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The Hidden Epidemic of Doctor Suicides

More than 900,000 Americans lose their doctors to suicide each year but doctors are finally beginning to talk about it.

by Neal Ungerleider (4th February 2016)

It's no secret that doctors often work shifts of more than 24 hours without time to adequately rest or eat. It's no secret either that many practicing physicians and medical students are tasked with punishing woekloads, and either blame themselves when something goes wrong or become frustrated at a work culture that is rapidly changing.

And for many in the medical community, there's another thing that's no secret. Physicians and residents have a high suicide rate....Full article here


DHAS welcomes our inaugural 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 is enabling 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 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.

8 in 10 UK doctors experience mental health issues during career

By David Millett, 16 July 2015
A survey of more than 600 UK doctors, carried out by medico-legal organisation the Medical Protection Society (MPS), found that 85% of doctors reported experiencing mental health issues at some point in their career.  A total of 32% said they had experienced depression during their medical career, while 13% had experienced suicidal thoughts.  Three quarters (75%) said they had suffered from stress, 49% anxiety and 36% from low self-esteem.  The results come as the GMC and leading health professionals agreed that a confidential national support service should be established to help doctors with mental health or drug addiction problems.  Respondents to the MPS survey mainly cited heavy workload (75%) and long working hours (70%) as the main drivers behind mental health issues they had experienced.Over half (54%) said the high levels of scrutiny and regulation were affecting their mental health.  MPS medico-legal advisor Dr Pallavi Bradshaw urged doctors to seek help ‘as soon as they experience mental health difficulties’.