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 seeks a Medical Director
The Doctors' Health Advisory Service (NSW) is seeking a Medical Director to assume responsibilities for overseeing the day-to-day running of the service. The Medical Director will be responsible for providing information and advice, assessment and referral, case management and monitoring, and advocacy for individuals. In addition, s/he will be responsible for overseeing educational programs in medical schools and hospitals and for contributing to policy development. S/he will have extensive experience in mental health care, especially in relation to doctors and/or medical students, and in education and advocacy. It is expected that s/he will be a fellow of the RANZCP or RACGP.
The position is for two days per week, plus on call. The workload is not heavy, but flexibility around the on-call requirement will be highly valued. The flexibility of this position will also work to the advantage of the successful applicant.
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.
You can speak with our medical social worker or an experienced general practitioner at any time - many problems are resolved that way. 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.
In 2014 the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) announced funding for nationally consistent health services for doctors and medical students in all states and territories*. This funding is the culmination of years of volunteer work in doctors' health. It is enabling us to expand our services, including education on doctors' health and related issues.
DR JILL GORDON
*Our service to dentists and veterinarians is funded seperately, with support from the professional bodies for these two professions