Civility Saves Lives Manitoba campaign calls for respect in the clinical learning environment
A group of students, residents, faculty and staff from the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences is working to promote respect and civility in the clinical learning environment with a new campaign.
The Manitoba Medical Students’ Association (MMSA) and the Professional Association of Residents and Interns of Manitoba (PARIM) have partnered with Rady Faculty of Health Sciences faculty/staff and Doctors Manitoba to launch an awareness Civility Saves Lives campaign aimed at improving the culture in their clinical learning environments. The Civility Saves Lives Manitoba team comprises medical students from all four years of training, residents and faculty from various backgrounds, and staff from the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences.
Organizers point to evidence that mistreatment and incivility negatively impact the well-being of clinicians, decrease the safety and quality of patient care, and individuals who experience acts of incivility are more likely to perpetrate them in the future, thus impacting future generations of health-care providers.
The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) 2019 Graduation Questionnaire showed that 58 per cent of Canadian medical students reported experiencing some form of learner mistreatment during their undergraduate education. Similarly, the Resident Doctors of Canada 2018 annual survey found 78 per cent of respondents reported experiencing mistreatment, intimidation or harassment during the previous training year. These data are similar to the rates reported in other countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom.
Pre-pandemic, a survey was sent to third- and fourth-year clerkship students in the Max Rady College of Medicine and residents to see what the current landscape around learner mistreatment and incivility looks like in Manitoba.
“From our survey, we found that the majority of learners has not had active discussions about mistreatment. This presents a great opportunity to start the conversation,” said Dara Hallock, third-year medical student and one of the campaign organizers. “This is why the MMSA has made learner mistreatment a priority by making it an official portfolio under the vice-stick external.”
The group believes it is essential to remind themselves and others of the importance of a positive and respectful clinical learning environment and its impact on patient care.
“We are looking forward to collaborating with other groups to further the civility dialogue,” said Dr. Ming-Ka Chan, pediatrics clinician/educator and co-director, Office of Leadership Education, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and one of the faculty leads for this initiative.
The group will officially launch its campaign with a workshop organized in partnership with Sanokondu facilitated by Dr. Sara Hosseini on April 21, 2021 from 5:15-7:15 p.m. CST. To register, please visit or contact civilitysaveslives [at] gmail [dot] com. Additional events and educational sessions are planned throughout the year.
The campaign also includes signing a Pledge of Civility by those interested in participating and providing opportunities to highlight those leading by example in the health-care workforce. These “culture changers” are individuals who have been nominated by students, residents and faculty/staff. Culture changers will be featured on the Civility Saves Lives Manitoba Instagram account (@civilitysavesmb) as well as other social media channels.
“We want to bring people’s attention to how incivility can impact everyone within the system – healthcare professionals/learners, teams and especially patients and their families/caregivers – but also want to celebrate those who are already championing this mindset…a way to recognize those already working civilly, and hopefully encourage others to reflect and be more mindful of civility in our healthcare system,” said Dr. Everett Vun, a second-year anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine resident on the campaign’s executive committee.
“In our survey, we asked respondents to envision what their ideal clinical learning environment would look like. It’s our hope that the clinical learning environment in Manitoba will one day reflect the diversity of positive responses we received,” added Alyssa Kidd, a second-year medical student on the campaign committee.