Dr. Chan at the podium
Dr. Charlie Chan, Interim President & CEO and UHN’s Chief Medical Officer, told the first New Physician Orientation that in a workplace of more than 16,000 staff “respect for one another is crucial.” (Photo: UHN)

Each year, between 1,500 and 2,000 people are hired at UHN. Most spend part of their first day at New Employee Orientation, where they learn about the organization, from its purpose and core values, to resources available, and personal and professional expectations.

New physicians, who go through a program-based orientation to UHN, are now getting an opportunity for a similar broad introduction to the organization thanks to a program developed in partnership by the office of the Chief Medical Officer, the Medical Staff Association (MSA) and the Human Resources Department.

"You have put in a lot of extra work in order to get your professional and academic recognition to be here at UHN, so you should be very proud of yourself," Dr. Charlie Chan, Interim President & CEO, told more than two dozen physicians who attended the evening session.

"But, remember, you are one out of 1690 docs and more than 16,000 staff, all attracted here for the same reason," said Dr. Chan, also UHN's Chief Medical Officer. "So, respect for one another is crucial."

The sessions, which will be mandatory for newly-appointed UHN physicians and offered twice each year, including another one slated for next month, not only offer an overview of the organization but also a chance to meet members of the Senior Management Team and fellow new physicians.

A new intranet website has also been created as a resource for physicians.

Emma Pavlov, EVP Human Resources/Organizational Development & Michener Operations, talked about UHN's culture, the Purpose, Values and Principles, the Respect & Civility campaign and emphasized teamwork and innovation. She also discussed committing to Caring Safely and a just culture.

"We like to ask each one of our leaders, including all of you, to model respect and civility and professionalism in this organization," Emma said. "We have made a lot of strides, we are much further ahead than we were 10 years ago, but we still have room to grow and to improve.

"Be ambassadors for our culture," Emma said. "Espouse our values from teamwork to compassion to integrity and transparency, and consider those in everything that you do."

Group shot of four speakers
Speakers at New Physician Orientation included (L to R) Dr. John Granton, Head of Respirology and President of the Medical Staff Association at UHN, Dr. Trevor Young, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Emma Pavlov, EVP Human Resources/Organizational Development & Michener Operations at UHN, and Dr. Chan (Photo: UHN) ​

Dr. John Granton, Head of Respirology and President of the MSA at UHN, told the audience his association "provides you with a forum" to meet other physicians and potentially work together, and also vet concerns that may arise about professional and clinical practice or academic freedom.

"What we really want to do is represent your voice and we can only do that by active engagement and participation," Dr. Granton said. "I know what's important to me but I really need to understand what's important to you guys."

Dr. Trevor Young, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, discussed the academic appointment process and the scope of UHN and the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network.

"It's a huge enterprise," Dr. Young said. "You've entered a really remarkable place."

Dr. Young also urged the physicians to make a commitment to personal health and wellness, noting "we're all a non-renewable resource and we need to take care of ourselves, it's a long game."

 The next session is scheduled for Nov. 27.​

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