Doctor Wellness


What is Doctor Wellness?

 

AOA and the medical community have acknowledged the increase in often untreated mental illness, stress and burnout in medical professionals. This awareness has prompted AOA to advocate for the health and wellbeing of all members.

As documented in the 2019-21 Strategic Plan and Diversity Strategic Plan, AOA aims to create an environment of psychological safety and wellness and to nurture a compassionate and flexible environment that enables positive trainee physical and mental wellbeing.

AOA also aims to provide ongoing support to all members.

It is hoped that the range of resources below may encourage members to seek help if it is needed and to be aware of the wellbeing of colleagues and family members.

AOA endorses the RACS – What's up doc? Campaign to encourage surgeons to have a GP and regular check-ups.



Resources


This series of five podcasts are of conversations between Georgie Haysom, Head of Research, Education and Advocacy at Avant and Michael Myers, a professor of clinical psychiatry in New York. Prof Myers is a specialist in doctors’ health and an advocate for wellbeing.

They are engaging to listen to, and deal with strategies to assist doctors to manage stress and to look after yourselves during a medical/surgical career.

Avant has generously made the podcasts available to AOA. Listen here.


Confidential Mental Health Counselling Service

Doctors and medical students around Australia can access a free, confidential telehealth mental health services through the new 24/7, 365 days a year, Drs4Drs Support Service, which has been established by Doctors’ Health Services Limited (DrHS).

The Drs4Drs Support Service provides crisis support as well as non-urgent mental health support, and complements services provided by the network of State-based doctors’ health advisory services that are also funded by DrHS.

Corporate mental health provider, Converge International, will deliver the Drs4Drs Support Service, deploying mental health professionals who are experienced in helping people work through workplace issues, conflict management, relationship concerns, financial problems, legal matters, and lifestyle issues.

All services funded by DrHS are completely confidential. DrHS does not receive any information that could identify anyone using this service, as we appreciate patient privacy is paramount, and we provide the option of anonymity.

DrHS is a subsidiary of the AMA, established with funding from the Medical Board of Australia to provide health and wellbeing support to medical students and doctors.

The Drs4Drs Support Service is funded by a grant from the Federal Department of Health, allowing participants to have up to three free telehealth counselling sessions.

To access the Drs4Drs Support Service call 1300 374 377 (1300 DR4 DRS) or visit Drs4Drs.com.au

Australian Medical Association (AMA)

Doctors' health and wellbeing – AMA have provided various resources for doctors to seek advice in managing issues such as fatigue and self-care. They advocate for 'healthy doctors, healthy patients' to provide the highest-quality care for their patients and for them to experience a fulfilling and satisfying career. 

 

Australasian Doctors' Health Network (adhn)

Helping your colleagues and your own self-care – This website intends to bring together those in the medical community who are interested in the wellbeing of their colleagues and themselves. adhn have provided resources and links to health services that are contactable 24/7. 

 

Doctors' Health SA 

Find a GP – Doctor's Health SA offer clinical, training and educational services for those in the medical community who aim to improve their overall health and wellbeing. 

 

Primary Health Tasmania

Tasmanian Health Directory –  this directory is aimed at connecting those within the medical community and provides links to other professionals from several fields such as:
  • general practitioners
  • medical specialists
  • allied health providers
  • community pharmacies
  • aged care facilities.

 

AMA Victoria 

Assistance for Doctors: Support Programs – AMAVIC offer a range of services to assist and support doctors and medical students in maximising their wellbeing. 

 

The BMJ
#giveusabreak campaign – The BMJ has launched their well-being campaign to advocate for medical professionals to be able to take breaks, which are necessary to improve their well-being and for patient safety. 

 

Medical Benevolent Association of NSW (MBANSW)
JMO wellbeing and support – MBANSW provides counselling and financial assistance during crises, illness, impairment and grief in support of medical practitioners and their families including retired doctors and families of deceased practitioners. 

 

Beyond Blue
Information and support – Beyond Blue provides information and support for all Australians, assisting in the improvement of mental wellbeing and health. 

 

Lifeline
Crisis support and empowerment – As a national charity, Lifeline aims to connect Australians experiencing a personal crisis with services that will help them overcome any situation impacting their psychological wellbeing. They provide 24 hour access to crisis support and suicide prevention services. 

 

SANE Australia
Supporting mental health – As a national mental health charity, Sane Australia aims to support all Australians affected by mental illness. their work includes raising awareness and advocating for mental health, reducing the stigma surrounding mental illnesses and provide several services including a helpline. 

 

Alternatively, you may like to contact your Medical Defence organisation – they have expert resources to provide information and support for their members, including extensive wellness support programs/ external counselling providers.


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