Doctors are not always good patients. We play down our symptoms, delay consulting a GP, and are reluctant to take advice, even though we know that Sir William Osler was right - "The doctor who treats himself has a fool for a physician".

The  DHAS in WA has contributed a "Doctors' Health Charter" that sets out three important rights that support our health and wellbeing - they are the right to safety, the right to good employment practices, and the right to consideration and accommodation of our health needs. Click on the link below for a more detailed description.

Many thanks to Sarah Newman and David Oldham for this reminder that healthy doctors are essential for a healthy health system!


Recognising Illness

If you have a concern about a physical symptom, be smart – don't try to assess it yourself. Consult a general practitioner, whether you are yourself a GP or a specialist.

If you have concerns about your emotional wellbeing, you can do a preiliminary self-check using two online tools:

  1. the Kessler 10, and
  2. the ProQOL

For difficulties with alcohol use, try the AUDIT Questionnaire.

Do your results suggest that you should be seeking further advice? 

If you have any doubts about who to call,the advisory service in your state or territory can help with confidential advice and support.

Advice and Support

Apart from the Doctors' Health Advisory Service in your state or territory, your medical defence organisation also offers free, confidential advice if you are worried about any medico-legal matters.

Depending on your problem, it may be worthwhile to contact them to find out what kind of help is available.

For example, medical indemnity providers have been involved in an increasing number of matters that involved bullying or unfair training conditions.