Annual Retreat of the Department of Family Medicine: October 19 & 20, 2023

Thursday, October 19, 2023 13:00toFriday, October 20, 2023 12:00

Embracing the Future, Shaping the Change

You are cordially invited to the 2023 Department of Family Medicine Annual Retreat where we will connect, exchange ideas and develop a new family medicine residency curriculum together! This year's theme is "Embracing the Future, Shaping the Change."

We have invited a special guest, Dr. Kannin Osei-Tutu, to kick-off our first plenary session. A leader in equity, diversity, inclusion, and wellness at the local, provincial, and national levels, Dr. Osei-Tutu is a family physician in Calgary, Alberta. Dr. Osei-Tutu works in acute in-patient medicine caring for patients with diseases related to socio-political inequity and marginalization. In addition to his role as a family physician, Dr. Osei-Tutu serves as the founder and President of the Black Physicians’ Association of Alberta (BPAA), an executive member of the Black Physicians of Canada, and as the national Chair of the Royal College Accreditation Working Group to Address Anti-Black Racism in postgraduate medical education. Finally, Dr. Osei-Tutu’s emerging research program seeks to reconceptualize compassion in an inclusive way while developing digital technology and artificial intelligence tools to promote equity in health outcomes.

We even have a "Shaping the Change" Photo Contest with prizes to be won at the retreat! Scroll down for more info.

Date, time and location

We have chosen to host a virtual-only retreat this year to ensure that as many people as possible can attend, including those in remote locations. This means that the retreat will be happening on Zoom and rest assured that we have an exciting program lined up!

When: Thursday October 19th (1pm to 5pm) to Friday October 20th (8am to 12pm)

Where: Virtually by Zoom. (A link will be sent to you after registration).

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the critical importance of social justice in healthcare and its impact on patient outcomes and satisfaction in family medicine
  • Consider the value and potential impact of various types of change on the practice in family medicine
  • Describe the goals of the outcomes of training project (OTP).
  • Define how changes to the Family Medicine Residency Curriculum (OTP) will challenge and strengthen the McGill Department of Family Medicine

*Before registering, please have a look at the information below to give you a flavour of which of the seven workshops you would like to choose.

The Schedule


Day 1 Schedule (October 19)

1.00pm Introduction and welcome from Dr. Dove, Department Chair
1:15pm Keynote speaker Dr. Osei-Tutu – "Igniting Change: Centering Shared Humanity and Inclusive Compassion – Towards Greater Social Justice in Medicine" followed by Q&A
2:15pm Stretching Break (photo contest)
2.30pm Workshops (session 1)
3.30pm Stretching Break - popcorn quiz
3.45pm Workshops (session 2)
4.45pm Closing remarks from Dr. Dove, Department Chair

Day 2 Schedule (October 20)

8.30am Opening remarks from Dr. Dove, Department Chair
8.45am Plenary with Dr. Todd (Director of Outcomes of Training Project)
9.15am First small group and debrief
10.30am Stretching Break (yoga)
10.45am Second small group and debrief
12.00pm Closing remarks with Dr. Dove



Over the two days, there will be various workshops scheduled to encourage deeper conversations within a small group. On Day 1, each participant will have two workshops to choose from a wide range of 7 topics (the first session will be happening at 2.30pm, the second session will be happening at 3.45pm). On Day 2, all workshops will be collaborating on the same "Outcomes of training project" with Dr. Keith Todd. Please read through the learning objectives for the workshops offered for Day 1 before choosing your two favourites.

Day 1 Workshops

Each participant will be able to choose TWO workshops from the following list:

Workshop Title


Workshop choice 1:

Sustainability Issues and Changing our Practice: “Deimplementing Wisely”

The presentation and group discussions will be bilingual.

Learning objectives:

  • Identify key recommendations that can change your practice
  • Analyze the various tools that can be used to change practice
  • Assess which current common clinical practices to de-implement

Dr. G Theriault and Dr. Roland Grad, McGill University


Workshop choice 2:

Physician Practices that Impact the Environment: “Soigner sans nuire, une remise en question de nos pratiques médicales"

The presentation will be in French. Group discussions will be bilingual.

Objectifs d'apprentissage:

  • Prendre conscience de l’impact du système de santé sur l’environnement
  • Analyser l’impact du système de santé sur l’environnement   
  • Prescrire judicieusement des soins aux patients dans leur globalité
  • Explorer le concept de décroissance en santé

Dr. Caroline Laberge and Dr. Maxine Dumas Pilon, McGill University


Workshop choice 3:

Team Building: Adapting in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world through Serious Play. Seriously”

The presentation will be in English. Group discussions will be bilingual.

Learning objectives:

  • Describe play theory and medical humanities
  • Identify the role of play theory and medical humanities in healthcare.
  • Enhance comfort with spontaneity, ambiguity, and creative thinking.
  • Experience the energizing, collaborative, reflective, and joyful process of creative exploration

Prof. Hartley Jafine, McMaster University


Workshop choice 4:

Mentorship“Vital to Our Vitality”

The presentation will be in English. Group discussions will be bilingual.

Learning objectives:

  • Describe the goals and benefits of mentorship.
  • Describe the elements of a mentoring relationship including attributes and roles of both parties and phases of the relationship
  • Describe various mentoring models and the pros and cons of each 

Dr. Michelle Elizov, McGill University


Workshop choice 5:

Indigenous Heath: A toolbox for cultural safety

The presentation will be in English. Group discussions will be bilingual.

Learning objectives:

  • Appraise the personal growth in your role as health practitioner or researchers that support a culturally safe space and environment for Indigenous and all patients.
  • Understand the importance of cultural safety in medical practice and specifically in caring for Indigenous patients.
  • Create a toolbox of culturally safe practices as health practitioners or researchers.
  • Formulate three recommendations to the Dept. of Family Medicine that can support and nurture personal and professional culturally safe and appropriate EDI behaviours and practices for faculty, students and staff.

Profs. Alex McComber and Richard Budgell, McGill University


Workshop choice 6:

Communications in Palliative Care: “Responding to Emotion and Other Critical Skills in Serious Illness”

The presentation will be in English. Group discussions will be bilingual.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand how insights from affective and decision science shape communication approaches in the context of serious illness.
  • Describe 5 approaches to responding to emotion.
  • Identify strategies and tools to improve patient care through serious illness communication. 

Dr. Justin Sanders, McGill University


Workshop choice 7:

How does research drive change? An overview of Research Projects in the department with various speakers.

The presentations will be in English. Group discussions will be bilingual.

Learning objectives:

  • Describe at least 3 different research projects in our department.
  • Identify how research can lead to change in clinical practice or education.
  • Reflect on how these projects could contribute to research that drives change.

Various speakers from McGill University


Day 2 Workshops

All workshops will be collaborating on the same "Outcomes of training project". The presentation will be in English and small groups discussions will be bilingual.

Presenter: Dr. Keith Todd

Title: Curriculum Change in Family Medicine: Supporting Residents’ Transition to Practice

Learning objectives:

  • Describe the goals of the outcomes of training project and its impact on our department

  • Identify areas of need in faculty development to support the new curriculum

  • Develop innovative ideas for curriculum renewal to support resident transition to practice

Photo Contest

The "Shaping the Change" Photo Contest encourages members of the Department of Family Medicine to share photos on living through changes. Whether you relocated your home, changed jobs or started a new chapter in your life, tell – and show – us how you used the opportunity to shape it for the better. The finalists will be selected by a panel of judges and the overall winner will be selected by a public vote during the retreat. Prizes will be awarded to the winners.

More details can be found here: https://www.mcgill.ca/familymed/shaping-change-photo-contest

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