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Summer Book Recommendation

How Doctors Think

Author: Jerome Groopman, MD

Oncologist Jerome Groopman dives into his experiences in diagnosing and treating patients, along with the thought processes involved in doing so. He describes the strengths and weaknesses (such as bias and narrow thinking) involved in making these complex decisions. Medscape o_ers a review by pediatrician Perri Klass, "I wish I had read this book when I was in medical school, and I'm glad I've read it now...How Doctors Think helped me understand my own thought processes and my colleagues' -- even as it left me chastened and dazzled by turns. Every re_ective doctor will learn from this book".

The Checklist Manifesto

Author: Atul Gawande, MD

The Checklist Manifesto provides Dr. Gawande’s insight into the complex world of medicine (as well as other businesses), and how the power of a checklist can help us to make the most of our knowledge and technology. He explains how this simple tool can change the face of medicine, and provides some compelling stories of evidence. If you’re looking for a novel to help motivate, this book is the book for you!

The Creative Destruction of Medicine

Author: Eric Topol, MD

In The Creative Destruction of Medicine, Dr. Topol presents us with the possibilities of mobile technologies in medicine, and how it can be further incorporated into current and future applications. He discusses the current limitations, and how it is not completely accepted by the medical community thus far. Medscape provides a testimonial by Physician-author Siddhartha Mukherjee, "Topol's analysis draws us to the very frontlines of medicine, and leaves us with a view of a landscape that is both foreign and daunting. He manages to recount this story in simple, lucid language -- resulting in an enthralling and important book".
- Source:, "Best Books by Physicians: Summer Reading Lists", by Shelly Reese, July 25, 2


Article Recommendation

Oncologist Burnout: Causes, Consequences, and Responses

"Although the practice of oncology can be extremely rewarding, it is also one of the most demanding and stressful areas of medicine. Oncologists are faced with life and death decisions on a daily basis, administer incredibly toxic therapies with narrow therapeutic windows, must keep up with the rapid pace of scienti_c and treatment advances, and continually walk a _ne line between providing palliation and administering treatments that lead to excess toxicity. Personal distress precipitated by such work-related stress may manifest in a variety of ways including depression, anxiety, fatigue, and low mental quality of life. Burnout also seems to be one of the most common manifestations of distress among physicians, with studies suggesting a prevalence of 35% among medical oncologists, 38% among radiation oncologists, and 28% to 36% among surgical oncologists. Substantial evidence suggests that burnout can impact quality of care in a variety of ways and has potentially profound personal implications for physicians including suicidal ideation. In this review, we examine the causes, consequences, and personal rami_cations of oncologist burnout and explore the steps oncologists can take to promote personal well-being and professional satisfaction. " - Shanafelt et al., 2012

Do you have any stories regarding Oncologist wellness you'd like to share? Log into WinC or AlinC and visit our discussion forum- we'd love to hear your strategies for maintaining work life balance!




Dr. Shail Verma MD, FRCPC

Why is Dr. Shail Verma Mentor of the Month?

Dr. Shailendra Verma is a Medical Oncologist at The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre, practising for 30 years.

During his career, he has been involved in a wide variety of research projects and clinical trials that have contributed to the management and care of patients with breast cancer, melanoma and sarcoma. Dr. Verma’s interests have not solely focused on drug therapies but have spanned the gamut of detection, presentation, biology, surveillance, quality of life and survivorship. He has been honoured to have been involved in numerous guideline initiatives, regulatory processes, educational programs, and advocacy at all levels.

Dr. Verma has always had a passion for teaching – medical students, postgraduate trainees, peers, patients and the community at large. He has participated widely in Oncology programs at a regional, provincial, national and international levels and is proud to have achieved a reputation for excellence at a personal and professional level. Dr. Verma was nominated by Dr. Silvana Spadafora, "Dr. Shail Verma was _rst introduced to me in my undergrad in Ottawa many years ago when he taught bedside clinical assessment skills. Since then, he has taken an interest in all of the meanderings of my career: he has not only been a noble example of a good clinician and oncologist, but he has given me words of encouragement when needed, and words of praise when I least expected it. He has always made it clear that our commitment to each other as professionals and as colleagues is as important as our commitment to our patients. I wish to nominate him as Mentor of the Month: he has won many accolades but this is one small accolade I can help to give him, directly from me, for so many years of friendship and mentorship."

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Oncologist in the Hot Seat: Featuring Dr. Julie Stakiw

Hematologist-Oncologist, Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, Provincial Leader of Hematology for Saskatchewan, Medical Director of the Provincial Blood and Marrow Transplant Program

Originally from Saskatchewan, I completed my Bachelor of Science, MD and internal medicine training at the University of Saskatchewan prior to moving to Ontario to complete hematology training at Queen’s university followed by a 1 year fellowship at PMH in Lymphoma and Stem Cell Transplant. After working as a hematologist-oncologist at Peel Regional Cancer Center in Mississauga, Ontario for 3 years, I moved back to Saskatchewan in 2010 to be closer to family. While not planned, circumstances soon led me to take on a leadership role as Provincial Leader of Hematology for Saskatchewan and Medical Director of the Provincial Blood and Marrow Transplant Program. Recently the Ministry of Health introduced the LEAN management system province wide and I am one of the first physicians in the province to become LEAN LEADER certified. I am married to a New Zealander who never lets me forget the number of days in a row with sub zero temperatures and we have two children (Finn age 4 and Madison age 2). When not working, we enjoy visiting family in San Diego (especially in the winter) and spending time at our family cabin in the summer.

You have the exclusive opportunity as a WinC or AlinC member, to ask your questions related to career development, work-life balance, research, or physician leadership to our featured Oncologist, and view the answers on both WinC and AlinC websites. Please send your questions for Dr. Stakiw to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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    Best of Oncology East 2014
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