Life and residency can, at times, be a real struggle

Here is Dr. Simon Fleming’s Resident Survival Story


Dr. Simon Fleming

I don’t know about you, but I quite like my job. I like fixing people, I like talking (a lot), I like working with tools and my hands (yes, I am an orthopaedic resident/trainee), I like training and teaching, and generally I like the world of healthcare.

However, there are also bits of my job that I don’t like. From the mundane such as, chasing assessments and filling out forms, to the traumatic and awful things that keep you awake at night, or pop into your brain while you’re randomly watching a film.


Sometimes, it’s nothing to do with the job itself. It’s just that the job is, in and of itself, traumatic. Death, loss, grieving, difficult decisions and mistakes (not just the making of mistakes, which I do a lot of, but the consequences and having to admit them and, and, and…). On top of the job, life happens: friends argue, relationship struggles, personal health deteriorates, loved ones get sick or die and, sometimes, the universe just decides to chuck it all at you at once.

And yet, we are still here. We cope, we show grit and we keep putting one foot in front of the other. I know why I am still here. How I coped. Who I had to thank and who I will never be able to thank enough (won’t stop me from trying though). Sure, most of the time, I personally store my trauma memories ‘neatly’, away in boxes, so they don’t “pop out”. But I also recognise that sometimes, both for me and for others, it’s important to share. To show that I was vulnerable, or hurting or struggling and how I got through it. Sometimes, to show how I’m not quite through it yet.

Residents and attendings (we were all residents once) – there are still people out there, in our community, who feel helpless, incompetent, or controlled by their fear. If you have a story you want to share, in a safe and supportive environment, whether it’s to help yourself, to help others or just because you want to be heard, please, submit your story to icre@royalcollege.ca

Deadline for submissions is May 20, 2019.

Click here to access the submission site.


Dr. Quinn CapersThe ICRE planning committee is pleased to announce Dr. Quinn Capers, as the ICRE 2019 closing plenary lecturer.

Dr. Quinn Capers, IV is an interventional cardiologist, medical educator, and Associate Dean for admissions in The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

His physician peers have voted him one of America’s “Best Doctors” annually from 2009 to 2017.

Serving as Associate Dean for Admissions in the College of Medicine since 2009, Dr. Capers has led the admissions team to achieve the following:

  • a 44% increase in total applications;
  • an increase in women matriculates such that women have outnumbered men in the last four entering classes;
  • an increase in the percentage of underrepresented minority (URM) students in the entering class from 13% to 26%;
  • and an increase in the average MCAT score of the entering class to the 94th percentile.

He has published several articles on interventional cardiology procedures, healthcare disparities, and diversity enhancement in medicine. His latest study is the first to document the presence and extent of unconscious racial bias in medical school admissions.

Dr. Capers graduated with honors from Howard University before obtaining his MD from The Ohio State University. He completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowships in vascular biology research, cardiovascular medicine, and interventional cardiology all at Emory University in Atlanta.

We look forward to having Dr. Capers close this year’s conference in Ottawa!

Richardson_LisaThe ICRE planning committee is thrilled to announce Dr. Lisa Richardson, as the ICRE 2019 opening plenary lecturer.

Dr. Richardson is a clinician educator in the University of Toronto’s Division of General Internal Medicine, and practices at the University Health Network. Her academic interest lies in the integration of critical and Indigenous perspectives into medical education.

She holds the roles of Strategic Advisor in Indigenous Health for the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine and is also the Indigenous Strategy Lead for Women’s College Hospital. She co-leads a new portfolio for the Department of Medicine called Person-Centered Care Education.

Dr. Richardson chairs several provincial and national committees to advance Indigenous medical education, and has been honoured with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons’ Thomas Dignan Award for Indigenous Health.

We look forward to having Dr. Richardson open this year’s conference in Ottawa!

Stay tuned for more conference programming announcements and details on Dr. Richardson’s lecture.


The 5th International Conference on Faculty Development in the Health Professions brings together international faculty development leaders and educators in the health sciences to share best practices and current research in faculty development and to foster a global community of leaders and educators in the field.

This year’s conference theme is: Creating Connections: Exploring Faculty Development through Different Lenses.

The call for workshop, poster and oral abstract submissions is now open. Deadline for all submissions is February 25, 2019.

Visit our website to learn more about this exciting pre-ICRE event.

Shortly after ICRE 2018, the ICRE planning committee called on residents around the globe, looking to find passionate and dedicated individuals to bring a resident’s perspective to the ICRE 2019 planning committee.

After receiving an overwhelming number of submissions from residents all over the world and from many different disciplines, we are pleased to introduce the ICRE 2019 Chief Residents:

2018_ICRE_ChiefResident_Elsey_PhotoDr. Elizabeth (Lizzy) Elsey 🇬🇧 is a general surgery trainee from the East Midlands, UK and is delighted to be continuing her involvement with ICRE as a Chief Resident in 2019.

Lizzy recently completed a PhD in the attainment of operative skill competency in general surgery training and held a prestigious NIHR personal fellowship whilst undertaking these studies. Her main academic interest is in the use of routinely collected, national training data to understand the experiences of trainees relating to assessment, autonomy and operative experience.  Lizzy was awarded the Best Resident Research prize at ICRE 2018 for work arising from her PhD.

Lizzy has previously held several influential roles relating to surgical training including Vice President of the Association of Surgeons in Training and sitting on various national committees involved in shaping the future of surgical training in the UK.

Lizzy is also passionate about promoting surgery careers at both a regional and national level, working with the Inspiring Futures campaign, Women in Surgery and the Royal College of Surgeons Emerging Leaders Programmes in the past and speaking at careers events. Lizzy was awarded the Health Education East Midlands “Excellence in Education: Future Educator” award in 2016.

Lizzy has two young children and works less-than-full-time. In her spare time she can be found attempting not to fall over in yoga classes, walking in the countryside and rewarding her exercise efforts with coffee and cake.

2018_ICRE_ChiefResident_Hall_PhotoDr. Jena Hall 🇨🇦 is an obstetrics and gynecology resident at Queen’s University. She has recently completed an MEd at Queen’s through the Clinician Investigator Program. Her masters research focused on learning from video playback in surgical training and reflecting on the operating room as a feedback and learning environment. Her interest in learning from video playback comes from a background in varsity figure skating, both as a competitor and coach. At Queen’s she has co-founded and co-chairs the CBME Resident Subcommittee, whose mandate is to represent the interests of the greater resident body at Queen’s School of Medicine through the transition and continued integration of CBME, encouraging coproduction at all levels of implementation. She is an advocate for the grassroots engagement of residents in MedEd discourse, in particular around the transition to CBME.

This is her second term as an ICRE Chief Resident, and she is looking forward to contributing toward another exciting and innovative conference!

FH_Photograph11 (1)Dr. Shuaib Quraishi 🇬🇧 MRCP (UK) MBBS BMedSci (Hons) FHEA DGM is currently an ST6 trainee in Acute Internal Medicine and Intensive Care Medicine. He has previously worked as a Royal College of Physicians Chief Registrar and RCP education fellow for Winnie Wade, associate director of education. He has a specialist interest in medical education, global health and focussed ultrasound and represents Kent, Surrey & Sussex trainees on the RCP Trainees Committee and MRCP(UK) Specialty Certificate Examinations steering group. During his time as an RCP education fellow, he was working with the JRCPTB on a project to implement a novel way to assess trainees using entrustable professional activities (EPAs) / capabilities in practice (CiPs) for postgraduate physician training in the UK.

This subsequently led to the approval of the new internal medicine curriculum by the GMC, which will replace core medical training from August 2019. He contributed to the analysis and writing of the proof of concept study report. During this time he completed a postgraduate certificate in clinical education and is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Another project he was a key member of was the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) commissioned project Improving patient feedback for doctors where key recommendations have recently been published as an RCP/AoMRC report.

Weston, CaitlinDr. Caitlin Weston 🇦🇺 named “Most Likely to Donate a Kidney to a Patient” by her medical school cohort, is an Australian anaesthetic trainee with a passion for improving the culture of our working and learning environments. In 2017 Caitlin undertook a Churchill Fellowship exploring policies and programs for clinician health and well-being in the USA, Canada and the UK. Since then she has interrupted her anaesthetic training to implement her research findings, designing a well-being module for junior doctors on the mobile application Resident Guide and presenting at several national and international conferences. She serves on the board of Doctors Health Services (Australia’s national body funding confidential healthcare for doctors) as well as a number of committees with the Australian Medical Association including the NSW & Federal Council of Doctors in Training, and the Gender Equity Round Table working group. Caitlin is passionate about equity & equality, intersectionality, professionalism, innovation and positive psychology.

In her spare time, Caitlin enjoys travel, theatre, hiking, and terrible terrible kitchen dancing with her partner Sam.

Halifax…besides #ICRE2018 of course!

What makes Halifax truly special is the perfect balance of rural and urban, wrapped by ocean in one unique region. This balance creates thousands of things to do and experiences that can be tailored to absolutely any type of group or traveller. Start collecting your moments and memories now and discover all the things to do in the Halifax region.

Here’s a list of ‘Top 10’ things to do in Halifax:

  • Stroll along the Waterfront Boardwalk, one of the longest downtown boardwalks in the world! Be sure to check out the waterfront snack shacks, the ‘drunken lampposts’, the new floating sea bridge and the Last Steps Memorial.
  • Looking for an amazing view and photo op of downtown Halifax? . . . head up the steps by the Old Town Clock to the Halifax Citadel (it’s also a great spot to see the sunrise in Halifax).
  • The Halifax Central Library on Spring Garden Road has received many accolades including winning the national 2016 Governor General Architecture Medal. Locals and visitors alike are drawn to this cultural hub of downtown Halifax. Stop in for a visit . . . pop up to the 5th floor where you can enjoy a coffee and soak up the views from the Rooftop Patio and “Halifax’s Living Room”.
  • Ride the Alderney Ferry from Downtown Halifax to Dartmouth. The Harbour Ferry is the oldest, continuous, salt-water passenger ferry service in North America. The ferries criss-cross the second largest natural harbour in the world every 15 minutes during peak hours. The Dartmouth waterfront also happens to be one of the top 10 places to watch the sunset in Halifax.
  • Have a Donair (Halifax’s official food) . . . a Donair is a sweet and spicy treat, and a uniquely Nova Scotian delicacy (that’s usually enjoyed late-night). There are countless places to buy one in Halifax, including some spots close to the Halifax Convention Centre such as Johnny K’s Authentic Donairs.
  • Did you know that some of the finest crystal in the world is made in Nova Scotia? Stop by NovaScotian Crystal on the waterfront for a live demonstration of a centuries-old tradition . . . and perhaps pick up a very special souvenir from Halifax.
  • Halifax is home to Atlantic Canada’s only national Museum – The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. Plan a visit to this National Historic Site which was the gateway to Canada for one million immigrants between 1928 and 1971. It also served as the departure point for 500,000 Canadian Military personnel during the Second World War. Did you know that The Scotiabank Family History Centre located at Pier 21 is a free reference service to help you trace your own family immigration story.
  • Try authentic Maritime Fish n’ Chips! Murphy’s Restaurant and Patio and Katch on the Halifax Waterfront, and Evan’s Seafood in Dartmouth are great options for delicious Fish n’ Chips – but really, you can’t go wrong anywhere in Halifax!
  • Enjoy the autumn colours at the Halifax Public Gardens, one of the finest surviving Victorian-style gardens in North America.
  • Spend an evening at one of Halifax’s local-favourite live music venues like Durty Nelly’s, the Lower Deck or the Carleton and enjoy a real Nova Scotian party! A fun fact about Durty Nelly’s . . .  this authentic Irish pub was completely designed and built in Dublin, travelled across the Atlantic, and was reconstructed piece by piece in Halifax (and it just happens to be conveniently located just steps away from the Halifax Convention Centre!).  

GeetaEach year, ICRE is committed to providing a quality and thought-provoking lineup of skilled and experienced speakers. This year is no exception.

While we’ve been working rigorously to prepare for this year’s conference in Halifax, we heard from many of you about the need for a more diverse and inclusive plenary debate panel. Our panel features many brilliant minds, including Drs. Elizabeth Elsey, Simon Fleming, Christopher Watling, Gus Grant, and hosted by Maxine Mawhinney.

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Geeta Singhal of Texas Children’s Hospital will be joining this year’s panel. Dr. Singhal has been a clinician educator for over 20 years. She has had the opportunity to work with medical students, residents, fellows, faculty and other health care professionals in both clinical settings as well as in a lecture and faculty development settings.

Dr. Singhal will bring another strong voice to this year’s panel, and we look forward to this great discussion on lessons learned and shaping the best learning environment for our residents.