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Canadian doctors are suffering from burnout at an ‘alarming’ rate, survey finds

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One in four Canadian physicians suffers from burnout, according to a survey of the profession.

Released on Wednesday, the poll by the Canadian Medical Association also shows significant rates of depression and suicidal ideation (thoughts) among the nation’s doctors.

“To see these results reported is alarming,” said CMA president Dr. Gigi Osler, warning that poor physician health can impact patient care.

Residents, or doctors in training, along with female physicians report the highest rates of problems, according to the CMA National Physician Health Survey: A National Snapshot.

The findings are consistent with those reported in other jurisdictions and are being made public the day before 500 people — mostly doctors — from around the world gather in Toronto for the International Conference on Physician Health. The conference is held every two years and is organized by the Canadian, American, and British Medical Associations.

The CMA survey was conducted online last year with almost 3,000 physicians and residents. It is the first time a study of this extent has been done on the Canadian medical workforce and will serve as a baseline for future research.

According to the findings, one in three Canadian physicians screens positive for depression.

To assess participants for suicidal ideation, they were asked if they had thought about taking their own lives. Nineteen per cent responded that they had done so within their lifetime and 8 per cent reported doing so in the last year.

Osler said what strikes her most about the findings is the large number of doctors reporting both high levels of resilience and burnout.

Some 82 per cent reported being highly resilient, or able to bounce back from hardships.

Osler said that tells her physicians are doing well when it comes to personal self-care but are encountering trouble when it comes to external factors such as workplace pressures.

“The complexity of medicine is changing,” she said.

Patients are getting older and have more complex medical problems, and physicians have more therapeutic options to choose from, she noted.

There is more administration, bureaucracy and paperwork, and at the same time health-care resources are decreasing, Osler continued.

“High workload, high stress and low resources,” are a recipe for burnout, she said. “We need to start focusing on change in the system because physician health has to be a shared responsibility.”

The survey found that residents have a 48 per cent increase in odds of experiencing burnout, a 95 per cent increase in odds of depression and a 72 per cent increase in odds of suicidal ideation at some point in their lives compared to other physician groups.

Osler said contributing factors include low workplace control, school-to work transitioning, and ongoing examinations and tests.

For women physicians, the survey found a 23 per cent increase in odds of experiencing burnout, a 32 per cent increase in odds of depression and a 31 per cent increase in odds of lifetime suicidal ideation compared to their male colleagues.

Osler noted that even outside medicine, women report higher levels of exhaustion and greater domestic responsibilies, for example, child care.

The survey found more than 80 per cent of respondents are aware of health programs tailored specifically to physicians, but only 15 per cent take advantage of them. Reasons for not accessing them include not being aware of them, believing their problems were not severe enough and being ashamed to seek help.

A 2016 article in the CMAJ stated that medicine has the highest rate of suicide of any profession.

Osler said more research on this is required.

Dr. Murray Erlich, 57, of Toronto said burnout is what caused him to make a slight change in his career trajectory a year ago.

He went from practising psychiatry to becoming a certified life coach and many of his clients are physicians and residents experiencing burnout.

With much first-hand experience on the subject, he said there is a stigma in the profession that deters some from seeking help.

It is linked to a long-standing culture that sends a message to doctors to show confidence and hide vulnerability, Erlich said.

But there is a growing awareness of the problem, even in medical schools, which today include a focus on physician health, he noted.

Theresa Boyle is a Toronto-based reporter covering health. Follow her on Twitter: @theresaboyle

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Nostalgia and much more with Starburst XXXtreme

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Get a taste of adventure with Starburst XXXtreme based on the legendary NetEnt Game. The nostalgic themes are sure to capture fans of the classic version as they get treated to higher intensity, better visuals, and features. The most significant element of the game is its volatility. Patience will not be an essential virtue considering the insane gameplay, and there is a lot of win potential involved. It retains the original makeup of the previous game while adding a healthy dose of adrenaline. 

Starburst Visuals and Symbols

The game is definitely more conspicuous than before. The setting happens over a 5-reel, 3-row game grid with nine fixed win lines, which function if a succession from the left to the right reel is present. Only those players that that attain the highest win per bet line are paid. From a visual standpoint, the Starburst XXXtreme slots illustrates lightning effects behind the reels, which is not surprising as it is inherited from the original version. Available themes include Classic, Jewels, and Space. The game is also available in both desktop and mobile versions, which is advantageous for players considering the global pandemic. According to Techguide, American gamers are increasingly having more engaging gaming experiences to socialize to fill the gap of in-person interaction. Starburst XXXtreme allows them to fill the social void at a time when there is so much time to be had indoors. 

Starburst XXXTreme Features

Players get to alternate on three features which are Starburst Wilds, XXXtreme Spins, and Random Wilds. The first appears on reels 2,3, or 4. When these land, they expand to cover all positions while also calculating the wins. They are also locked for a respin. If a new one hits, it also becomes locked while awarding another respin. Starburst XXXtreme offers a choice between two scenarios for a higher stake. In one scenario with a ten times stake, the Starburst Wild is set on random on reels 2,3, or 4, and a multiplier starts the respin. The second scenario, which has a 95 times stake, starts with two guaranteed starburst wilds on reels 2,3, or 4. it also plays out using respin game sequence and features. The game also increases the potential with the Random Wilds feature to add Starburst Wilds to a vacant reel at the end of a spin. Every Starburst Wild gives a random multiplier with potential wins of x2, x3, x5, x10, x25, x50, x100, or even x150.

The new feature is sure to be a big hit with the gaming market as online gambling has shown significant growth during the lockdown. AdAge indicates the current casino customer base is an estimated one in five Americans, so Starburst XXXtreme’s additional features will achieve considerable popularity. 

What We Think About The Game

The gambling market has continued to diversify post-pandemic, so it is one of the most opportune times to release an online casino-based game. Thankfully Starburst XXXtreme features eye-catching visuals, including the jewels and space themes. These attract audience participation and make the gameplay inviting. The game also has a nostalgic edge. The previous NetEnt iteration featured similar visuals and gameplay, so the audience has some familiarity with it. The producers have revamped this version by tweaking the features to improve the volatility and engagement. 

That is characterized by the potential win cap of 200,000 times the bet. Starburst XXXtreme does not just give betting alternatives for players that want to go big. The increase of multipliers also provides a great experience. If the respins in the previous version were great, knowing that multipliers can go hundreds of times overtakes the game to a new level. 

Players should get excited about this offering. All of the features can be triggered within a single spin. Whether one plays the standard game or takes the XXXtreme spin route, it is possible to activate all of the features. Of course, the potential 200,000 times potential is a huge carrot. However, the bet size is probably going to be restricted and vary depending on the casino. It is also worth pointing out that a malfunction during the gameplay will void all of the payouts and progress. Overall, the game itself has been designed to provide a capped win of 200,000 times the original bet. 

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‘We’re back’: Montreal festival promoters happy to return but looking to next year

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In downtown Montreal, it’s festival season.

In the city’s entertainment district, a musical act was conducting a sound check on stage Friday evening — the second day of the French-language version of the renowned Just For Laughs comedy festival. Tickets for many of the festival’s free outdoor shows — limited by COVID-19 regulations — were sold out.

Two blocks away, more than 100 people were watching an acoustic performance by the Isaac Neto Trio — part of the last weekend of the Festival International Nuits d’Afrique, a celebration of music from the African continent and the African diaspora.

With COVID-19 restrictions continuing to limit capacity, festival organizers say they’re glad to be back but looking forward to next year when they hope border restrictions and capacity limits won’t affect their plans.

Charles Décarie, Just For Laughs’ CEO and president, said this is a “transition year.”

“Even though we have major constraints from the public health group in Montreal, we’ve managed to design a festival that can navigate through those constraints,” Décarie said.

The French-language Juste pour rire festival began on July 15 and is followed by the English-language festival until July 31.

When planning began in February and March, Décarie said, organizers came up with a variety of scenarios for different crowd sizes, ranging from no spectators to 50 per cent of usual capacity.

“You’ve got to build scenarios,” he said. “You do have to plan a little bit more than usual because you have to have alternatives.”

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MELS new major movie studio to be built in Montreal

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MONTREAL — MELS Studios will build a new film studio in Montreal, filling some of the gap in supply to meet the demand of Hollywood productions.

MELS president Martin Carrier said on Friday that MELS 4 studio construction will begin « as soon as possible », either in the fall or winter of next year. The studio could host productions as early as spring 2023.

The total investment for the project is $76 million, with the Quebec government contributing a $25 million loan. The project will create 110 jobs, according to the company.

The TVA Group subsidiary’s project will enable it to stand out « even more » internationally, according to Quebecor president and CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau. In the past, MELS Studios has hosted several major productions, including chapters of the X-Men franchise. The next Transformers movie is shooting this summer in Montreal.

Péladeau insisted that local cultural productions would also benefit from the new facility, adding that the studio ensures foreign revenues and to showcase talent and maintain an industry of Quebec producers.

STUDIO SHORTAGE

The film industry is cramped in Montreal.

According to a report published last May by the Bureau du cinéma et de la télévision du Québec (BCTQ), there is a shortage of nearly 400,000 square feet of studio space.

With the addition of MELS 4, which will be 160,000 square feet, the company is filling part of the gap.

Carrier admitted that he has had to turn down contracts because of the lack of space, representing missed opportunities of « tens of millions of dollars, not only for MELS, but also for the Quebec economy. »

« Montreal’s expertise is in high demand, » said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, who was present at the announcement.

She said she received great testimonials from « Netflix, Disney, HBO and company » during an economic mission to Los Angeles in 2019.

« What stands out is that they love Montreal because of its expertise, knowledge and beauty. We need more space, like MELS 4, » she said.

There is still not enough capacity in Quebec, acknowledged Minister of Finance, the Economy and Innovation Eric Girard.

« It is certain that the government is concerned about fairness and balance, so if other requests come in, we will study them with the same seriousness as we have studied this one, » he said.

Grandé Studios is the second-largest player in the industry. Last May, the company said it had expansion plans that should begin in 2022. Investissement Québec and Bell are minority shareholders in the company.

For its part, MELS will have 400,000 square feet of production space once MELS 4 is completed. The company employs 450 people in Quebec and offers a range of services including studio and equipment rentals, image and sound postproduction, visual effects and a virtual production platform.

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