AMA Trainee Forum: College Initiatives to Support Trainee Wellbeing

The third AMA Trainee Forum of the year was held on 11 August 2022. AMA Council of Doctors in Training (CDT) Chair, Dr Hannah Szewczyk, facilitated a discussion on college initiatives to support trainee wellbeing with trainee representatives and trainee chairs from Specialist Medical Colleges and Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association attending.

Medical trainees experience elevated levels of burn out and other wellbeing issues that are often caused or exacerbated by structural norms and policies that disregard or minimise the importance of trainee wellbeing. Examination processes, flexible training options, and access to suicide postvention were identified as three key factors affecting trainee wellbeing.

Trainees also discussed issues regarding college supported mentoring programmes and financial wellbeing. Colleges are encouraged to ensure governance structures meaningfully support and resource wellbeing initiatives and policies. Trainees discussed the need to translate wellbeing policies into action and reflected that often trainees are unaware of college wellbeing policies.

Specialist Medical Training Colleges can foster a greater sense of identity, safety and satisfaction between the trainee and their College through meaningful and tangible investments in trainee wellbeing. The Trainee Forum discussions reiterated the need for, and benefits of trainees being integrated and represented on college education and governance committees.

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