CDT Chair update - February

Committee of Doctors in Training Chair Dr Elise Witter talks about how the 2024 committee is coming together, results from the Ward Call Survey and upcoming events.

We are currently in the final stages of completing the recruitment for the 2024 committee and are excited to welcome some new faces on board as well as continue with a number of initiatives with existing committee members. We still have a number of representative positions available, and would love for any members interested in doctor in training advocacy to apply. Positions are still available for: 

  • Mackay 
  • Mater 
  • The Prince Charles Hospital 
  • Queensland Children's Hospital 
  • Mount Isa 
  • GP/rural generalist  

We are grateful for everyone who contributed to our Ward Call Survey, and we are currently finalising the results and policy. Overwhelmingly individuals identified that there was significant concern for the current systems in place for ward call at hospitals across the state, with inadequate support, excess workload and fatigue impacting individual wellbeing. Doctors reported generally poor experiences, preparation and supervision on ward call, describing it as “a trial by fire”, “very taxing”, “very high workload”, “very unsafe” and stating that “It HAS to be investigated and changed to be safer for patients and doctors mental wellbeing”.  

  • only 40.5% felt they had adequate support and supervision on ward call  
  • only 31.2% felt they were appropriately oriented and prepared for ward call  
  • 65.5% reported there were clear escalation pathways overnight  
  • 22.7% reported concerns they were compromising patient safety when completing a ward call shift  
  • 76% felt physically safe travelling between buildings and wards on ward call  
  • only 36.3% agreed the ward call roster is safe and supportive of their wellbeing  
  • 35.1% felt the distance between wards and hospital buildings negatively impacted patient safety  
  • 75.6% supported the use of technology such as tasking apps to streamline efficiency on ward call shifts  

We have formed a number of recommendations and will be feeding these back to individual HHSs, as well as advocating for high level support for digital tasking apps to streamline efficiency on ward call. We are hopeful that developing policy in this space will help guide improvements that can be implemented into the future. 

We are also planning for our upcoming Medical Careers Expo on 9 March, and in the early stages of planning our Junior Doctor Conference to be held in Cairns in June. We are looking forward to hearing from the great speakers about the many opportunities and pathways available in medicine. Hope to see you there! 

Related topics