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.
- 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.