Author Archives: CMAJ


Meagan Mahoney is a pediatric intensivist at Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary

Jennifer Woolfsmith is Mackenzy’s mom

Matthew Weiss is a pediatric intensivist at the Centre Mère-Enfant Soleil du CHU de Québec and medical director of organ donation at



Organ donation is a gift. Not just for those who receive, but often for the families of those who give.

When 22-month-old Mackenzy Woolfsmith died suddenly and tragically in 2012, her organs saved the lives of four people. For her parents, this decision has made a lasting, positive impact on their lives, one of the few positive aspects they were able to salvage from this traumatic loss. The story of Mackenzy’s parents’ experience of organ donation as a gift received, as an integral part of end-of-life care and bereavement, is, we believe, a story that is not told often enough. ...continue reading

Mandi Irwin is a family physician at the Nova Scotia Health Authority's , in Halifax, NS

Elizabeth Munn is a medical student at Dalhousie University


Hamid Abdihalim is a medical student at Dalhousie University

Matthew Ta is a medical student at Dalhousie University



Human displacement as a consequence of war, natural disaster, civil conflict or political instability is not a new problem. The ongoing war in Syria has brought this issue into mainstream view recently. This and other protracted and escalating conflicts have resulted in the displacement of over 22.5 million refugees globally, . In 2016 alone, almost 190,000 refugees were resettled in new countries around the world. This includes resettlement in Canada, which has welcomed over 25,000 refugees from Syria [1].

We often fail to appreciate that once refugees arrive in their countries of resettlement, they face substantial challenges ...continue reading

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Doctor Mom is a physician who lives in Ontario


This week CMAJ published a looking at how peer victimization in early childhood is related to mental health problems and suicidality in adolescence. Peer victimization is a broad term that encompasses bullying. The study was published with a linked that I wish I had been able to listen to a few months ago when I was trying to work out how to deal with a situation in which my younger son was being victimized. ...continue reading

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Margaret Steele is the Dean of Medicine and a Professor of Psychiatry at the Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN)

Jim Rourke is a Professor of Family Medicine and a former Dean of Medicine at MUN

is Executive Director of the Medical Council of Canada and a former Dean of Medicine at MUN

is a resident in the Department of Family Medicine at MUN


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland (Memorial). The first Memorial doctor of medicine (MD) class graduated 23 students in 1973, following its establishment in 1967 with the support of the government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Canada, and the university. The goal of the faculty has always been to improve the health of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). This past year we have been celebrating the significant contributions that our learners, staff and faculty have made to the health of the people of NL and beyond. ...continue reading

is an Associate Dean of Student Affairs at the University of British Columbia

SHATTERED by Sonam Maghera, Student, U of Ottawa Medicine

For the past eight years, the Canadian Conference in Medical Education () has acted as host to a fabulous medical trainee and practitioner art exhibit.  Called White Coat Warm heArt, it celebrates coast to coast Canadian medical creativity.

CCME participants routinely visit the exhibit, seen by many as a sanctuary for reflection in an otherwise busy conference setting. There are benefits for the trainees and practitioners in making the art ...continue reading

Nicole Le Saux is Associate Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Ottawa *


As physicians we should be concerned about the inappropriate use of antibiotics. Have you ever had a patient with an extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL), E. coli or Klebsiella urinary tract infection, a Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) or a drug-resistant N. gonorrhoeae?

Whereas resistant bacteria and CDI were rare a decade ago, these clinical situations are now commonplace in hospitals, long term care facilities and emergency departments. According to the the rate of CDI in hospitalized patients is 3.4 cases per 1000 patient admissions (approximately one in every 300 patients admitted). As of 2014, 18.2% of isolates of Neisseria gonorrhoeae were resistant to penicillin with worrisome decreased susceptibility to cefixime, ceftriaxone and azithromycin. ...continue reading


is Associate Professor and Co-Chair for the Section of Family Medicine at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine


Marathon, a rural community on the North shore of Lake Superior, made in 1997 because it boasted a stable workforce of seven physicians for the first time in over a decade. 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of that CMAJ article and of the arrival of and Dr. Eliseo Orrantia in Marathon.

The article described “a medical renaissance” taking place in Marathon and an end to “the revolving door that has affected rural medicine across the country”. That door has stopped revolving in Marathon since 1997 thanks, in many ways, to the leadership of Eli and Sarah.

Let me put this important milestone in context. ...continue reading

Larry W. Chambers is Research Director at McMaster University's Niagara Regional Campus, School of Medicine


Eric Larson committed his career to researching how to delay and prevent Alzheimer’s disease, other forms of dementia, as well as declining memory and thinking. He led the “Adult Changes in Thought study”, which began following a large general population cohort in 1986. It has one of the largest research populations that included individuals aged 85 years and older.

Larson’s new book, “,” coauthored with professional writer and journalist Joan DeClaire, is based on information from hundreds of research papers Larson has authored and co-authored. The reader benefits from his profound understanding of health and aging research and his clinical experience as a practicing physician. Evidence is presented alongside useful patient stories to aid comprehension, engagement and to pique ...continue reading

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Catherine Whicher is a graduate student of Global Health Policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

is a Software Engineering/Data Science student at the University of British Columbia


Last week Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) published the , evaluating fifteen of Canada's universities (U15) for their contributions to neglected health needs including biomedical research, equitable licensing, global health education, and transparency. This is the 5th iteration of the report card, but the first time UAEM focused exclusively on public research schools (and exclusively on Canada, for that matter). While there were some promising highlights of what our universities can do when they set themselves to it, overall it is clear that Canadian schools are failing to use their considerable power to address many neglected aspects of global health. ...continue reading


Daniel Miller is a Physiatrist (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) in Lethbridge, Alberta


Income splitting has come under attack by the current Federal Liberal Government as an unfair tax advantage for certain individuals and several proposals put forward to eliminate certain “tax loop holes” may have a further reaching impact that revenue generation and impact our charter rights. We shouldn’t be discussing tax loop holes, but rather the effects of income splitting being a charter right for all Canadians. While I use the term marriage specifically, I would also include civil union and common-law partners to whom the same legal rights apply.

I recently met with my accountant to review the financial details of my medical practice. He told me and my wife that we would no longer be able to income split due to the proposed changes in Federal taxation legislation. ...continue reading