Wellbeing Convene

A series of wellbeing webinars by and for the Faculty of Medicine community, hosted by Dr. Farah Shroff and Maternal and Infant Health Canada (maa.med.ubc.ca). Recordings of some of the sessions are available on the Maternal and Infant Health Canada webpage.

Past webinar details:

Managing difficult conversations with supervisors: A Research-based Theatre Pilot Session

Dr. Susan Cox, Tala Maragha, Michael Lee, and Matthew Smithdeal

May 14, 2021 @ 8:00am

Presented by Dr. Susan Cox, Tala Maragha, Michael Lee, and Matthew Smithdeal, this 1-hour session will include a screening of a short dramatized scene that highlights wellbeing issues in higher education, specifically around authorship of scientific papers. It also features some examples on managing difficult conversations with supervisors and senior personnel in the workplace. In addition to the screening, there will be a facilitated discussion to allow the audience to reflect and share their thoughts on what was presented in the dramatized scene.


Dr. Farah Shroff

April 20, 2021 @ 9:30am

Come and dance! This high energy dance class will take us on a journey along the silk route and other parts of the planet. Be ready to boogie and sweat!

Move, Groove & Chill!

Dr. Farah Shroff

April 9, 2021 @ 8:00am

Come and join this exhilarating, high energy workout which combines yoga, dance and martial arts. Please wear clothes that you can move in. This class was created by Dr Shroff, inspired by the ancient Indian practices of yoga, dance and martial arts–all related through breath, movement and more.

Yoga for Liberation: Yoga & Activism for Wellbeing

Dr. Farah Shroff

March 25, 2021 @ 8am

In this wellbeing session, we’ll practice elements of yoga with an emphasis on social justice and liberation in its various meanings.

Growing Resilience

Dr. Joanna McDermid

March 19, 2021 @ 12:00pm

Mindful Practice and Healing: Resilience and Coping During Difficult Times.

Or: Fostering wellbeing and making it through without making it worse.

Joanna McDermid, MD, is a psychiatrist with a subspecialty in child and adolescent psychiatry and a clinical instructor with Department of Psychiatry, at BC Children’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine in Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition to her psychiatry training, Dr McDermid has trained in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindful Self Compassion (MSC). She has done an extended mentorship with Dr. Ron Epstein and his team in the Mindful Practice® program for physicians and health providers through the University of Rochester. Dr. McDermid has developed a mindfulness program to supplement standard care for individuals with eating disorders in residential treatment and she is currently developing a global parent mindfulness informed resource.


Dr. Farah Shroff

March 3, 2021 @ 8:00am

Wellness and Leadership

Dr. Linlea Armstrong

February 25, 2021 @ 12:00pm

Supporting and Developing Clinical Faculty

We were funded by the Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) to develop Actionable recommendations for UBC to better support and develop clinical faculty. We completed the year of study, and submitted our report September 30, 2020.

Two objectives of the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s (FoM) current Strategic Plan, Building the Future, are to embed wellbeing and leadership development to improve personal and collective effectiveness and to ensure strategic faculty renewal to enable excellence in education and research. Clinical faculty are key stakeholders to advancing these strategic objectives. To best achieve these objectives, this Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) project used a design-based thinking methodology developed by Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design to better understand how UBC can best support and develop wellness and leadership among clinical faculty.

This approach involved empathizing with clinical faculty, defining experiences and observations into problem or opportunity statements, and ideating possible actions for UBC. We also conducted a literature review and internal and external environmental scans, and engaged with multiple stakeholders through interviews to further build and refine our understandings. We then conducted three virtual hackathons (“HackDevs”) to generate more ideas and solutions that could help improve these identified needs.

After analyzing the discussions and findings, we then developed a series of actionable recommendations for UBC to better support and develop clinical faculty. This report offers a total of 19 recommendations for the FoM to consider for implementation, listed in Section 4. Ten additional possible actions were developed by the clinical faculty and staff that participated in our hackathons. The webinar will discuss the work, review the recommendations, and invite attendees to identify priority recommendations from these for the FoM implement.

Laughter Yoga

Dr. Farah Shroff

February 18, 2021 @ 8:00 am

Laughter is a joyful form of health promotion and disease prevention. Laughter yoga combines breath, gentle movement, and laughter for a full belly workout that uplifts. Created by a family physician, Dr Madan Kataria, Laughter Yoga has spread all over the world, improving the mental, physical, and social health status of huge numbers of people.

Optimizing Sexual Response

Dr. Shauna Correia

February 5, 2021 @ 12:00pm

Eye Yoga & Relaxation

Dr. Farah Shroff

January 19, 2021 @ 8:00am

As we spend more time on screens, our eyes benefit from care and attention. In this webinar we will do some overall relaxation exercises and specific eye yoga.

Narrative Medicine

Dr. Sara Jassemi

January 12, 2021 @ 12:00pm

Breathe In, Breathe Out

Dr. Farah Shroff

December 16, 2020 @ 8:00am

Babies know how to breathe – and in this workshop, we’ll focus on (re)learning breathing for adults! Dr. Farah Shroff teaches at UBC’s Department of Family Practice and School of Population and Public Health in the Faculty of Medicine. Her research focuses on the mind/body connection and she is also a teacher of yoga, meditation and other mind/body practices.

Strengthening Resilience

Crystal Hutchinson

December 1, 2020 @ 12:00pm

In her role, Crystal partners with UBC colleagues in faculties, departments and units to support strategic thinking, planning and action geared towards enhancing workplace wellbeing. Crystal gratefully brings forward the knowledge, skills and expertise that she has gained over the 13 years she has worked and learned in the areas of health education and health promotion. She was involved in the development of the 2015 Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges. Crystal is both curious and passionate about leading meaningful change in complex adaptive systems (and evaluating it), parenting a toddler (during a pandemic) and enhancing self-compassion.

Stress First Aid as a form of Peer Support

Dr Joanna Cheek

November 20, 2020 @ 8:00am

Wellness for All

Dr. Joseph Puyat

November 6, 2020 @ 12:00pm

Join Dr. Joseph Puyat for information about his project related to wellness and to build personal skills!

Mindful Healing: Wellness and Mindfulness in Challenging Times

Dr Dzung Vo

October 26, 2020 @ 12:00 pm

Professional burnout and compassion fatigue were an epidemic in medicine amongst Health Care Professionals prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the pandemic, the human toll, for patients, for families, and for health care personnel is not indescribable, and will not be entirely understood for years to come. In an effort to acknowledge what is happening, and support the UBC community, Dr. Dzung Vo (Director, BC Children’s Hospital Centre for Mindfulness) will facilitate an online interactive conversation and experiential mindfulness practice.

Health, Wellness, and Happiness

JC Lucas

October 9, 2020 @ 12:00 pm

JC is Nuu-cha-nulth from the Hesquiht Band and the Sea-Serpent Clan. JC has work in the healing/cultural/spiritual realm for about 40 years!

Meditation and Visualization

Dr Farah Shroff

October 9, 2020 @ 12:00 pm

Food as Thy Medicine

Dr Arun Garg

September 29, 2020 @ 12:00 pm

Dr Arun Garg will be leading a webinar to highlight the importance and empowerment of an individual in health and healthy living in post-COVID. His session will integrate the Ancient wisdom of Yogic Philosophy and Modern Science and Health!

Compassion in the Time of Coronavirus: The “Essential” Rounds

Dr Sara Jassemi & Dr Simone Lebeuf

September 8, 2020 @ 12:00 pm

Dr Sara Jassemi and Dr Simone Lebeuf discuss ways to manage moral distress and adjust plans for wellbeing in the face of the pandemic!

Dr. Sara Jassemi is an Adolescent Medicine Pediatrician at BC Children’s Hospital and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. Her research interests are in medical education and investigating systemic changes and interventions affecting clinician wellness. She has clinical interests in eating disorders and working with youth and families who are oppressed by social, policy, and economic systems.

Dr. Simone Lebeuf is an Adolescent Medicine Pediatrician at Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, who recently joined the faculty at the University of Alberta. She has clinical and research interests in adolescent-led families, gender-diverse youth and clinician health. Both completed their Pediatric residencies at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and University of Calgary in Calgary, AB and their subspecialty Adolescent Medicine training at The Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto in Toronto, ON.

Relationship Matters

Dr Bob Woollard

August 27, 2020 @ 8:00 am

This webinar is the initial in a series of webinars devoted to developing selfcare and mutual support skills for UBC Medicine students, staff, residents, and faculty in the face of our attempts to respond healthfully to the challenges and adjustments imposed by our collective response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Relationships are foundational to both our individual health and our ability to respond positively and care for one another. The first webinar will demonstrate some skill development and a relationship based context in which to practice those skills.

Dr Woollard is Professor of Family Practice at UBC. He has extensive national and international experience in the fields of medical education, the social accountability of medical schools, ecosystem approaches to health, and sustainable development. He is actively involved in Nepal with a new national medical school, school of public health, and nursing school founded on the principles of social accountability, and also works in East Africa on matters of social accountability, primary care, and accreditation systems. He co-chairs the Global Consensus on Social Accountability for Medical Schools (GCSA) and does extensive work in this area with many international bodies. He was a lead organizer for the World Summit on Social Accountability that led to the Tunis Declaration.

His primary research focus is the study of complex adaptive systems as they apply to the intersection between human and environmental health. His book, “Fatal Consumption: Rethinking Sustainable Development” details some of his work in this regard. He is Associate Director of Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc). He also provides central leadership in the development of a Canadian national strategy for addressing educational and service needs for surgical and obstetrical services in rural Canada—in particular Aboriginal service access for birthing. He was instrumental in establishing a mobile clinic for agricultural workers. Above all, he is a husband, father and grandfather.