International conference on physician health 2021: a vision for humanity in medicine

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Monday 26 – Friday 30 April - This 5-day online conference aims to support doctors to create better working environments for themselves and their colleagues.

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The deadline for registration is 12 noon BST, Friday 23 April 2021. Prices are outlined below.


ICPH 2021: A vision for humanity in medicine

This important conference, supported by the British, American and Canadian Medical Associations, aims to support doctors and medical students to create better working environments for themselves and their colleagues. This time, our conference will be an entirely online event, with an exciting schedule of presentations and interactive sessions to enable physicians across the globe to learn, connect and develop strategies and networks to support them.

By presenting positive interventions and bringing together a vibrant, international community of professionals, we aim to enable you to make your career and workplace more conducive to sustaining your health and wellbeing. The conference will give you the tools to put ideas into practice.

A healthier workforce delivers better outcomes for patients and this conference will offer strategies to enable you to make positive change for the benefit of your patients, your team and yourself. The programme includes inspirational keynote presentations, themed presentation streams, poster sessions and opportunities to connect with colleagues.



The conference programme has been extended across five live conference days, including a daily plenary session, a choice of themed oral presentation sessions and interactive workshops. There will also be an opportunity each ‘live’ day to visit the poster exhibition, make contact with other attendees and visit the virtual trade and charity exhibition booths. Recorded conference content will also be available ‘on-demand’ for up to 12 weeks post-event for registered attendees.

Confirmed speakers

A vision for humanity in medicine

A panel session chaired by Dr Christopher Simon, strategic advisor of physician wellness and medical culture, Canadian Medical Association.

Christopher Simon (chair)

Christopher Simon is the strategic advisor of physician wellness and medical culture at the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), where he has helped lead the CMA’s work in physician wellness for the past eight years. During that time, he has been involved in the planning and content for both the International and Canadian Conferences on Physician Health and led the development of the Canadian National Physician Health Survey and the CMA Policy on Physician Health.

His current work includes helping support the CMA’s vision for a vibrant medical profession and a healthy population, with an emphasis on building positive and supportive medical training and practice cultures – an important element of promoting ‘humanity in medicine’. Christopher has been a part of the physician wellness community for nearly 15 years, having completed both his Master’s and PhD at the University of Ottawa in Psychosocial Sciences, with a focus on physician health and wellness – specifically, psychological well-being and self-regulation through a positive psychology lens.

Dr Jane Lemaire (panellist)

Jane Lemaire is a clinical professor, Division of General Internal Medicine, and vice chair, physician wellness and vitality, Department of Medicine at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She and her research colleagues have passionately advocated for recognition of physician wellness as a quality indicator of healthcare systems, and a shared responsibility for physician wellness that lies with individual physicians, the medical profession, and healthcare systems.

Dr Lemaire received the 2016 Canadian Medical Association Misericordia Award for her contributions to physician wellness. She is also the director of wellness at the Office of Professionalism, Equity, and Diversity, as well as the wellness lead at the W21C Research and Innovation Center, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. Dr Lemaire is the physician lead of Well Doc Alberta, a collaborative, co-operative, pan-provincial initiative with a focus on education and prevention.

Professor Michael West (panellist)

Michael West is senior visiting fellow at the King’s Fund, London and professor of organisational psychology at Lancaster University Management School. He has authored, edited or co-edited 20 books and has published over 200 articles for scientific and practitioner publications, as well as chapters in scholarly books.

He is a fellow of the British Psychological Society, the American Psychological Association (APA), the APA Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology, the International Association of Applied Psychologists, the British Academy of Management, and the Academy of Social Sciences.

The focus of his research over 30 years has been culture and leadership in organisations, team and organisational innovation and effectiveness, particularly in relation to the organisation of health services. He provides regular policy advice to many UK National Health Service organisations. He led the Department of Health Policy Research Programme into cultures of quality and safety in the NHS in England from 2009 to 2013. He also led the NHS National Staff Survey development and implementation for eight years and has built a large evidence base. He assisted Health Education England and NHS Improvement in developing the national framework on improvement and leadership development in England (Developing People, Improving Care - 2016) and the Department of Health in Northern Ireland in developing the Collective Leadership Strategy for Health and Social Care (2017).

He is supporting HEIW to develop the national NHS leadership strategy in Wales. He speaks to healthcare audiences widely, both nationally and internationally, about compassionate leadership and cultures of high-quality care, and evidence-based solutions for developing effective and innovative health care organisations. He co-chaired with Dame Denise Coia, the two-year inquiry on behalf of the UK General Medical Council into the mental health and wellbeing of doctors Caring for Doctors, Caring for Patients.


Resilience, regeneration and restoration – learning from others

Chair: Professor Debbie Cohen, emeritus professor of occupational health, Cardiff University

Drawing on other system-level thinking beyond medicine we will explore how such things as permaculture could be a force for good to help us rethink our objectives. Do we really want to sustain our healthcare systems, or should we think about regenerating or restoring them? Is resilience the way to go? Working with charities, environmentalists and entrepreneurs who have recognised the importance of our outdoor world and natural spaces to improve and build wellbeing we will discuss how a more holistic approach might offer an opportunity to think differently.

Professor Debbie Cohen (chair)

Debbie retired from medical practice in September 2019. She now manages a small farm in rural South Wales (UK). She set up and ran for 20 years a service to support physician health in Wales and since the start of the pandemic has grown the service to support 60,000 NHS staff in Wales. She has now handed this work on to others but continues to work with charities, environmentalists and others working in the field of permaculture, biodiversity and regenerative agriculture to support wellbeing to the UK nation.

Suicide and the myth of Sisyphus

Chair: Dr Clare Gerada, medical director, NHS Practitioner Health, UK

The presenter will talk about suicide drawing on her experience of running a monthly support group for those bereaved following the death of a health professional through suicide. The session will include members from the group and together we will explore why those who outwardly ‘had it all’ chose death over life.

Dr Clare Gerada (chair)

Having qualified from University College Hospital in 1982, Clare Gerada started her career in psychiatry, training at the Maudsley Hospital. After obtaining her membership of Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1986, she left, trained in general practice and became a partner of the Hurley Clinic in 1992 where she has been ever since.

Alongside this role, for the last decade she has also been the medical director of NHS Practitioner Health, a confidential service for doctors and dentists with mental health and addiction problems. Over the decade around 11,000 doctors have accessed the service which is now the largest physician health service in Europe.

Over the years she has held a number of local and national leadership roles, including chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (2010 – 13) when she was only the second woman to hold this post in its fifty-year history. She is currently co-chair of the NHS Assembly.

Currently Dr Gerada not only still leads NHS Practitioner Health but in 2020 established a service for problem gamblers; chairs the newly formed registered charity, Doctors in Distress and was made a Dame in the 2020 Queen’s birthday honours for services to general practice. She was previously awarded an MBE in 2000 for services to drug misuse and primary care. Alongside this, she is currently the only GP to be on all three major medical boards/councils (BMA, GPC and RCGP). She writes extensively and has a regular column in the BMJ.

Closing keynote

Adam Kay

Adam Kay is a writer and comedian. His first book, This is Going to Hurt, revisits his former career as a junior doctor, spent over a year at number one in the Sunday Times bestseller list, sold over 2.5 million copies and has been translated into 37 languages.

Adam’s second book, Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas, was published in October 2019 and took a peek behind the blue curtain at Christmastime. It was an instant Sunday Times bestseller, selling over 500,000 copies in under three months and making Adam the first author to have simultaneous number ones for hardback and paperback non-fiction titles.

Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You, edited by Adam, was published in July 2020. It collected stories from famous contributors with all profits donated to NHS Charities Together and The Lullaby Trust and has so far raised over £250,000. Adam’s first children’s book, Kay’s Anatomy, was published in October 2020 and has become the fastest-selling children’s non-fiction book of the decade.

Adam is also an award-winning live performer, is adapting This is Going to Hurt as a major comedy-drama for the BBC and is a proud patron of The Lullaby Trust.


Registration fees

All registration fees are in GBP (£ sterling) and include tax (VAT), access to all five conference days, and access to the on-demand content for 12 weeks after the conference.

  • British, American or Canadian Medical Association Member £150.00
  • Trainee doctor or resident £96.00
  • Retired physician £96.00
  • Medical student £60.00
  • Non-member or non-physician £240.00

Reduced registration fees are also available to accepted presenting authors.

Group registration

Group discounts are available:

  • 10% off registration fees for groups of 10-14 participants
  • 15% off registration fees for groups of 15-20 participants.

All participants must be registered and paid for at the same time by one group contact. Participant names can be changed at any time up to 7 days prior to the conference.

Register your group



Applications for bursaries provided by the Doctors’ Support Network and Royal Medical Benevolent Fund are now closed.

If you would like to get in contact with these organisations, please email [email protected].


Sponsorship and exhibition opportunities

A number of different sponsorship and exhibition opportunities will be available at the online conference.

You can find out more from our team by emailing [email protected].

Organiser details

ICPH 2021