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Overworked and underpaid, this Salt Spring Island doctor says family physicians are burning out

Dr. Christopher Applewhaite practices on Salt Spring Island, B.C., where, he says, half of the residents are without a family doctor. A growing workload and low pay have him regularly reconsidering his career in the province, he told Dr. Brian Goldman.
The Dose

Is it time to cut out artificial sweeteners?

A new, decade-long study published in the British Medical Journal suggests artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose could put us at greater risk of cardiovascular diseases. This study joins many others with similar unfavourable findings.
First Person

My father died 5 years ago in a hospital — and we're still seeking answers

On his 45th wedding anniversary, Ramesh Karnick was at home with his wife when he appeared to lose consciousness; he died a few weeks later. His daughter and CBC host, Sonali Karnick, has spent years trying to answer the question: how did her father die?

As pressures mount on home care in Canada, experts look abroad for solutions

Patients, home care providers and medical experts who spoke with White Coat, Black Art all agree that a rethink to home care is needed in Canada. Denmark and The Netherlands could provide a possible model for care at home with more help and less red tape, experts say.
The Dose

What do I need to know about the bivalent COVID-19 booster?

Health Canada approved a new COVID-19 bivalent vaccine booster from Moderna earlier this month. The updated shot builds on the original vaccine by adding protection specifically against the Omicron BA.1 variant.

Confronting pandemic isolation with '5 seconds of courage'

University student Maryam Mahdavi shares her experience with pandemic loneliness and her path to recovery.
The Dose

How much do I need to worry about routine immunizations?

The number of kids up-to-date on their routine immunizations has been dropping. Meanwhile, vaccine-preventable diseases have reappeared, with a confirmed case of polio in the U.S. The virus has also been detected in wastewater in the U.K. and Israel.

Crisis response teams achieve 70% reduction in people taken into custody under Mental Health Act

A program pairing a police officer with a mental health worker in Hamilton has reduced the apprehension rate under the Mental Health Act from 75 per cent of calls police respond to for people in crisis to 17 per cent.

The Recovery Sessions

The Recovery Sessions explores the challenges of Canadians as they deal with collateral damage from the pandemic: anxiety, weight gain and other health effects. We chose three volunteers and paired each with a health professional for coaching sessions on moving forward.

He was told he'd never graduate. Now this doctor is the CMA's 1st Indigenous president

On Aug. 21, Dr. Alika Lafontaine takes over as president of the Canadian Medical Association, becoming its first Indigenous leader. He spoke with Dr. Brian Goldman about struggling with learning challenges as a child, working as an Indigenous doctor, and how these experiences motivate him.

Faced with a difficult conversation? 5 tips to connect with empathy

Dr. Kathryn Mannix has had thousands of heart-wrenching conversations over her three-decade career as a palliative care physician, psychotherapist and trainer. She offers five tips for anyone who is faced with leading a challenging conversation.

'Undignified' 100-year-old hospital gown design in desperate need of redesign, doctor says

Likening the 100-year-old hospital gown to a prisoner's orange jumpsuit, a prominent British doctor says the "alien, open-at-the-back garment" is in desperate need of a redesign. 
First Person

How I'm taking small steps to feel comfortable around people again post-pandemic

Kealey Pringle, who lives in Saanichton, B.C., has health risk factors for COVID-19 and has been dealing with anxiety during the pandemic. As cases come down, she's taking steps to re-enter the world outside her home and create more connections with people.

Why doctors face an uphill battle when fighting against workplace harassment and bullying

Dr. Gabrielle Horne spent 14 years fighting to restore her reputation after being bullied and harrassed by senior doctors. She won a landmark victory in court, but experts say most doctors shy away from court battles as the costs, personal and professional, are too high.

Called out for wearing a mask? You're not alone. What may be driving this kind of pandemic aggression

As masking in public places shifts from being a requirement to a recommendation, experts say an uptick in negative comments directed toward those wearing face coverings may be part of a larger trend of increased aggression — such as air rage and domestic violence — during the pandemic.
White Coat

Breast cancer meant confronting her worst fear: seeing a doctor

Iatrophobia, an extreme fears of doctors, can cause some people to delay seeking care. This can have devastating consequences.

Why is it important to maintain my sense of balance as I age?

Balance is crucial to our overall well-being. But it can be challenged at any age, and we start to lose our balance in our 50s. The good news is that simple exercise can help maintain and even restore balance. Lisa Hoffart, a physiotherapist with Canadian Sport Institute Calgary and Group 23 Sports Medicine gives us the lowdown on balance.

Hard-to-reach Vancouver patients find compassion, care in mobile clinic

The Kilala Lelum mobile health-care unit in Vancouver that offers everything from stitches to prescribing treatment for opioid addiction is providing a way to reach patients who may otherwise avoid doctors and hospitals.

These easy wins could alleviate wait times at hospital ERs, experts suggest

Online triage, rapid assessment zones, and more accountability could decrease record-high wait times at emergency rooms.

What do I need to know about IUDs?

Intrauterine devices, also known as IUDs, are a popular form of birth control in this country. This week on The Dose, Dr. Renée Hall, medical director of Kelowna General Hospital's Women’s Services Clinic, shares what you need to know about IUDs.

The trouble with IUDs (Part 2)

After hearing from dozens of women about their experience with IUD pain in Part 1, we find out how some gynecologists like Dr. Fiona Mattatall are making the experience of getting an IUD more comfortable, though there’s no standardized pain control methods proven to work for everyone.
The Dose

What should I do when the mask mandates are lifted?

Mask mandates have been lifted in several provinces, though some hospitals and long-term care homes are still insisting on masks. Omicron and subvariants have not disappeared. So this week we’re asking: What should I do when the mask mandates are lifted? Raywat Deonandan, an epidemiologist and associate professor at the University of Ottawa, helps us navigate.
The Dose

Neuroscientists offer 3 lifestyle choices to help boost your memory

Worries about dementia often rank high in polls of Canadians' health concerns, but a neurologist says there are ways to keep our cherished memories strong.

Women have sucked up the pain of birth control devices for decades, but do they have to?

A growing chorus of women are demanding better education and pain management for those who experience discomfort during the insertion of the tiny T-shaped birth control devices known as IUDs.
The Dose

How much could drug decriminalization help with harm reduction?

British Columbia has become the first jurisdiction in Canada to legalize the possession of small quantities of hard drugs, which means no criminal penalties for carrying small amounts of street drugs like crystal meth. This move is part of a big idea called harm reduction. So how much could drug decriminalization help with harm reduction? Dr. Hakique Virani, an addiction medicine and public health physician in Edmonton, explains.