Findings from studies published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) report that more than 45% of resident physicians experience burnout and the numbers are continuing to climb. If that number didn’t surprise you, then you are well aware of the psychological stress and struggles that doctors and other healthcare workers experience on a daily basis – particularly during this recent pandemic. As a result, more than 1 in 10 physicians said they had suicidal thoughts. Unfortunately these thoughts often become action with suicide deaths among physicians is 250-400% higher than similar counterparts in other occupations. These suicides lead to more than 1 million patients losing their medical expert in the US alone – leaving a substantial number of underserved and vulnerable populations without healthcare services.

As these statistics show, mental health is a major issue among physicians and our speaker today is attempting to help alleviate that. Join us as we talk with Dr Paola Fata about protected spaces (including protected nap spaces!), increasing positive feedback and value, community ties, and helping to bring ourselves back to center in safe environments.

Dr Paola Fata: Educator, Associate Professor of Surgery, and President of the Canadian Association of General Surgeons (CAGS)






  1. “Resident Wellbeing, Education, and Surgical Workforce Planning”

Dr Fata is Associate Professor of Surgery at McGill University whose clinical practice focuses on Trauma and Acute Care general surgery. Dr Fata completed medical school at McGill University, followed by General Surgery residency at the University of Manitoba where she also obtained a Master’s of Science degree. She completed a trauma fellowship and was an attending surgeon at Inova Fairfax Regional Trauma Center in Virginia, joining the faculty at McGill in 2005. She also completed the Teaching Scholar’s Program at McGill. Dr Fata is nationally recognized for her work in education and for her important leadership roles. For the past 4 years she has served as Assistant Dean, Resident Professional Affairs at the Faculty of Medicine. Prior to that, she was the General Surgery program director for a decade. As Assistant Dean she created multiple new policies and resources to improve resident well‐being.
Dr Fata has been recognized multiple times for teaching excellence at the Department and the Division levels, both for postgraduate and undergraduate teaching, and was named to the Faculty Honor List for Educational Excellence. She has twice served as an Osler fellow and received the Kathryn Rolph Award for contributing to the advancement of women in the Department of Surgery.
Dr Fata currently serves as President of the Canadian Association of General Surgeons (CAGS), having been asked to extend her term to a second year. During her tenure, she completed a comprehensive strategic planning exercise, stabilized the financial health of the society and significantly increased membership and attendance at the annual meeting. Prior to this role, she served on the CAGS board for over a decade and led multiple committees. In addition, Dr Fata has chaired and served on multiple committees at the Royal College, including co‐chairing the specialty workforce collaborative and serving as vice‐chair of the focused competency working group in trauma. Her research interests include the evaluation and improvement of learning environments and surgical workforce planning.