MIGA was pleased to recently support a Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation CrazySocks4Docs webinar focusing on Doctors’ mental health. Dr Roger Sexton, Medical Director Doctors’ Health SA and MIGA Deputy Chairman, participated in the panel discussion.
You can view the recorded webinar here (Running time 41 minutes).
The Beyond Blue Doctors Health Survey, first completed in 2013, has highlighted the high risk of burnout amongst doctors, with suicide rates higher than the general population (double the general population amongst female doctors) and the imbalance between work and family as the main cause of stress for doctors.
The webinar panellists discussed the additional impact of COVID-19 as doctors have navigated their way through the health and economic implications. Unsurprisingly, COVID-19 has added another health and safety issue to the long list already in the medical workplace, with doctors concerned about the safety of themselves and their families, particularly when PPE was in short supply.
Doctors have also been struggling with information overload, the need for rapid adaptation of workplaces and work practices, such as the implementation of telehealth consultations for their patients and even cessation of practice altogether.
Training programs have been put on hold and exams delayed. Doctors have certainly not been immune to uncertainty, feelings of isolation and loneliness.
However, there are two sides to every coin and the news is not all bad.
For some doctors, COVID-19 has provided time and the opportunity to slow down, step back and reassess what could change and what is important in their lives. It has been something of an enforced pause (a ‘mini gap year’) that has given doctors permission to fulfil their non-medical roles and reinvigorate personal interests.
If you have been focusing on the challenges and feeling the pressure of these, perhaps you can also benefit from taking a step back and looking for the opportunities for yourself.
Here are some tips to get you started thinking about ways you can make the most of the current situation to improve your overall well-being: