DHSA has successfully applied for and implemented a number of grant-based projects since 2014.
Preparing Interns for a Healthy Medical Professional Life Project
Doctors’ Health SA (DHSA) was keen to explore to what extent the physical, mental health and wellbeing of final year medical students changes during their intern year. DHSA applied for a Grant through the Perpetual philanthropic funds and were awarded a Grant to conduct a study to explore the impact of intern year. Ethics approval for this important study was also achieved.
The study invites medical students finishing their final year to check their health on two occasions; once just prior to commencing intern year and again mid-way through intern year to assess whether and why this may have changed. The initial medical assessment will be November/December 2020 and the second assessment in June/July 2020. Each test will include:
• a comprehensive medical, nutritional and psychological assessment with an experienced General Practitioner and
• a VO2 max aerobic fitness assessment with an Exercise Scientist.
"This an exciting and important study and we look forward very much to your participation." Dr Roger Sexton, Medical Director, Doctors’ Health SA, Intern Project Lead.
DHSA will establish and support a musical event in each SA medical school whereby students from each year will collaborate to perform and produce an MTV-style audiovisual recording to show at a special musical event.
‘Medical Writers week’
In recognition of doctors who are literary authors of published books, we plan in 2017 to offer the opportunity for medical authors to show their work to their colleagues and students and briefly present their work in a writers’ week format. This promises to be an exciting event which will showcase the creative and literary interests of doctors and how this contributes to work-life balance and the wider good.
Rural “Healthy Doctors” Dinner Seminars
We are bringing Doctors Health SA to rural regions, providing a dinner evening of helpful strategies for managing the busy modern medical life. The session includes information on time management, caring for your own health (the services available to doctors), exploring mindfulness and other strategies to create the much needed balance in today’s professional world.
Our DHSA doctors, Dr Roger Sexton, Dr Jill Benson and Dr Mike Beckoff are travelling to different regions and facilitating the seminar. The seminars will be presented in Murray Bridge, Clare, Port Augusta, Kingscote, Berri, Mount Gambier, Kadina, Ceduna and Naracoorte. View our events page on this website for the dates and venues or email here for further information.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial and other support from Country SA PHN and the Australian Government Department of Health to provide these sessions.
DHSA is keen to progress resilience training at stress points along the medical career spectrum. We are pursuing grant opportunities to this end with a view to the evaluation of the prophylactic impact of such training prior to doctors passing through these stress points.
We will establish Australia’s first telemedicine service for rural doctors this year in partnership with the Country SA PHN as a means to encourage rural and remote doctors to contact a doctor to confidentially discuss their physical and mental health. This exciting initiative will offer another means by which the rural medical workforce can be supported and sustained.
Art of Medicine
This activity was a huge success and was one of the Gen WHY strategies to encourage doctors and students to discover art as an interest alongside medicine. It also gave established and emerging doctor-artists the opportunity to show their work to their colleagues and enjoy a gallery and art show experience. The show attracted 750 visitors, 36 individual artists and a record opening crowd at the Adelaide Central School of Art.
See the exciting short video of the Art of Medicine here.
DHSA will run the second Art of Medicine art show during SALA in 2017.
Caring For Our Colleagues-2
We were successful again in securing a further innovation grant from the Rural Health Alliance to deliver CFOC to remote practitioners in the Northern Territory in September and October 2015. We partnered with the Northern Territory PHN to take this face to face education to almost 40 doctors and other health practitioners in Tennant Creek, Katherine, Darwin and Gove. The format differed slightly from CFOC-1 but the aims were the same and the case studies were incorporated into the 6 hours of face- to- face learning at each location. The project was independently evaluated by Professor Liz Farmer and the report can be seen here.
Caring For Our Colleagues-1
This project was funded by a grant from the Rural Health Alliance and brought health education to remote general practitioners and their practice staff in 4 remote general practices on the Eyre Peninsula of SA.
This activity was facilitated by a trained doctor and delivered two three- hour seminars to GP team members in an inter-professional learning format. The learning was augmented by 2 hours of interactive on- line case studies.
Topics included self-care, health behaviour of health professionals, barriers to care, difficult consultations between health professionals, the care of unwell colleagues and how to recognise an unwell colleague.
It encouraged all practices to plan for illness in their workforce and develop a practice crisis plan.
The project was independently evaluated by Prof Liz Farmer and the report can be viewed here.
This project was enabled by another successful grant application from Perpetual and aimed to support the health of female and junior doctors through a range of activities.
Both groups were identified as having a higher risk of mental distress and illness and the project implemented the following initiatives to raise awareness of the need for one’s own doctor and ways for busy doctors to stay well.
- Re- establishment of the SA Medical Women’s Society. Membership has grown from less than 10 to over 200 as a result of this project which facilitated social gatherings in the city to connect professionally and socially isolated doctors and students who needed and valued peer support.
- A peer- to- peer mentoring trial in Flinders Medical Centre whereby a number of PGY 3 doctors agreed to, set PGY1 doctors for mentorship and support during their intern year. This trial will be expanded upon during 2016.
- Facebook page was established to raise awareness about doctors’ health and to share positive experiences and lifestyle choices between younger doctors. The metrics so far indicate this is successful and provides a forum for discussion around healthy activities and hobbies and interests outside medicine.