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Health and Wellbeing

Doctors are human. We get sick, sometimes we feel anxious, overtired, or burnt out. We

may develop depression or other significant mental or physical illness. There is ample

evidence that many of us are not good at taking care of ourselves and not good at

seeking appropriate professional help, whether for routine medical care or when we

have a problem. This is not good for us, for our patients or for the profession as a whole.

There are many reasons for this. We have trouble acknowledging our own vulnerability,

we fear stigma and we don’t always trust that our colleagues will maintain our

confidentiality. A further barrier for some doctors is fear of mandatory reporting. While

Australia’s health ministers consider whether to change the law about mandatory

reporting, it is important that all doctors realise that the threshold for requiring a

mandatory report is high, only reached when an impaired doctor is placing the public at

risk of substantial harm. This should not deter us from seeking help and support when

we need it.”


Dr Joanna Flynn AM

Former Chair, Medical Board of Australia

June 2017



Working as a medical practitioner in a hospital in the Northern Territory is a unique, rich and challenging experience. The Doctors' Health NT program works closely with local medical staff to assist when support is needed and provide information and presentations on how to maintain good health and wellbeing in a busy doctor role.


For more information go to

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