Meeting 01-2021 | Wednesday 29 September 2021
The following Communiqué highlights the discussions from the 01-2021 Committee meeting, held on Wednesday 29 September 2021.
The Chair welcomed the members to the first meeting of the Committee.
The Chair thanked the Physician Health and Wellbeing Reference Group, chaired by Dr Beata Byok, for their work, especially for overseeing the development of the Physician Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2019-2021 and its implementation plan. It was noted that the Reference Group was dissolved in November 2020.
The Member Health and Wellbeing Committee members are:
Dr Sharmila Ramessur Chandran | Committee Chair
Dr Tina Ahluwalia | College Board Representative
Dr Ahmad Alcheikh | AMD Representative
Dr Josephine Braid | AFRM Representative
Dr Sabine Hennel | PCHD Representative
Dr Tal Koren | Trainee Representative
Dr Timothy Martin | Trainee Representative
Dr Jessica Wong | Trainee Representative
2020 Medical Training Survey (MTS)
Committee members were presented with a Medical Training Survey analysis following the publication of the results from the 2020 Medical Training Survey (MTS) earlier this year by the Medical Board of Australia.
The analysis of the 2020 MTS showed unacceptably high rates of bullying, discrimination, and harassment. Those were identified as a key area of concern across medical training in Australia, especially since the results revealed that senior medical staff (consultant and specialists) were the most common perpetrators of bullying, discrimination, and harassment. Another key area of concern is the trainee workload with reports that their workload is too heavy, and that it is impacting their wellbeing. However, there has been a slight increase in the number of doctors being paid for their un-rostered overtime.
It was noted that the 2021 MTS was currently underway.
Safe Training Environments Summit
The College Trainees’ Committee and College Education Committee will be holding a joint Summit on Friday 5 November 2021 to discuss and agree on an approach to tackling bullying, harassment, and discrimination in our training environments. A member of the Member Health and Wellbeing Committee will attend the Summit to represent the Committee on these issues.
Physician Health and Wellbeing Strategy
The Committee oversees and provides guidance on the evaluation and revision of the Physician Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2019-2021.
Committee members provided feedback on the evaluation process, and suggestions to consider when developing the new Strategy, in terms of resources and support pathways, communication channels, and wellbeing initiatives.
It was noted that the Strategy will be titled “Member Health and Wellbeing Strategy” when it is being revised.
Strategic planning will be discussed in further detail at the next meeting.
The College Board supported the establishment of a wellbeing champion model to promote health and wellbeing initiatives and optimise communication between peers, and the College. Committee members discussed what the wellbeing champion roles should encompass, and how they would be recruited. It was noted that the wellbeing champions would need to be connected with suitable support and services.
The wellbeing champion representation will be discussed in further detail at the next meeting.
RACP Online Community (ROC)
The ROC is being launched to all College members on 30 September as a platform for members to support and communicate with each other. Committee members were encouraged to log into the ROC and post some content on topics related to physician and trainee physician health and wellbeing. That could be a statement about the topic area, an experience that they would like to share around the topic, or a question that other College members would want to engage with.
Dr Sharmila Ramessur Chandran
Chair, Member Health and Wellbeing Committee 29 September 2021