New website to support doctors’ health and wellbeing

Amanda Lyons

10/12/2019 3:11:57 PM

DRS4DRS helps practitioners and medical students easily connect with health services and programs specifically designed for their needs.

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The new website provides a ‘one-stop shop’ for doctors and medical students to access help with their health and wellbeing.

Caring for others.
For many doctors, it is what attracts them to their profession.
But caring for themselves? That is not so straightforward.
Whether it is be a fear of being perceived as less professionally able by colleagues, or a lack of time and access to healthcare services due to long working hours, they can often find it hard to seek help.
Although this can lead to serious consequences, from poor mental health to burnout and, in some cases, even suicide, doctors can still find it difficult to bridge that gap.
‘Everyone thought it was really important to have your own GP, but none of them did,’ Dr Rebekah Hoffman, general practice registrar told newsGP earlier this year when discussing the findings from her research project on junior doctors and burnout.
‘They were all aware it was really important for self-care, but no one wanted to contact and have a GP.’
A new national website, DRS4DRs, has been launched to help doctors and medical students overcome these barriers and more easily access help specifically designed for them, when and where they need it.
‘The DRS4DRS website details supports that can be accessed 24–7, how to connect with a confidential service for doctors only, as well as strategies to assist with the many aspects of managing a busy professional life,’ David Brennan, Chair of the Doctors’ Health Service (DrHS), said.
The DrHS, an independent service funded by the Medical Board of Australia, led the creation of DRS4DRS with input from all state and territory health services. The result is an online ‘one-stop shop’ where doctors and students can find health advisory and referral services across the nation that are designed for medical professionals, independent, confidential and safe.
The site contains other useful resources and information, from support groups and events for doctors and advice on how to find your own GP, to training materials for doctors who see other doctors as patients.
‘Doctors have long called for improved national coordination of information for where and how doctors and medical students can seek support for their health and wellbeing,’ Dr Tony Bartone Australian Medical Association President and member of the DrHS Board, said.
‘This website responds to that call, and can also increase awareness for our profession of how to take care of themselves.’

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