The Doctors' Health Advisory Service (NSW) aims to ensure that every doctor, dentist, veterinarian or student in these professions has ready access to health care.
We offer a telephone help line for personal and confidential advice for practitioners and students, and also for colleagues and family members in NSW and the ACT.
We handle calls relating to stress and mental illness, drug and alcohol problems, or personal and financial difficulties. No problem is too trivial or too serious. Our staff and volunteer doctors can provide advice and referrals if required.
We strongly recommend that you have your own general practitioner and see him/her promptly if you are unwell - as William Osler said 'a physician who treats himself has a fool for a patient'. Don't be so foolish!
DHAS welcomes our inaugral Medical Director
In March 2016 we were pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Garry Walter as inaugural Medical Director of the Doctors Health Advisory Service in NSW.
Professor Walter has a distinguished academic and clinical record, and a long-standing interest in the health and well-being of medical students and doctors. He holds a chair in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Sydney and is Clinical Director of Child and Youth Mental Health Services and a senior staff specialist in the North Sydney Local Health District. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2012 for services to psychiatry and to medical education.
Professor Walter's part-time appointment will enable the Service to extend its reach in support of students and doctors throughout NSW and the ACT. The Medical Board of Australia is funding similar initiatives across Australia
We now have an office in AMA House St Leonards which will serve as a base for the DHAS staff.
The Service has separate funding to ensure that we continue to serve and support our colleagues in Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine.
Because our staff are part-time, we also rely on the support of GPs and specialists who have been so important in maintaining the Service on a voluntary basis for the past 40 years. Together we aim to ensure that every doctor, dentist, vet (and students in those disciplines) has timely access to care.
Message from the President
As doctors we understand the stress of clinical responsibility and can offer advice about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a medical relative or colleague. Help is confidential and non-judgmental. It is available 24/7 for doctors, dentists or veterinarians needing help. Students are also welcome to use our service.
You can speak with our medical social worker or an experienced general practitioner at any time - many problems are resolved that way but if more intensive help is required you'll be referred to other sources of professional help, support and advice. The DHAS does not collect or hold identifying data but, if you are comfortable to provide more information, we will continue to help you for as long as you wish – confidentially of course. The support that the Medical Benevolent Association can offer may also be relevant in some situations www.mbansw.org.au
The DHAS holds regular seminars to assist doctors in the challenging role of caring for another practitioner. Caring for Colleagues will help you to understand doctors' health behaviours, mental health issues, dependency on alcohol and other drugs, self-harm and barriers to seeking health care. We discuss the specific needs of younger doctors, older doctors and international graduates.
You are warmly invited to come along to one of our seminars, whether you are a GP or specialist, or perhaps a doctor responsible for supervising medical students or junior doctors.
The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) funds doctors' health services in all states and territories. THis funding is the culmination of years of volunteer work in doctors' health. It has enabled us to expand our services, including education on doctors' health and related issues. Seperate funding ensures that we also offer the same help and support to dentists and veterinarians and students in those disciplines.