By Dr Natasha Abeysekera
AMA Queensland's Council of Doctors in Training (CDT) is proud to present the inaugural Self-Care September initiative.
The month-long campaign will shed light on the challenges faced by doctors in training and reflect on how their unique position in their careers are tied to innumerable wellbeing concerns.
In a more positive spin, the campaign will also feature videos from doctors in training discussing self-care solutions they’ve adopted to improve their wellbeing.
The campaign will also host a series of virtual workshops and networking events designed to engage, empower and educate our doctors in training community.
Make sure you follow all of our social media channels or you risk a serious case of FOMO and will miss out on some seriously fabulous prizes!
- 50 per cent of doctors in training experience moderate to high levels of psychological distress.
- Doctors in training are working unsafe hours increasing their risk of developing mental health conditions and suicidal ideation.
- Female doctors suicide at 2.27 times the rate of the general population.
- Male doctors suicide at 1.41 times the rate of the general population.
To be clear - none of this is new information; mental health amongst physicians has been extensively investigated in the literature and by Beyond Blue. The reason we still need to talk about doctors' health and wellbeing is that although we know the problem exists, it is still rampant and largely goes unaddressed.
The AMA has been integral in leading a review into the mental health of our doctors in training workforce, pairing initially in 2014 with BeyondBlue to develop an action plan to address the dire situation. The AMA’s National Code of Practice also addresses the risks associated with unsafe working hours on the health and wellbeing of our workforce and the potential impact on our patients.
Doctors in training are a particularly vulnerable population of the medical workforce.
- regularly belittled, bullied, harassed and discriminated against;
- still working unsafe hours;
- told to grin and bear it; and
- still killing ourselves.
This September I implore you to take action in your own workplaces.
You can do this by doing the following for our doctors in training.
- Say ‘Thank You’.
- Ask them ‘RU OK’.
- Recognise when their wellbeing and safety is in jeopardy.
Enough is enough.
Our jobs are not worth our lives.
Self-Care September will be hosted on the Australian Medical Association Queensland social media platforms.
If this article has highlighted difficulties that you are experiencing, please contact your state Doctors’ Health Advisory Service helpline for 24-hour confidential support and advice. In Queensland, you can find further information at www.dhasq.org.au with confidential support and advice through our helpline (07) 3833 4352, while other states’ phone numbers can be found at www.adhn.org.au
Thanks to Doctors’ Health Fund for sponsoring the incredible prizes in our Self-Care September social media competition.