Work Disability Program

This initiative is working for and with physicians to help achieve more effective disability management for patients on medical leave from work. UBC CPD, in partnership with BC Collaborative for Disability Prevention (BCCDP), has developed physician focused education to support and improve patient care in the field of workplace disability.

In 2013, UBC CPD piloted the Physician Education Program on Managing Workplace Disability (PEP-MD), in collaboration with BCCDP and WorkSafeBC, across multiple BC communities. The program involved a multimodal education strategy to help primary care physicians work with their patients to set reasonable expectations about staying at work (SAW) or returning to work (RTW), to prevent or mitigate unnecessarily prolonged work absences and about the consequent effects on health and well-being.  Five small group, case-based workshops were successfully delivered across BC communities. In addition, a webinar series was offered between January and May 2013 that reached more than 250 participants.

Based on the success of the pilot program, UBC CPD will expand to offer this educational opportunity to 10 communities across BC between late 2015 and early 2016. The second offering of the program will include an online module component in place of the previous webinar series and will continue to offer the well-received case-based workshops within select communities.

Online Module 

An online module was developed based on the content of the webinar series from the pilot program (see Resources) to provide primary care practitioners some basic principles of work disability prevention prior to attending the in-person workshop. The objectives of the online module are to:  

  • Consider the rationale and evidence for preventing needless work disability
  • Describe the role of the health provider in preventing needless work disability
  • Define and appropriately use the terms related to work disability
  • Employ communication tools to effectively counsel patients about work disability

Case-based Workshops

The workshops will continue to be a core component of the program in providing physicians and other primary care practitioners in BC with the resources, tools and knowledge to:

  • Better manage patients who are on medical leave from work due to various factors
  • Prevent or mitigate needless or prolonged disability by helping physicians work more effectively with their patients to set reasonable expectations about SAW or RTW
  • Work with other stakeholders in a patient’s recovery such as the patient’s employer, in order to streamline administrative processes and improve outcomes for patients

Watch out for the upcoming Mainpro-C (3.0) accredited workshops "I Need a Note for Work, Doc! Supporting your Patient's Safe Return to the Workplace" in the following BC communities:

  • Abbotsford
  • Cranbrook
  • Duncan 
  • New Westminster
  • Prince George
  • Salmon Arm
  • Surrey
  • Vancouver
  • Vernon
  • Victoria
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