Looking after the mental health of doctors - world first survey
The AMA welcomes the launch this week of the beyondblue National Mental Health Survey of Doctors and Medical Students.
The survey is being sent to 50,000 doctors and medical students across the country, including all of those in rural and regional Australia, as part of a coordinated effort to assess the stresses and pressures experienced by Australia’s medical professionals and the impact they may have on their mental health.
AMA Vice President, Professor Geoffrey Dobb, said today that the AMA strongly supports the survey and is encouraging all Australian doctors and medical students to participate in what is the first survey of its kind anywhere in the world.
“The AMA has long played a leadership role in raising awareness among doctors and medical students about the need to look after their own health and wellbeing,” Professor Dobb said.
“There is evidence that doctors are at greater risk of mental illness and stress-related problems, and depression and anxiety are common in the medical profession.
“The suicide rate among doctors is higher than in the general population, and we know that medical students experience higher rates of depression and stress.
“This survey will play an important role in raising awareness across the medical profession and the broader community of issues associated with the mental health of medical students and doctors.
“It will also inform the development of interventions for medical students and doctors to address the prevalence of depression and anxiety in their ranks to improve mental health in the profession.
“We all understand that healthy doctors equals healthy patients.
“The AMA commends beyondblue on this important initiative,” Professor Dobb said.
21 February, 2013
CONTACT: John Flannery 02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761
Published: 21 Feb 2013