Crazy Socks 4 Docs is proud to present a stellar line up for this online event hosted by Dr Sally Cockburn, family doctor, health advocate, media presenter and writer will interview a not-to-be-missed...
Thank you UQMind. Well said. Whether you are a medical student, DiT or specialist, Queensland Doctors' Health Programme is here for you.While some of us will welcome the gradual easing of restrictions over the next few months, several others may find it difficult to go back to normal after a long period of social isolation. 😰
Due to the fact that many of us haven't experienced something like this type of isolation in the past, it can be difficult to know how we might deal with it. You may start to have feelings of social anxiety or fear of germs — even if it's not something you have experienced before.
Please know that you are not alone in this, and given the circumstances, it is completely normal to have these thoughts and feelings. The absolute best thing to do is seek help, especially when your daily life is being affected. Make an appointment with your GP — they may be able to refer you onto a psychologist that can help you with strategies to reduce anxiety over the coming months. Check out the info below from Queensland Doctors' Health Programme on how to find a GP.
Other things that may help ease anxiety include gradually working your way up to seeing friends/family and being in public places again. Mindfulness & meditation, daily physical activity, good sleep hygiene, and reaching out to loved ones (even over Zoom) can also help with feelings of stress and anxiety.
GET A GP - DHASQ 'Docs-4-Students' The QDHP have recruited GPs with a special interest and additional training in the realm of medical student mental health who have kindly offered their time to support YOU. To make use of this fantastic initiative, visit dhasq.org.au/find-a-health-professional/ If those recommendations don't cover your needs, message us at UQMind and we can help you find one.
A new app-based mindfulness program developed by Smiling Mind to support healthcare workers has been designed to provide busy healthcare workers with easily accessible information, resources and practical activities designed to support good mental health and wellbeing.
Inspired by the ‘Couch Choir’ and ‘Pub Choir', Royal Melbourne Hospital Chief Music Therapist Dr Emma O'Brien OAM established the 'Scrub Choir' to sing along to Bruno Mars' 'Count on Me' to bring joy during this stressful time.
Emma managed to get an impressive 200 staff from Musical, Nursing, Allied Health, Executive, Admin, Security and Environmental Services to participate, and have a bit of fun while doing so!
“We chose this song as we all need to continue to ‘Count on’ each other, we want the community to know we are here for them always, and also to show our support for all people working in healthcare worldwide," Emma said. ... See MoreSee Less
"An amnesty on insurance practices that decrease help-seeking behaviour is urgently needed for any consultations with psychologists, GPs and psychiatrists when related to issues arising from their work during COVID-19.
Issues and consequences of hardship and illness that increase the need for mental health support should not have an impact on the cost of future income protection or other relevant insurance in the future."
This weekend, Queensland Government is starting to ease restrictions in place for COVID19.
Are you concerned about the potential for a second wave of cases?
Are these changes likely to have an impact on the way you practice medicine?
When faced with change and uncertainty, it's important that we continue to focus on what is within our control. Support each other, look after your own wellbeing and don't be afraid to seek out support.
#InternationalNursesDayToday we're celebrating nurses all around the world. You have one of the most difficult jobs on this planet and your hard work doesn't go unnoticed. Thank you for all you do to keep the rest of us safe, especially those on the frontline battling the devastating virus. You are our heroes. Each and everyone of you. If you know a nurse or other healthcare professionals, make sure you let them know how valued they are. 💪💙 #InternationalNursesDay ... See MoreSee Less
Australia has done an incredible job so far to contain COVID-19. Our communities and services have worked together to limit transmission, treat those affected and prepare for a situation like that seen across Europe and the US.
And yet... while we seem to have thus far bypassed an overwhelmed health system, we seem to have moved to a stage of cautious optimism, tempered by challenges that were perhaps less anticipated or prepared for, such as the financial and mental health impacts of the changes to GP and Emergency practice (telemedicine, how to manage potential covid patients and fewer presentations with other health conditions) and the pausing of elective surgery.
While the initial anxiety and increased energy phase may have passed, we cannot get complacent. We need to make sure that we are continuing to prioritise the physiological and psychological safety of ourselves and our teams and to build and maintain our emotional wellbeing and connectedness.
Take a moment to reflect on your own emotional fuel gauge. Are you feeling: 🔹 isolated or connected? 🔹 taking care of yourself or bare essentials only? 🔹 doing ok or feeling burned out? 🔹 feeling emotionally regulated or more irritable than usual?
be.together:home We have a unique opportunity to create a more connected, healthier future. The be-together program makes it easier for people to access the support and the community they need to enha...
If you're in need of something soothing to treat yourself to, in the midst of juggling work-life, home-life and everything else thrown into the mix, set yourself aside 25 minutes to listen to Brené Brown's new podcast. This episode may be from way back in March when we were all in a different COVID-19 space to where we are now, but the take home messages are still very very relevant.
"The symptoms of CT (cumulative trauma) and VT (vicarious trauma) — similar to that of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — include flashbacks, nightmares, numbness, dissociation, avoidance and changes in world view.
In addition, secondary symptoms such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, panic attacks and increased use of alcohol may occur."
If you are recognise any of these signs and symptoms in yourself or a colleague, please reach out for help.
This article references frontline COVID-19 workers, but we recognise that all doctors are at risk of experiencing vicarious trauma, cumulative trauma and PTSD.
The Pandemic Kindness Movement was created by clinicians across Australia, working together to support all health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have curated respected, evidence-informed res...
Just as medical leaders are encouraging the general public with medical concerns not to let the COVID-19 pandemic deter them from seeking the health advice and care they need, we at the Queensland Doctors' Health Programme are encouraging our doctors and medical students to do the same.
Please prioritise your own wellbeing and remember that our confidential helpline is available 24/7 for all things 'doctors' health' and not just Covid-related matters.
LOVE IS ALSO CONTAGIOUS. A campaign from KLH in Canada.
Dr Linda Johannson, ER physician at KLH explains:
"In a time when coming to work can easily be fraught with fear, frustration and worry, while understandable, those emotions can spread unchecked if we let them.
So instead, let’s choose an attitude of openness, understanding, empathy, and love. Let’s let our positive attitudes be contagious!
Ultimately we can choose to create the environment in which we want to work. We’ve made stickers, buttons and downloadable signs to create visual cues to remember that we have that power.
We have morphed a coronavirus particle into an image of love, with little viral hearts sticking out all over it. When you throw love at someone, it'll stick to them!
And you can print out a window sign - (feel free to share it) When your neighbours and passers-by see it, they too will be reminded that love can be just as contagious as fear, and we have the choice of what we want to spread."
And a huge thank you to one of our own QLD doctors who shared this campaign with us. They write:
"Six weeks ago, we watched in horror as worldwide health systems and populations toppled under the novel coronavirus threat. My hospital community and colleagues braced for what was anticipated to be a COVID-19 surge, to follow two weeks behind Europe. Fortunately, we were well protected with stringent public health measures, so this surge did not reach projections.
With the onset of militaristic preparation for the pandemic, along with frenzied media reporting, the feeling on the ground changed rapidly from one of quietly occupied efficiency to open panic and fear, with common sense in absentia. It has been a confusing, fearful and – for some – dangerous time.
This message comes as a counter, and a reminder that the love and compassion we have for each other need not evaporate during these times; indeed, they could otherwise be redoubled - we need love now more than ever before!"
Understanding burnout by Clare Gerada, Medical Director of the UK Practitioner Health Programme.
"Today, burnout is the single most prevalent psychological complaint in the caring profession. So prevalent is it that, at some point in our career, anyone working close to human suffering will develop some aspects of it.
It’s hard to prevent burnout—but we have to manage it, recognise it, minimise it, and deal with it when it occurs. We all have ebbs and flows in job satisfaction, and years of being in the psychological trenches with our patients will have an effect. What’s important is recognising when we can’t go on; when negative attitudes turn to loss of compassion; when our sense of futility becomes a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness; when our work loses its sparkle, day in, day out, and we need to remove ourselves from the stressor."
I was optimistic and excited for my first year of medicine. It’s what I’ve wanted to do for a long time. But within a week of starting, I suffered several major losses in my family, my relationships, my health and my beliefs. My world was turned upside down and I was completely unprepared for the grief that followed. It felt like I had been hit by a truck.
That first semester was the most difficult time of my life. I went from being a happy, healthy, confident woman to a shadow of my former self. I lost my appetite, I couldn’t sleep for weeks and I was constantly anxious. Along with this came feelings of hopelessness and depression. All this affected my concentration which meant I was falling behind in my studies and my self-esteem plummeted. I withdrew from family and friends because I felt ashamed of who I’d become. One night, my mind was so exhausted I couldn’t even complete a GIFT for CBL. I convinced myself that I wasn’t capable of being a doctor anymore and considered giving up on my dream. That’s when I hit rock bottom.
After this, I was forced to turn inward and reconsider my values. I started meditating every day, exercising more and prioritising my mental health. I sat through heavy emotions and gave myself time to heal. I was also lucky to have an incredible support system. It took a lot of work to start feeling like myself again. It was messy and painful, but it was also deeply rewarding. It’s now been over 2 years since everything happened and although I still have bad days sometimes, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been with myself.
No matter how tough life gets, trust that things will get better. At my worst, I couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. But I was wrong. These feelings don't last. You may not believe it right now, but you will come out the other side and you will become whole again. In the words of Rilke:
“Let everything happen to you Beauty and terror Just keep going No feeling is final”
- Karen Li ___________________________________________________________________
Minds of Medicine (MoM) is a photography project aiming to provide insights into life and medical school, one story at a time. The portraits and captions capture the struggles, successes and daily lives of our peers. If you would like to get involved, please send a Facebook message to the UQMind page!
If you ever feel like you need support, you can access help from the Queensland Doctors' Health Programme (and DHASQ), which provides confidential services for doctors and medical students. Their 24/7 Phone (07 3833 4352) is staffed by a senior clinician. dhasq.org.au/.
Should you ever feel at risk of suicide or self harm, please contact Emergency Services on 000 or Lifeline on 13 11 14. ... See MoreSee Less
"Health care systems rely on a team-based approach to patient care, and for this to occur, there must be mutual respect. If racial attacks persist at this increasingly tense time, morale will suffer, and Australia’s most vulnerable – the elderly, frail and sick – will suffer too. It should therefore be a national priority that personal prejudices are forgotten and replaced with kindness and empathy.
It is time for Australia to channel its multicultural identity into a collective focus against a common enemy. The recognition of racial bias and correction of false information, both in-person and in the media, is vital to reduce unnecessary trauma in a time of turmoil and reinforce community wellbeing. Otherwise, the fight against racism will continue long after COVID-19 has gone. Viruses do not discriminate, why should people?" ... See MoreSee Less
The Balint Society of Australia & NZ are offering free drop in facilitated discussion forums via Zoom to support doctors and medical students during the current Covid-19 pandemic. Non-members are very welcome.
If you wish to attend please email Hilary for a Zoom invite: email@example.com
Next meeting is this Sunday 26th April 2020 10am - 11am AEST (8am AWST, 9.30am ACST, noon NZST) ... See MoreSee Less
Register now - Cognitive Institute is inviting you to join their first COVID-19 live webinar tomorrow night 23rd April! 3 time slots available. See website for details.
Cognitive Institute Senior Medical Educator, Dr Lynne McKinlay, will share practical and evidence-based strategies for clinicians to sustain physical and mental wellbeing now and beyond COVID-19.
Whether it be how to face the understandable anxiety and fear that working on the frontline induces or addressing the need to find anchors of certainty in a sea of chaos, this webinar will provide deep expertise and understanding of resilience and wellbeing from the perspective of healthcare professionals delivering healthcare at this challenging time.
There will be the opportunity for real time questions and answers during the webinar. ... See MoreSee Less
Cognitive Institute partners with healthcare providers globally to share our KnowHow – knowledge, insights and experience, to equip leaders and their teams with non-technical skills, to practise saf...
The lows: Frustrated by changes to your program and placements? Uncertain about the potential impacts on your medical education? Fearful about your own health and safety and that of your family? Isolated from your friends and study partners? Finding it harder to focus on studying? Guilt for feeling bad when "others are having a much harder time of it at the moment"?
The highs: A renewed sense of community? A drive to reach out and support others? Gratitude for your own health and time to reflect and refocus?
If this resonates with you, know that you're not alone. Now more than ever, we encourage you to reach out to your peers, support each other and make sure you're not forgetting to take good care of yourselves.
With so much #Covid19 information on physician self care, clinical resources and public health guidelines about at the moment, we thought we might take a break from normal programming to offer you this poem by Mary Oliver:
Oh do you have time to linger for just a little while out of your busy
and very important day for the goldfinches that have gathered in a field of thistles
for a musical battle, to see who can sing the highest note, or the lowest,
or the most expressive of mirth, or the most tender? Their strong, blunt beaks drink the air
as they strive melodiously not for your sake and not for mine
and not for the sake of winning but for sheer delight and gratitude – believe us, they say, it is a serious thing
just to be alive on this fresh morning in the broken world. I beg of you,
do not walk by without pausing to attend to this rather ridiculous performance.
It could mean something. It could mean everything. It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote: You must change your life. ... See MoreSee Less
COVID-19: medical practice financial supportThousands of medical practices are not immune to the economic impact of COVID-19, just like every other small business in Australia. The AMA has put togethe...
📱What do people call about? 🔹Workplace and study stress 🔹Physical health, personal difficulties and mental health matters 🔹Bullying and harassment 🔹Help finding a GP, specialist or psychologist 🔹Debriefing following clinical incidents, medical errors and complaints 🔹Support when facing medico-legal or mandatory reporting concerns (alongside support from an MDO)