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With Guests Dr. Atul Khullar & Dr. Charles Samuels.
Hosted by Dr. Jane Lemaire.

Released on June 3, 2020
Episode Length: 36 mins and 45 secs

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In this episode of the Well Doc Alberta Physician Wellness podcast, Dr. Jane Lemaire sits down with two sleep experts, Dr. Atul Khullar and Dr. Charles Samuels, to discuss the importance of sleep and the sleep challenges facing physicians both during and before the pandemic. Drs. Khullar and Samuels share their expertise around the science of sleep, sleep routines, how sleep disturbances impact our lives, and what to do if you’re having trouble sleeping not only during the pandemic, but in general throughout your career given the culture and nature of the practice of medicine.

Learning Objectives

After hearing this podcast, listeners will be able to:

  1. List the two most common sleep disturbances affecting physicians

  2. Describe how being in a state of hyper-arousal impacts sleep

  3. Recall strategies to enhance your sleep routine

  4. Describe added sleep challenges being experienced by frontline physicians during the pandemic

  5. Identify how to seek help for sleep disturbance


Physician Sleep Resources


Additional Sleep Information

Atul Khullar, MD, MSc, FRCPC, DABPN


Dr. Atul Khullar is a psychiatrist and sleep specialist who specializes in the combined management of sleep, mood/anxiety and attention deficit disorders. He also has a special interest in the interactions of these issues with shift work and circadian rhythms. Currently he is the medical director of the Northern Alberta Sleep Clinic in Edmonton and a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta. Dr. Khullar is also a senior consultant on topics related to the interaction between mood, anxiety, attention and sleep for the Grey Nuns Hospital, the Edmonton Oilers, and MedSleep, a Canada-wide network of community sleep clinics. He also has a strong interest in physician and employee wellness through optimizing both mental health and circadian rhythms. 

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Charles Samuels, MD, CCFP, DABSM


Dr. Charles Samuels is the Medical Director of the Centre for Sleep & Human Performance in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a member of the College of Family Physicians of Canada who
has served as the Vice President Clinical of the Canadian Sleep Society and is the Chairman of the Alberta Medical Association Insomnia Clinical Practice Guideline Committee. Dr. Samuels is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine and Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary. He is a well-respected medical educator who speaks internationally on topics related to sleep health and human performance. Dr. Samuels is a member of the O'Brien Institute of Public Health at the University of Calgary; his research focus is the relationship of sleep to recovery, training and performance in Elite Olympic Athletes. Dr. Samuels is regarded as an expert in the area of sleep disturbance and health consequences of shift work based on his work with the Calgary Police Service Health and Human Performance Research Initiative, which was a ten-year research project exploring the impact of rotating shift work on the health and performance of police officers. He is also a co-investigator on a similar project that will run from 2015-2017 with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

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