Dawn Martin PhD MEd MSW RSW

Healthcare is a fast paced, high emotion, sometime crazy place to work even on a calm day.  Resources are sometimes scarce or inadequate, there are competing egos, vague roles and responsibilities, systems problems, and unrealistic expectations. Sleep deprivation and ongoing time pressures are an accepted part of the culture.  And who knows what happened at the breakfast table that morning. Its hard to maintain balance, never mind work life balance. 

I’ve listened to thousands of physicians, healthcare team and medical trainees’ stories over the years and I have come to the conclusion that hospitals can be high school on steroids. Unlike high school, you must cooperate and collaborate at a high level with people you may not normally choose to associate with.  

I am highly empathetic to those working in a medical context.  I don’t sit in judgement.  Everyone is one story away from being written off the island, including myself.  Most people have good intentions and are unaware of the impact they are having on others. Unfortunately, the consequences of not getting along can have a detrimental impact on patient safety and morale. 

Physicians are held to a high account.  They are always the MRP – the ‘Most Responsible Person’ in the room. In my experience, it is not clinical competence that causes problems, but relationship competence.  Most training programs, despite good intentions, do not adequately socialize or skill build in this area leaving physicians to figure it out for themselves.    

My goal is to provide a non-judgemental, empathetic space where physicians are heard and where they can safely explore challenging feedback with the objective of developing and sustaining the skills necessary to manage even the most difficult of conversations, personalities and situations both personally and in the workplace.