Irish Medical Organisation

Doctor Health and Well-being Hub

We know that many doctors in Ireland are suffer from burnout, stress and other mental health issues, and the COVID-19 pandemic has added to the pressures placed on doctors. We also know that the work culture in medicine, perfectionism, stigma, can often prevent doctors from seeking help.  

IMO Doctor Mental Health and Well-being Survey

The IMO has gathered together a range of resources that are aimed specifically at doctors and other healthcare professionals.

Please consider the resources below that may be of help to you during a time of distress or illness.

Doctor Health and Well-being Resources

 

IMO Doctor Mental Health and Well-being Survey

Last winter 2020/21, at the height of the third wave of COVID-19, the IMO carried out a survey of Doctor Mental Health and Well-being. The results of this survey reveal worryingly high levels of stress and burnout among our doctors:

Key Findings:

  • 90% of doctors reported having experienced some form of depression, anxiety, stress, emotional stress or other mental health condition related to or made worse by work;
  • 79% of doctors reported that their mental health was made worse by the current COVID-19 pandemic;
  • 7 out of 10 doctors are at high risk of burnout – NCHDs are among those at highest risk;
  • 57% of doctors reported not being able to take their scheduled breaks to eat/drink during the working day;
  • 36% of doctors reported not being able to take time off since the pandemic started;
  • The main  concerns arising for all doctors are:
    • Pre-existing staffing shortages, made worse by covid illness and requirements to self-isolate;
    • the growing backlog of waiting patients; 
    • and the impact on personal health and well-being .
  • 66% of doctors reported difficulty securing childcare during the pandemic;
  • The majority of respondents believe there is a perceived stigma around mental health issues and few doctors seek help from support services but instead confide in family or friends or attempt to deal with issues alone;  
  • 64% of doctors do not feel adequately supported by the HSE;
  • Over 80% of doctors still have a strong desire to practice medicine,  however 39% of doctors stated that their career was not as expected or they were not fully satisfied with their career choice.

 

IMO Doctor Mental Health and Well-being Full Report

Link to full report

 

IMO Webinar - Managing Your Mental Health During COVID-19 https://www.imo.ie/webinar/managing-your-mental-heal/

 

IMO Doctor Mental Health and Well-being Survey Winter 2021-22

One year on, we are seeking to benchmark mental health and well-being among doctors against last year’s survey and will be used to further advocate on your behalf.  If you would like to participate in this year’s IMO Mental Health and Well-being survey please click  here  (Insert Link)

 

Doctor Health and Well-being Resources

Get a GP. Did you know that 40% of doctors in Ireland do not have their own GP?  Do you have a GP? If you don’t have one, you can look here for a GP in your area: https://www.icgp.ie/go/find_a_gp

The ICGP also have National GP Directory for NCHDs, Trainees and Interns https://www.icgp.ie/go/in_the_practice/doctors_health/national_gp_directory_for_nchds  

To make an appointment, simply phone a GP practice and explain you are a new patient. (Contact numbers available on ICGP website at the links above.)

 

Practitioner Health Matters Programme – A confidential service for any doctor, dentist or pharmacist in Ireland who has a concern about stress, burnout, mental health difficulties or who may have an alcohol or drug misuse problem.  https://practitionerhealth.ie/

The Practitioner Health Matters Programme is an independent non-profit organisation that receives funding from professional bodies including the IMO and the Medical Council.

 

HSE Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) – A confidential counselling service offered to HSE staff.

https://www.hse.ie/eng/staff/workplace-health-and-wellbeing-unit/employee-assistance-and-counselling-service/

The service is provided by independent counsellors and no information is given about your issue to your employee without your written consent, except where disclosure is required by law. You usually contact the EAP service directly or you may be referred by your manager.

 

HSE Silver Cloud Health -  Free access to all HSE staff to 4 self-directed online programmes - Dealing with Stress,  Building Resilience, Improving your Sleep, Space from COVID-19.

https://hse.silvercloudhealth.com/signup/

Once on the website, complete the sign-up process and enter the access code HSE2020 when prompted to do so.

 


Occupational Health Services – An occupational health doctor is a doctor who works for your employer and assesses your wellness to work. Your manager may refer you or you may self-refer to occupational health services. While you are entitled to confidentiality in many matters, occupational health services also have a duty to keep your employer informed about the state of your illness/readiness for work and must report back to employer on same.  Occupational health services may be located in larger hospitals, or may be outsourced by smaller employers.

https://healthservice.hse.ie/filelibrary/staff/local-occupational-health-contact-details.pdf
 

Medical Council Well-being Resources

Includes a Guide to Doctor Wellbeing and ethical obligations in this area including what to do if you have concerns about your own health or the health of another doctor https://www.medicalcouncil.ie/public-information/wellbeing/wellbeing.html

 

Your post-graduate training body or college may also offer a range of resources and  supports:

 

ICGP – Doctor’s Health Programme 

Aims to enhance well-being among GPs and GP Trainees and encourage doctors to register with a GP.

https://www.icgp.ie/go/in_the_practice/doctors_health

 

RCPI – Physician Well-being Programme

Includes a wide range of supports, training and resources on doctor well-being

https://www.rcpi.ie/physician-wellbeing/
 

RCSI – Student Welfare and Well-being programme

https://www.rcsi.com/dublin/about/supporting-services/comppas/student-welfare-and-well-being  

 

College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland – Wellness supports https://www.anaesthesia.ie/training/wellbeing/

 

Other supports

 

Medical Protection Society –
confidential counselling service for MPS members involved in medico-legal issue. Contact your medico-legal case handler at MPS for the Freephone number
https://www.medicalprotection.org/ireland/help-advice/counselling-service
      

The Royal Medical Benevolent Fund Society of Ireland provides assistance for doctors and their families undergoing severe financial hardship https://medicalbenevolent.ie/

 

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