Articles and Case Studies

Supporting Doctors' Mental Health With Beyondblue

09 May 2013

Barriers to medical practitioners and students seeking help for depression include concerns about the stigma in the profession, embarrassment, possible impact on career development and worries about being allowed to continue to practice medicine.

Studies have also shown that doctors involved in a medico-legal matter have a higher prevalence of anxiety and psychiatric morbidity.2

That is why, as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Program, MDA National has joined forces with the Australian charity- beyondblue to promote mental health awareness throughout the medical community. In particular we are supporting beyondblue's world first National Mental Health Survey of Doctors and Medical Students.

MDA National President, A/Prof. Julian Rait, said the association with beyondblue fosters the natural synergy between both organisations and helps to achieve the common goal of supporting doctors to provide the best possible care in the community.

"Our rationale is threefold – to support doctors' mental health; to ensure doctors are supported in caring for patients with mental health issues; and to promote understanding and compassion within the medical community, starting with our own organisation. As a doctors for doctors mutual, MDA National has been supporting, protecting and promoting medical practitioners since 1925 so doctors' health and wellbeing has always been a significant part of that support.

This year, by working with beyondblue, we aim to deepen that support by promoting awareness and reinforcing the important information and leading research that beyondblue has developed on mental health for doctors, medical students and the Australian community."

beyondblue's National Mental Health Survey

beyondblue's National Mental Health Survey of Doctors and Medical Students will:

  • help the medical sector better understand the issues associated with mental health in the sector
  • assist in the development and delivery of mental health services and support for doctors and medical students.

Results of the survey will be available in late July and be covered in the Summer issue of Defence Update.

Mental health resources for medical practitioners

(1300 22 4636)
A national organisation that provides information about depression to consumers, carers and health professionals.

Doctors' Health Advisory Service (DHAS)
A 24 hour confidential professional helpline for medical practitioners and their families.

ACT (0407 265 414)
NT (02 9437 6552)
NSW (02 9437 6552)
QLD (07 3833 4352)
SA (08 8366 0250)
TAS AMA Peer Support Service (1300 853 338)
VIC (03 9495 6011)
WA (08 9321 3098)

MDA National's Doctors for Doctors Personal Support Program
(1800 011 255)
Peer support program for Members during the course of a complaint, investigation or other process, from a doctor who has experience in the medico-legal process.

1 beyondblue's systematic literature review, August 2010.
2 Nash L, Daly M, Johnson M at al. Psychological morbidity in Australian doctors who have and have not experienced a medico-legal matter: cross sectional survey. Aust N Z J Psychiatry 2007; 41:917-925.

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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.


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Career complications and contending with uncertainty

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