Dr. Seyara ShwetzDear Colleagues,

This year, instead of celebrating Resident Doctors Awareness Week, we are simply celebrating and appreciating resident doctors. Given where we are, now two years into a global pandemic, we couldn’t possibly pack all the appreciation you deserve into a single week. Instead, we would like to let you know that we understand what you are going through and we are here for you.

I reflect on the essential role resident physicians play in the delivery of Canadian health care. Yet, very few Canadians can accurately describe what it means to be a resident doctor. Even my own family asks, “Are you a real doctor yet?”. I wish I could describe the whole experience of being a resident doctor in a way that captures the immersive nature of our training. As a resident physician yourself, you have a lived experience in how incredibly difficult, rewarding, and transformative the process can be. Residency is a wild combination of caring for patients, gaining knowledge, preparing for exams, requesting daily evaluations, building relationships, balancing personal needs, and recently, surviving a pandemic on the front lines of healthcare delivery. Unless someone has experienced residency first hand, it can be hard to appreciate the nuanced complexity inherent to this stage of medical training.

I want to take a moment and extend my sincere appreciation to all the essential ways resident physicians contribute to Canadian healthcare. Over the past two years, we have been asked to deliver front line medical care during a global pandemic, while juggling our own educational training and personal lives. Without hesitation, we donned our PPE and took care of our patients. We have gracefully managed redeployment, exam cancellations, and the daily uncertainty of navigating a rapidly evolving pandemic. Canada’s resident physicians are truly remarkable people, and the team at Resident Doctors of Canada (RDoC) is sincerely appreciative of the work you do. This year more than ever, it’s important that resident doctors across the country are acknowledged, appreciated and thanked for their vital contributions.

RDoC is honoured to play a small part in your residency training. We work year round with our provincial partners to ensure residents are supported across the spectrum of their training. We are the national voice of Canada’s resident doctors, collaborating with key stakeholders, such as the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Canadian Resident Matching Service, and the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada, to ensure the resident perspective remains at the forefront of our training. RDoC’s dedicated staff, Board of Directors, and volunteers are here for you.

We are kicking off Resident Doctors Appreciation 2022 by resharing Message to my Future Self, a video created by RDoC’s wellness team when the COVID-19 pandemic was first declared. The video is filled with short vignettes from residents with words of encouragement and hope. As we work through the latest wave of COVID infection, these messages remind me of our resilience, our strength, and our undeterred spirit!

Throughout the week, we will highlight an updated version of our Ten Fast Facts about Resident Doctors in Canada infographic, which spreads awareness about who residents are and what we do. We will also share our Resident Profiles to highlight some of the incredible and inspiring work our colleagues are completing across the country.

All resources for the week will be posted on RDoC’s website, Facebook page, and Twitter account. We’ll also be sharing appreciation-related material from our stakeholders, including our provincial partners. Be sure to follow the #ResidentDoctorsAppreciation2022 hashtags throughout the week!

On behalf of the 2021-2022 RDoC Board of Directors and RDoC’s staff, I hope your week is filled with lots of joy and appreciation! Thank you for going above and beyond for Canada’s patients during this pandemic and every day. We are grateful for you!

Best regards,

Dr. Seyara Shwetz

RDoC President, 2021-2022