaningful mutual understanding with those in different roles and where assumption and bias get in the way of meaningful and clear conversations.

Participants will draw an image of their ecosystem and reflect on their conversations with a colleague where this divide seems clear. The Allyship framework described by Eric Spencer, Morag Barrett, and Ruby Vesely is a tool for reflection and action that will be introduced. Curiosity also allows leaders to put assumption and biases aside, creating opportunities for humane connection and understanding.

Through small group sharing guided by provocative questions, participants will learn to change conversational behaviours of competition, persuasion, and judgment to those of collaboration, connectivity and understanding. Participants will be invited to identify and plan one change they will make.

Learning Objectives

  • Develop awareness of interactions with, and assumptions regarding, those in your leadership ecosystem.
  • Reflect on how a framework of allyship might change your approach to others in your ecosystem and their approach to you.
  • Practice using curiosity to support relationship-building conversations.
  • Create a plan to support your specific intention for change regarding your leadership connectivity.
  • Build connection with other leaders by sharing relevant stories and ideas.

Tamara McColl, MD, FRCPC, MMEd; Eddy Lang, MDCM, CCFP(EM), FCFP, FCAHS, CCPE; Alecs Chochinov, MD, FRCPC

Presentation Level: Suitable for All Levels

Healthcare is delivered within complex systems, by a heterogeneous group of individuals, with differing social identities related to their various departments and specialties. As a result, tribalism has developed between disciplines and has become a significant barrier to achieving a collaborative approach to patient care, in a system under duress. Tribalism is defined as “loyalty to a tribe or other social group, especially when combined with strong negative feelings for people outside the group.”

Despite the shared goal of delivering effective patient care, healthcare professionals often work in silos and typically exhibit discordant views toward each other and their level of contribution to patient care as well as the overall healthcare system. These cognitive biases are deeply rooted and pose significant challenges as we collectively attempt to address the worst healthcare crisis we have ever faced with incredible access block and massive staffing shortages. Healthcare providers have lost confidence in the ability of our current system to address these issues and it’s become clear that we need a more comprehensive and collaborate approach and the existing silos between departments and specialties must be broken down.

Strategies to address tribalism, turf protection and conflict in a resource constrained environment are essential to preserving the integrity of the workplace environment. This workshop will provide practical strategies to foster collaboration in this regard.

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss an approach for leveraging current crises in healthcare to improve provider engagement and outcomes.
  • Develop strategies for reducing inter-specialty conflict and foster the development of a shared vision and collaboration.

Jennifer Williams, BSc, MD, FRCPC; Jodi Ploquin, MSc, TIC, CWT, CHE; Johny Van Aerde, MD, MA, PhD, FRCPC; Graham Dickson, PhD, Partner, LEADS Global

Presentation Level: Suitable for All Levels

In Canada 8 out of 10 physicians report experiencing bullying and harassment in the workplace and one third of female surgeons report being sexually assaulted by a colleague. There is mounting evidence of racism and microaggressions impacting the well-being of physicians and medical learners. Anti-science has introduced new forms of patient-to-worker violence. The experience of moral distress has been amplified due to post-pandemic backlog of care and workforce shortages present barriers for patients to have timely access to care. These are all sources of emotional injury that threaten the well-being and performance of our providers.

When impacted by trauma, many will look to their leaders and healthcare organizations for support. If their experience is dismissed, minimized or shamed, it causes a second harm, known as sanctuary trauma or institutional betrayal. Repetitive exposure to trauma has exacerbated burnout, mental health issues and challenges accessing mental health supports.

What does this mean in the context of a longstanding healthcare leadership framework like LEADS in a Caring Environment? Our fundamental leadership framework and ingrained leadership behaviors should expand beyond the emphasis on achieving results and systems transformation (LEADS) to proactively nurture our people by establishing safe and inclusive workplaces (S.A.F.E.R.). The domains are:

S: Safety (cultural, psychological, and physical)

A: Awareness of sources of workplace trauma and impacts

F: Foster voice and choice

E: Empathetic curiosity (shift from judgement to curiosity)

R: Restorative connections

This workshop is an expansion of the LEADS framework to LEADS-SAFER. The SAFER domains explicitly build out the ‘people side’ of leadership, describing the capabilities needed from leaders to create safe, inclusive workplaces where healthcare providers can thrive.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the call to action to healthcare leaders for a paradigm shift in healthcare.
  • List evidence that most healthcare providers do not experience a workplace that is a Caring Environment.
  • Explain the need for explicit rather than implicit expansion of the LEADS in a Caring Environment framework to achieve safe, inclusive leadership.
  • List the leadership attributes of the S.A.F.E.R. domains to shift the paradigm beyond a results-focused mindset to a people-first focused mindset.
  • Identify two actions to move SAFER principles into practice.

Callie Bland, PCC, CPCC, RN, BSN, BSc.

Presentation Level: Suitable for All Levels

Strategic planning is an essential leadership skill that helps leaders focus, be proactive rather than reactive, and provides a sense of direction and vision with an actionable plan to achieve desired outcomes. Strategic planning improves decision-making, increases operational efficiency, enhances coordination and alignment between departments and stakeholder groups, and strengthens accountability. Providing physician leaders with strategic planning language, concepts and skills increases their confidence and effectiveness to engage with health care administrators and the business function areas of an organization. Encouraging physician leaders to see how their work connects to the vision, mission, values, strategic priorities, and objectives will help to increase physician involvement in the planning process.

This workshop will focus on the three phases of strategic planning which aligns with the CanMEDS competency to engage in the stewardship of healthcare resources and with the Achieve Results domain of the LEADS framework. It will also help participants increase awareness of the personal strengths they bring to strategic planning and empower them to fully engage so they feel they belong in the planning process. Participants will be equipped with a practical strategic planning framework which will help them implement their own planning processes or help inform how they will participate in planning that already exists in their organization.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn the importance of strategic planning and the key components and concepts of a strategic plan.
  • Explore the three phases of strategic planning and the elements involved in each stage.
  • Review essential activities to execute a strategic plan successfully and ensure accountability.
  • Understand the pitfall that may compromise strategic planning.