Articles and Case Studies

Combat Stress With Healthy Habits

21 Sep 2012

It's almost that time of year again, when for a lot of medical students, it's nose to the grindstone, preparing and studying for end of year exams and clinical evaluations.

It's almost that time of year again, when for a lot of medical students, it's nose to the grindstone, preparing and studying for end of year exams and clinical evaluations.

Adopting healthy habits early in your medical career will help you to be a better and happier doctor. So if you're starting to feel the end of year pressure, consider these survival tips:

  • Be aware of your signs of stress and seek to counteract them
  • Know your limits – it is OK to say "no"
  • Set yourself attainable goals
  • Keep in mind your academic results will tell you nothing about the type of doctor you will become
  • Criticism doesn't imply inadequacy – learn how to use it
  • Share your stress by debriefing – talk to someone you can trust
  • Take care of yourself as you would a patient – eat and drink well
  • If you do not already have one, find your own GP
  • Get active – try walking, running, yoga, swimming, meditation or aerobics
  • Avoid self-medication – it's habit forming and will only cause more problems
  • Be aware excessive drinking and drug use may feel like an escape but may lead to addiction, poor health and bigger problems
  • Develop good time management skills
  • When you make a mistake – share it with someone you trust, and learn from it
  • Monitor your fellow students and be their advocate – let them know it is OK to be feeling the way they are and that they should seek help
  • Call your Medical Defence Organisation (MDO) at any time. As a Member of MDA National, you have access to our 24/7 Medico-legal Advisory Service on 1800 011 255

Remember you are not alone You can seek help from a myriad of organisations, including your university counselling or support service.



My Career Journey with Dr Nick Coatsworth

Dr Nick Coatsworth is an expert in health policy, public administration and a practising infectious diseases physician. He held a national role in the Australian response to COVID-19 as Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Australia, becoming one of the most recognised medical spokespeople during the pandemic. Nick engaged the Australian community through a variety of media platforms most notably as the spearhead of the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Dr Micheal Gannon, Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, sits down with Dr Nick Coatsworth to discuss Nick's medical career journey, and what insights and advice he has for junior doctors. MDA National would like to acknowledge the contributions of MDA National staff, Members, friends and colleagues in the production of the podcast and note that this work is copyright. Apart from any use permitted under applicable copyright law, you may not reproduce the content of this podcast without the permission of MDA National. This podcast contains generic information only, is intended to stimulate thought and discussion, and doesn’t account for requirements of any particular individual. The content may contain opinions which are not necessarily those of MDA National. We recommend that you always contact your indemnity provider when you require specific advice in relation to your insurance policy or medico-legal matters. MDA National Members need to contact us for specific medico-legal advice on freecall 1800 011 255 or email We may also refer you to other professional services.


09 Jun 2022

Career complications and contending with uncertainty

Among the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic for junior doctors is how to respond to medical training impacts and career uncertainty. In this podcast, Dr Caroline Elton (a psychologist who specialises in helping doctors)and Dr Benjamin Veness (a Psychiatry registrar) share advice for coping with medical training and career delays, disruptions and unknowns.


10 Aug 2020