Trainee Thrive – June 2021

Why did we create this newsletter? Read more here. Trainee Thrive will be your one-stop-shop for all things wellbeing, with a specific focus on research trainees in Medicine. We hope you’ll subscribe! You can unsubscribe at any time.

Missed a previous month of Trainee Thrive? Back issues can be found here.

June 2021

Missed a previous month of Trainee Thrive? Back issues can be found here.


This month’s edition of Trainee Thrive will be a little shorter, focused on highlighting upcoming events to connect, enrich, and inspire us this June.

“You can’t be what you can’t see.”

– Marian Wright Edelman

Miss going to the movies or even – imagine! – a film fest? Join colleagues across the UBC Faculty of Medicine to watch Picture a Scientist, a feature-length documentary film chronicling the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. You’ll receive a link to watch the film anytime next week (Monday-Thursday, June 14-17), then join a post-screening discussion on Thursday June 17, 3:00-4:00pm – showcasing women in our local research community whose contributions are making science more diverse, equitable, and open to all.

Sign up for the virtual screening and post-screening discussion here.

In Picture a Scientist (watch the trailer here), a biologist, a chemist, and a geologist lead viewers through their own experiences in the sciences, overcoming brutal harassment, institutional discrimination, and years of subtle slights to revolutionize the culture of science.

June is also Indigenous History Month, a time to recognize and honour the history, heritage, and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Explore Indigenous history, life, and culture through events & resources gathered by the Faculty of Medicine’s Office of Respectful Environments, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion and UBC’s X̱wi7x̱wa Library.

Although the Vancouver Pride Festival usually takes place in the week leading up to BC Day (the first Monday in August), June is celebrated as Pride Month in Canada. UBC students, staff, faculty, and alumni are invited to join the 2nd annual alumNIGHTS Pride – featuring an iconic drag lip sync by Canadian drag celebrity Scarlett BoBo, a stunning operatic performance by UBC alum Teiya Kasahara 笠原貞野, BMus’07 and a fun-filled battle of wits in a Pride Trivia Extravaganza!

Thursday, June 17, 2021

More information, and registration link, here.


Content note: This section references recent tragic news related to the discovery at a former residential school near Kamloops and the anti-Muslim hate crime in London, Ontario.

Recent weeks have also brought heartbreaking events that have sparked grief, anger, and sadness for many in the UBC community. If you need support, reach out to UBC Counselling Services or, for 24/7 support, to the UBC Student Assistance Program at 1-833-590-1328 (within North America) or 1-604-757-9734 (outside North America). Postdocs can contact the Employee & Family Assistance Program at 1-800-387-4765.

The KUU-US Crisis Line, a First Nations and Indigenous specific crisis line, can be reached toll-free 24/7 from anywhere in British Columbia at 1-800-588-8717. The Residential School Survivors Society can be reached at 1-800-721-0066, and the 24/7 Residential School Survivors & Family crisis line is 1-866-925-4419.

You can read UBC President Santa Ono’s Statement on the Kamloops Indian Residential School here, and the UBC Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre (IRSHDC) Statement on the Kamloops Indian Residential School burials here.

You can read the UBC Department of Physical Therapy’s Statement on the fatal attack on the Afzaal family in London, Ontario, plus links to vigils, fundraisers, petitions, and resources, here.

If you are struggling and could use support but are hesitant or have questions, please contact me at


Resource Spotlight

UBC Ombuds Office

I’ve written before about how to report mistreatment within the Faculty of Medicine – including bullying, harassment, or discrimination – through the Learner Mistreatment Help portal and the Office of Respectful Environments, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (see a flowchart of the Mistreatment Reporting Process here).

Some students feel more comfortable seeking support and advice from an impartial party outside the Faculty of Medicine, which is where the UBC Ombuds Office can come in. If you have been treated unfairly, the Ombuds Office can help:

  • Identify and explain relevant UBC policies and procedures
  • Explore options on how best to proceed and make effective referrals
  • Provide guidance to help plan strategies
  • Clarify goals and promote problem-solving
  • Empower students to deal directly and effectively with their concerns
  • Facilitate discussions and use informal channels to seek resolution
  • Give sound, practice advice
  • Listen and provide an objective perspective

They also provide some excellent toolkits to help build communication skills – for instance, “Negotiation 101,” “Managing Difficult Conversations,” and “Making Effective Complaints.”

Event Highlight

Navigating an Effective Relationship with your Supervisor

Thursday June 17, 9:00-10:30am

This interactive workshop, part of the Graduate Wellness Discussion Series, aims to help grad students build strong working relationships with supervisors. Learn to foster healthier relationships and manage potential conflict, upping your skills in establishing expectations, problem resolution, and confident conversations. Register here. [Audience: Graduate Students]

Quick Tips

Check out this new cookbook created by UBCO students in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences (with help from Dr. Sally Stewart, School of Health and Exercise Sciences/Director Nutrition Education Center & Julie Stachiw, RD, UBCO Food Services).

It’s chock-full of delicious, simple, and nourishing recipes, plus credible and evidence-based nutrition tips. From watermelon-cucumber “Sunshine Juice” to roasted salt and vinegar chickpeas to a whole alphabet’s worth of muffins (apple to zucchini and everything in between), there are plenty of summer snack ideas to try!

Upcoming Events

Resilience in Healthcare (June 11, 12:00pm-1:00pm). We all face adversity; no one is immune. Knowing how to foster resilience and recovery should be one of our main conceptual tools for taking care of ourselves and those who depend upon us. Join this session to get an insight into the emotional roots of resilience, the signs and symptoms of a loss of resilience, ways to restore resilience and the implications of losing of resilience. Register here. [Audience: UBC Faculty of Medicine]

Conflict Engagement: Differences that Matter (June 15, 11:30am-1:00pm). Join this online session to unpack UBC’s Conflict Engagement Initiative by exploring ways to frame conflict, gaining insights into our experiences of resistance, and identifying some options for engaging in conflict. Conflict can be very uncomfortable, so many people chose to walk away, but avoidance shouldn’t be the default option for all conflicts. Conflict has the potential for deep learning, building understanding, and surfacing wisdom and insight that would otherwise be missed. Register here. [Audience: UBC Faculty of Medicine]

Effective Communication: Assertiveness and Emotional Intelligence (June 15, 12:00pm-1:00pm). Join this session to explore Communication/Emotional Intelligence, basic principles of communication, how to be a better communicator, assertive communication, and emotional intelligence to enhance your personal and professional development. Register here. [Audience: UBC Faculty of Medicine]

A Conversational Compass for Better Conversations (June 16, 1:00pm-2:00pm). Would you like to have mutually beneficial and enriching conversations?  If you want to lead, influence, manage, contribute, participate or work more successfully with others, either individually or as teams, learn how connecting, opening, exploring and closing a conversation leads to healthy and productive discussions. This workshop will enhance the quality and interpersonal effectiveness of your conversations to create healthy connections. Register here. [Audience: UBC Faculty of Medicine]

Braemar Park Mindful Group Walk (June 18, 12:00pm-1:30pm). Experience how to make mindful movement part of your everyday life by joining this outdoor activity. Join facilitators Grace Neudorf and Sabrina Gill for this in-person event with social distancing. Register here. [Audience: UBC Faculty of Medicine]

Job Negotiation (June 23, 12:00pm-1:30pm). Negotiation is a common part of the hiring process, and many applicants find this part intimidating. This workshop will cover the benefits of negotiating your job offer, things you can negotiate, and tips and strategies for job negotiation. This session will also include an interactive part to practice job negotiation with your peers. Register here. [Audience: UBC Faculty of Medicine]

Where Are All the Black People? Underrepresentation in the Academy (June 23 – Black Women in the Academy; July 5 – Black Futures). This speaker series foregrounds Black voices in fields where Blackness is particularly underrepresented, providing actionable and measurable strategies to UBC to increase Black representation and Black excellence in these fields. The event page also includes links to videos of past presentations (e.g., Black Women in STEM; Black Underrepresentation in Medicine and Community Health). [Audience: UBC community]

Fitness Infusion: Circuit Style Body Weight Class (Yoga) (June 25, 12:00pm-1:00pm).  Join all level yoga classes led by two experienced health and wellness instructors. No experience or equipment necessary! Register here. [Audience: UBC Faculty of Medicine]

Through the Lens: Relations First (June 30, 10:00am-12:00pm). Join the UBC Equity & Inclusion Office for a virtual introduction to decolonizing your relations to the land, your work and your community. This workshop will include an overview of decolonizing practices and will require self-reflection and for participants to be prepared to share and discuss their own experiences. Register here. [Audience: UBC community & beyond]

Zentangles: Drawing with Intention (July 9, 12:00pm-1:00pm).  Register for this art session which takes our inspiration from Zentangles, Mandala, bullet journaling, and pattern design to create our own Mindful designs through a short-guided meditation and art demonstration. Register here. [Audience: UBC staff, faculty and postdoctoral fellows]

Wellbeing News & Views

From UBC Wellbeing: Developing Mental Health Literacy (video)

From UBC HR: Sex and COVID-19: How to ‘Heart your Parts’ in a Pandemic