Doctors are facing unprecedented pressure and mental strain due to surging patient numbers and increased levels of disruption and uncertainty as we face a global pandemic. This is not a new issue for the medical profession but COVID-19 has certainly exacerbated the problem. There has never been a more important time to equip doctors with the right skills to care for their personal wellbeing so they can take better care of the health of their patients.
First-year interns, at the start of their careers, are also particularly vulnerable as they are experiencing significant change. They experience complex, compounding challenges that places their mental health at high risk. AMA Queensland and its Council of Doctors in Training collaborated with psychiatrist and Life Coach, Dr Ira van der Steenstraten to develop an Australian-first program to equip interns with the skills needed to survive and thrive in medicine.
Initially with the Resilience on the Run from 2015-19 and then Wellbeing at Work from 2020-21, AMA Queensland has helped and supported 4,188 interns develop robust resilience, healthier coping, and a range of self-care skills, amongst others mindfulness so they can better look after themselves and be able to deliver exemplary care for Queenslanders. These programs have constructively impacted the lives of young doctors in Queensland with an outstanding 90% of participants rating the programs as positive. Also, 83% of participants rated the experience as good or excellent, a clear testament to the strength of the content.
The program is delivered in-person via 2 x 90-minute workshops with a week or two between each session to allow for practicing of strategies that were covered in the first session.
As a profession, it’s our responsibility to ensure doctors have the appropriate support, throughout their careers, to deal with the challenges of the medical profession.
For enquiries or to book your hospital a Wellbeing at Work session contact us on (07) 3872 2222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
AMA Queensland is now offering “COVID-19 Coffee Corner” sessions via online videoconferencing, focussing on wellbeing support for all doctors.
The sessions will run for 30-45 minutes with a maximum of 10 participants per session. The current scheduling is Monday, Wednesday and Friday (one session each day) for a duration of up to three months. Timing of sessions can be arranged based on suitable availability for your team
COVID-19 Coffee Corner sessions will include psychoeducation and practical exercises, leaving participants feeling “lighter” than at the start of the session. The following is a general summary of what a session will look like:
- Introduction: 5 min max– basic rules (support, not treatment, asking questions via chat, referral pathways)
- 10-15 min – support for each other, psychoeducation, normalising, grounding
- 15 min – know about beforehand, sleeping, eating, activities. 1-2 practical exercises.
These sessions will be jointly facilitated by Dr Ira van der Steenstraten, psychiatrist, life coach and experienced mindfulness trainer, and Vicky Dawes, prior counsellor and coach with the Queensland Doctors’ Health Programme (QDHP).
For all Wellbeing Program enquires, contact AMA Queensland:
Phone: (07) 3872 2222