Rural ER docs are struggling to do it all. Peer support programs try to lessen the load – CBC

Doctors say peer programs in B.C. and Ontario are ‘critical’ for supporting and retaining physicians

Feb 05, 2023

When a woman in labour came to the emergency centre in a remote B.C. community, Dr. Mary Koziol needed help.

She was early in her career and doesn’t specialize in obstetrics, so Koziol called a peer support line to speak with an on-call maternity specialist. The peer physician walked her through all the different scenarios and stayed on the video call during the birth to provide guidance.

“It could have left me feeling bad about myself as a doctor, or like I shouldn’t be providing care in rural communities. Instead, it was a really empowering experience and reminded me that even though I’m not going to have all the skills and experiences that a rural community sometimes demands of you, that I can get that from elsewhere,” Koziol said.

Peer-to-peer support lines in B.C. and Ontario are vital for rural emergency physicians, doctors say.

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