The last thing you need to hear

Last Thursday, The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) Board voted unanimously to reject the last offer from the Government of Ontario. This signals the beginning of a period of uncertainty between the OMA and the Liberal Government that is not good for patients in Ontario and likely not good for the province either. There’s no doubt…

The Feast of the Holy Innocents: A reflection on the deaths of children

This is the second time that I have considered Children’s death by violence in conjunction with the Feast of the Holy Innocents. Two years ago, I considered gun culture in the United States in the context of the massacre at a Newtown, Connecticut school:  http://drgailbeck.com/2012/12/27/holy-innocents-gun-control-and-american-culture/ Herod’s murder of boys was directly linked to his own…

Taking Back St. Nicholas

What are your images of the Feast of St. Nicholas? Mine come initially from grade school where I learned that the gift-giving that we usually associate with Christmas happens on St. Nicholas’ Day or Eve. Those chocolate letters that one sees in the mall are used for that feast traditionally. I also remember the story…

Reflection of a Life-Long Learner

One of the most appealing aspects of a medical career is that you are always learning. In my field of Psychiatry this has been especially true, although perhaps I say this in ignorance since I am not nearly as familiar with the developments and discoveries in specialties other than my own. Ongoing self-education is so…

Mental Illness and a Sense of Community

Yesterday, the Ottawa Citizen’s Elizabeth Payne summarized the results of Bridging the Gap, a report on Ottawa’s community well-being. The report can be found here: http://communityhealthandwellbeing.org/sites/default/files/Bridging%20the%20Gap.pdf and this is the link to Payne’s article: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/taking-the-measure-of-fat-city-ottawa-affluent-and-troubled-report-finds A key aspect of this report, which uses the Canadian Index of Wellbeing as a measure, is that, in the…

My Mental Health Message

In the last week, I have had two opportunities to provide my opinions on how I practise psychiatry. Last Wednesday, on World Suicide Prevention Day, I participated in a tweet chat with staff at The Royal, answering questions about depression and preventing suicide. https://storify.com/TheRoyalMHC/sept-10-2014-at-3-pm-checkwithbeck. Today I was Rita Celli’s guest on Ontario Today, answering questions…

“Balance” or Bias: My Favourite Vaccine Book

The book The Panic Virus by Seth Mnookin inspired my blogging project for the summer, which was vaccines. The author explores why the myth that vaccines cause developmental disorders persists despite extensive research that demonstrates just the opposite. http://sethmnookin.com/the-panic-virus/ Mnookin follows the course of a theory by a now discredited British gastroenterologist, Andrew Wakefield, that…