Commentary

Building support for sports and exercise into medical education may protect students from burnout.

09
April
2019

Working in the medical field is demanding and, correspondingly, the public has become increasingly aware of the toll on doctors, including burnout. Research shows that there are both heavy personal and systemic financial costs due to doctor burnout, which costs more than $200 million each year in Canada.

Occupational burnout is a psychological state of exhaustion, disengagement and inefficacy that emerges from the prolonged exposure to work-related stressors. Physician burnout, along with its personal and professional consequences, may in fact originate in medical school.

The upward trend in doctor burnout is widespread; increased physician burnout and associated costs have been globally documented.

Today, researchers and educators are becoming increasingly aware of mental health and the importance of understanding and prevent...

Headlines

12
April
2019

COMMENTARY || We need more organ donors, but presumed consent is not a magical fix

Nova Scotia’s plan to adopt opt-out system is an opportunity to build evidence needed to improve organ donation rates across Canada, argues health law expert Timothy Caulfield.

Organ donation is a tough issue. The vast majority of Canadians agree it is a good idea and we are keen to help, but few—about 20 per cent—actually sign up to be an organ donor. Indeed, Canada has
11
April
2019

COMMENTARY || How public education is under threat in some Canadian provinces

Proposed and actual policy reforms in several provinces echo similar international efforts that have eroded public education, argues U of A expert.

From a global perspective, education in Canada is a great success story. Vibrant schools are offering quality education and Canadian schools are well-resourced when compared to many other
10
April
2019

COMMENTARY || Anger in politics can be a double-edged sword

While often encouraged in public political discourse, anger comes at a cost, says U of A psychologist who discusses the pros and cons, and what to do to avoid its pitfalls.

If you read the news regularly, you might not be surprised to find political pundits claiming that we’re now living in an age of unprecedented public anger, fuelling political division and hostility
09
April
2019

COMMENTARY || Missing playoffs hurts for McDavid and Oiler fans—because they care

To ease the pain of another season cut too short, remember there’s more to value in hockey than winning the Cup, psychologists advise.

The 2018-19 Oilers season is over. For most fans, it’s another painful year. A real dumpster fire, some say. Ouch! That’s harsh, especially considering the Oilers played meaningful games until the
08
April
2019

COMMENTARY || Why cleaning up Alberta's orphaned wells should be a top election issue

Inactive wells are posing health and safety risks and lowering land values, say experts who add the $260-billion problem will only grow if not addressed now.

There’s something missing from our election debate—and in sheer dollars, it may be the biggest single issue that has ever faced this province. Last fall, a groundbreaking investigation revealed
04
April
2019

COMMENTARY || Oil’s corrosive impact on democracy is the true socialist gateway drug

Reliance on royalties leads to less accountable and more corrupt political systems—and not just in Venezuela, argues U of A expert.

During the Cold War, socialism was portrayed as a gateway drug to communist orthodoxy. The crisis in Venezuela has resurrected tired old tropes about “pinks” and “useful idiots” who start out as
03
April
2019

COMMENTARY || A reality check on Alberta's employment numbers

The truth rests somewhere between claims of UCP and NDP, argues U of A economist.

In the run-up to Alberta’s election on April 16, there has been a renewed interest in openly evaluating the labour-market performance of the current government. Each political party has recently
02
April
2019

COMMENTARY || You can’t take autism and cut it out of me. I am who I am.

Heather Brown's autism spectrum disorder went undiagnosed for 30 years. Now, the U of A professor helps young students with ASD find their strengths and thrive throughout their lives.

My mother knew early on there was something different about me. I resisted transitioning from baby food to a more varied diet. I didn’t like physical contact. As I grew, I had a hard time forming and
29
March
2019

COMMENTARY || Why sleep training will not hurt your child

It can be hard to hear your baby cry in their crib, but sleep training can pay off for both child and parent, says U of A physician who tried it with her own daughter.

Throughout my medical training, I thought putting an infant to sleep was as simple as putting them down in a bassinet or a crib. When parents approached me complaining of how difficult it was to get
27
March
2019

COMMENTARY || The hypocritical media coverage of the New Zealand terror attacks

Media accounts of perpetrators and victims reveal double standard for what constitutes a "terrorist," says researcher.

Humanity has been shocked by the recent terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand that killed at least 50 people and left 50 wounded. The alleged perpetrator, who spewed his hatred of Muslim
06
March
2019

COMMENTARY || How the media makes sense of women in power

When women leaders have unconventional family lives, the media responds by trying to fit them into more stereotypical boxes, say researchers.

When asked to draw a picture of a leader, most people draw a man. If asked to draw a portrait of a political leader’s family, most people would depict this man surrounded by his loyal wife and