I’m Kate Dewhirst.

I’m a lawyer who writes about legal issues affecting healthcare in Canada

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Resilience: You didn’t fall off the horse. You are the horse.

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The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines resilience as an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.

In my resilience workshops for lawyers, I often hear participants refer to a metaphor that resilience is our ability to get back up on the horse that bucked us.

Yes. Resilience is partly that.

It reminds me of a childhood chant “If at first you don’t succeed. Try. Try again.”

Resilience is about our ability to reengage with the source of our struggle. The thing that knocked us down. To look our misfortune or change in the eye and try again. Resilience requires that of us. Yes, and …

What if we use another horse metaphor to prepare ourselves for change and misfortune and set ourselves up to succeed.

What if we think of ourselves as the horse.

A powerful tool I learned from Joe Polish’s Genius Network was the metaphor of the racehorse. It goes something like this:

If you invested in a $1,000,000 racehorse, how would you treat it?

You would care for your horse. Feed it nutritious food. Challenge it. Practice the course. Test it. Rest it. Love it. Find the right coach. Exercise it. Maximize its strengths and advantages. Watch for its weaknesses and offer support.

You are your $1,000,000 racehorse.

Your life and your legal practice depend on you. Your readiness. Your energy level. Your mental preparedness. Your strengths. Knowing your weaknesses and offering yourself support.

In the good times of your legal practice – the metaphor of the racehorse helps you think about how to “maximize”. What habits are setting you up for success? How can you do even more of that? Find a coach that can see your success and reflect back to you – “See! That there! That’s where you are shining.” Look for opportunities to improve even more. Rest to prevent burnout.

In the dark times of your legal practice – the racehorse metaphor may help you choose habits and actions that give you confidence. Refocus on energy-boosting action. This may also be a time to rest. To walk not run. To find a coach. To reach out for help. To gather new resources.

When life or the law knock you down – yes, find a way to get back on that horse that bucked you. And … remember you are the horse. Re-examine the habits, the tools, the practice, the coaches and the love that support you to continue to be a horse to bet on.

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Some of Kate’s recent and upcoming events

Team Privacy Training Events
February 12, 19, 26, 27, Mar 2, 9, 11, 24, 27

For Primary Care clinics, Hospitals, Community Agencies and Children’s Aid

Kate trains health professionals from many more health care organizations how being privacy-respectful can improve therapeutic relationships. More details...

Speaking event March 25, 2020

Osgoode Professional Development – Health Law Certificate

Kate joins the faculty for this training event. More details...

Primary care webinars: Employment Law Update & Legal Issues for EDs and Board members

Part of Kate’s monthly webinar series.

Our March webinar is on questions to ask your insurer and the April program is on changes to pregnant employees' positions.
Full details of the 2020 webinar series and registration here.

Health Privacy Officer training
April 28, 2020

For Privacy Officers within healthcare organisations.

This course focuses on how to become a more confident privacy officer and gives you the tools to document your privacy program. Full details and registration here...

Osgoode Health Privacy training
January 20 & 27 and February 3,10 & 18, 2020

Kate is the program chair for the Osgoode Certificate in Privacy in Healthcare.

This program explores the range of privacy interests that must be protected in the day-to-day treatment of patients, the development of information systems and the creation of institutional policies. More details...

Free healthcare privacy webinar - ask me anything!
March 4 (cancelled) but back April 1

Free webinars - advance registration needed

Whether you're an experienced privacy officer or new in the field, pick Kate’s brain for free for an hour, in this live webinar. No charge, but you’ll need to register in advance.

Kate Dewhirst Health Law

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My mission is bringing the law to life. I make legal theory understandable, accessible and fun! I’m available and love to work for all organizations in the healthcare sector across Ontario and beyond.

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