R U OK?

G’day Andrew, how are you?” This is the usual greeting whenever
I visit Dr Phil, my GP. “How are you doing?”, “What seems to be the problem?”, “How can I help?” are the standard greetings routinely repeated by GPs and GP registrars across the country at the start of each patient consultation. These genuine enquiries are asked with an expectation that the doctor and patient interaction will lead to positive health outcome for the patient…. It’s fundamental to the role of the
GP in caring for others! 
Scroll down to read more.

   

Advice from a GP

Dr Hilton Koppe is a general practitioner in Lennox Heads, NSW, with an interest in doctor's health and medical education. His own health and personal care struggles as a doctor led him to developing a checklist to help doctors to establish good habits early on, and have a successful and fulfilling career and life. Read more.

   

Are you a GP practising in Victoria?

Do patients sometimes come to see you wanting medicines, tests 

or referrals that you feel are unnecessary? Your help is needed to participate in an interview PhD research study conducted by a GP 
with the University of Melbourne. Scroll down to read more.

   

Special offer on GPRA's exam resources

GPRA now offers two case study books that will be useful for all GP registrars, The general practice clinical cases and The general practice clinical cases Volume 2. These resources are currently on special so don't miss out! Purchase now via the GPRA Store.

   

Enhance your clinical skills

Hands-on learning is a great experience and at GP17 seven highly interactive 1.5 hour workshops are been offered. These are based on clinical topics to enhance your already extensive skills. Check out this year's program for more detail. Find out more.

   

AMA Victoria welcomes you to attend the Build Your Practice Conference and Exhibition 2017 

BYPC&E is a one-day event aimed at health professionals interested in building and managing a private medical practice. The event will feature expert presenters including Keynote Speaker Dr Kean-Seng Lim, who will speak about planning, finance, business structure and management. There will also be a panel discussion focussing on trends in the medical practice. We look forward to seeing you this year: Click here to RSVP.

   

Sleep easy while your money works hard

As a GPRA member, you can earn a competitive 2.85% p.a. variable rate for the first four months when you open a new 32 day notice account. Our 32 day notice account is ideal for personal savings and offers more flexibility than locking your money away in a term deposit. Rest easy knowing your hard earned money is working hard. Offer ends 31 October 2017. Talk to one of our specialists today to find out more.



R U OK?  

But what happens when, behind that stoic professionalism, the GP or GP registrar is not going so well? Depression, anxiety and suicide in the medical profession, highlighted by recent high profile cases, have brought the issue of doctors’ mental health and wellbeing into the public conversation. There is also increasing recognition that while doctors are expected to cope with anything thrown at them, the professional and personal demands of working as a doctor are significant, and doctors are not “bullet-proof”!

Four years ago, beyondblue’s ground-breaking National Mental Health Survey of Doctors and Medical Students found that doctors reported substantially higher rates of psychological distress and attempted suicide compared to both the Australian population and other Australian professionals. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation and attempted suicide for GPs was similar to other specialities.

Stressful conditions of working in general practice – the everyday realities of dealing with ill-health, suffering, distress and grief, uncertain diagnoses and death in those we try to help – makes doctors vulnerable to issues of mental health. A heavy patient workload, along with financial pressures in sustaining a practice, also impacts on life as a GP. For GP registrars, coming to terms with working alone in primary health care, the rigours of the training program, examination pressures and long hours adds to their stress levels.

Importantly, beyondblue’s Survey also highlighted the entrenched stigma associated with mental illness among doctors. Fears of mandatory reporting to healthcare regulating authorities and a prevailing culture of ‘toughen up and suck it up’ have been barriers to doctors seeking help. However, attitudes are changing. Federal and state governments are considering changes to mandatory reporting laws. Meanwhile, courageous personal stories from the likes of Dr Andrew Tagg at the recent Don’t Forget the Bubbles conference, Dr Eric Levi in his The Dark Side of Doctoring blogposts and Dr Geoff Toogood with his #CrazySocks4Docs social media campaign are breaking down this stigma and giving voice to the concept that, for doctors, “there is nothing wrong with admitting you have a problem and need help”.

Thursday 14 September is R U OK?DAY – a now annual suicide prevention campaign. A timely reminder to ask your colleagues, your supervisor, your peers..... and yourself: “Are you okay?” And, whether the answer is “yes” or “no”, take steps to ensure that there is good peer support from and for the people around you. Being and having a trusted confidant can make a big difference to doctors’ ability to help each other and themselves, and may even save lives.....

Dr Andrew Gosbell

CEO

If you need urgent assistance please contact Lifeline’s 24 hour telephone crisis support service which is available to anyone needing emotional support by calling 13 11 14.

drs4drs provides health advisory and referral services for doctors and medical students across Australia via www.doctorportal.com.au/doctorshealth

GPRA’s wellbeing resources are available here: gpra.org.au/wellbeing



Are you a GP practising in Victoria?  

In modern clinical practice, patients may come to see the GP with an already-formed view of what they need in order to address their health issues (e.g. certain medications, blood tests, referrals to specialists). Sometimes, the GP may feel that these requests are not necessary, or even potentially harmful to the patient. There is a lot of theoretical literature on what GPs ought to do in these situations, but little empirical research on what GPs actually do in clinical reality- what are their perspectives, how do they respond, what factors help them decide what to do? As a practising GP myself, I am aware of this research gap and am interested to hear and understand the views and experiences of other GPs in these situations. Study results can help give a voice to GPs’ perspectives and help us better understand their on-the-ground experiences. This could be useful in the training of medical students and GP registrars by giving them an insight into how GPs make decisions in clinical reality, and thus better prepare them for clinical practice.

Participation will involve a once-off interview with me at a time/location of your choice (including phone or over Skype). The interview is open-ended and the duration of interview is entirely dependant on you and on how much of your experiences and views that you would like to share (average 20-30min). If you are agreeable to being interviewed, or would like to know more, please contact Dr Crystal Zhao at zhao.c@unimelb.edu.au

   
 
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General Practice Registrars Australia | Level 1, 517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000