Member Highlight: How Dr. Yaad Shergill and the team at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute are helping Canadians choose Power Over Pain

Date:  October 30, 2023


We recently interviewed CCA member, Dr. Yaad Shergill, to gain insight into Power Over Pain, a new and free evidence-based platform housing self-directed pain management tools. She described how her unquenchable thirst for knowledge and a dedication to excellence led her to working with the research team that developed the portal that is helping thousands of Canadians manage their pain.

Photo: Dr. Yaad Shergill, CCA Member

From CMCC student to chiropractor, researcher, and a dedicated professor

Like many Canadian chiropractors, Dr. Shergill’s chiropractic education began at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC). After graduating from CMCC, she was accepted into the competitive Clinical Sciences residency program. It was within the halls of this distinguished program that her professional journey was profoundly shaped, leading her to the multifaceted roles she currently holds, including that of a chiropractor, researcher, and a dedicated professor.

During one of Dr. Shergill’s residency placements, she had the opportunity to learn about complex chronic pain from Dr. Angela Mailis, MD, MSC, FRCPC, PHYSMED, who was previously based at Toronto Western and is currently with the Pain Wellness Centre. Dr. Shergill shared her aspirations of establishing a clinical practice while concurrently pursuing research endeavors with Dr. Mailis, who was aware of a team of researchers affiliated with The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) seeking a clinical research coordinator. “She graciously facilitated the connection, enabling me to apply and subsequently interview for the position, and the rest, as they say, is history,” said Dr. Shergill.

The genesis of Power Over Pain

The team at OHRI focuses on chronic pain, particularly psychosocial interventions and collaborative care. Prior to the pandemic, OHRI recognized the need for a centralized hub of evidence-based resources for Canadians living with chronic pain. COVID further fuelled this need, as access to care was further limited.  The OHRI team applied for multiple grants during this time and was successful in receiving a grant from Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addiction Program that helped fund Power Over Pain.

Power Over Pain anticipates reaching 350,000 people who live with chronic pain in Canada and 35,000 registered accounts by 2024.

Co-designed with people with lived experience, the Power Over Pain portal is a bilingual online platform for youth and adults with chronic pain that provides rapid access to free evidence-based virtual resources, self-directed interventions, and peer support for chronic pain. The portal also includes a symptom-monitoring tool to promote behaviour change and improve health decision-making.

Dr. Shergill recently showcased the portal on CTV:  

Collaboration in health care

The Power Over Pain portal has many partners and collaborators including associations like Pain Canada, universities, and several hospitals including SickKids. By systematically integrating the portal within chronic pain care settings, the OHRI team seeks to enhance access to care and the ability of healthcare providers to support people living with pain receiving the right care at the right time that is tailored to their needs, motivations, and capacities.

We invite you to explore the Power Over Pain’s resources at and help spread awareness of the portal by promoting it to your network.

In addition to Dr. Shergill’s roles as a Research Program Manager at The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) and a part-time Professor at Seneca College, Dr. Shergill is also co-owner of a women of colour led clinical practice, One Elephant Integrative Health Team Inc., located in Oakville, ON. Dr. Shergill also recently completed a Masters in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University in 2022.

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