Welfare of Anaesthetists

For welfare resources click here



The Welfare of Anaesthetists Group has been meeting on a regular basis since August 1995. The group was formed to raise awareness of the many personal and professional issues which can adversely affect the physical and emotional well-being of anaesthetists and intensivists at all stages of their careers. In 1998 the group became an official special interest group (SIG), with ANZCA providing the secretariat. The group is an informative, educative and referral group; it has no therapeutic role.


Aims of the SIG

The aims of the Welfare of Anaesthetists SIG is to promote the personal and psychological well-being of anaesthetists and pain medicine practitioners and to heighten awareness of welfare issues in anaesthetists.


It achieves these aims by:

  • Educating anaesthetists and trainees in the care of their personal and psychological health, and that of their colleagues, fostering a climate of care, openness and support.
  • Identifying issues causing stress in anaesthetists’ lives.
  • Establishing guidelines for management of welfare-related problems (see Resources).
  • Expanding continuing medical education activities to include education on issues such as lifestyle, mental health, relationships, stress management and personal development, by holding sessions at state and national meetings, one-day seminars, and regional seminars for trainees and trainers.
  • Developing support strategies within and outside the profession.
  • Establishing a website, a resource brochure, a resource network and a reading list.
  • Facilitating access to, and liaison with existing helping agencies (for example, Doctors' Health Advisory Services - DHAS).
  • Advertising welfare activities and support schemes (in ASA and NZSA newsletters, ANZCA Bulletin).
  • Liaising with ANZCA, ASA, NZSA and other organisations.
  • Researching and collecting data.


WOAG mission: Our function

The Welfare of Anaesthetists Special Interest Group was formed to promote the concept of physician health, both physical and mental. It is our intention to make physician health issues mainstream and regarded as integral to healthy doctor-patient, doctor-family and doctor-workplace relationships. Our activities include, (but are not limited to): Education (trainees as well as specialists), liaison with other professional bodies, guidance (but not direct treatment or referral) for appropriate management of physician health problems.


WOAG vision: Future directions

Research and data on welfare issues in Australian/New Zealand anaesthetists. Wide acceptance by professional bodies and health administrations of the importance of welfare issues. Development of workplace practices that support anaesthetists and keep them well.


WOAG goals: Strategies to fulfill our mission and vision

  • Plenary sessions at major continuing medical education meetings.
  • Free-standing SIG meetings.
  • Annual state-based meetings on welfare and professional issues for trainees.
  • Health and welfare surveys.



The Welfare of Anaesthetists SIG will hold a session at the upcoming ASA NSC, on Monday October 9 at the Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre.



Welfare community members, colleagues and doctors;
Our roles in mental health




Suicide prevention; i'm not a Psychiatrist- what can i do?
Returning to work after mental illness: Collegial obligations and assistance

A number of welfare related workshops will also be conducted. Please visit the NSC website for further information.

2017 Combined Communication, Education, Welfare and Leadership and Management SIG Meeting
October 27-29, 2017, Novotel Twin Waters, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
The theme for this year's meeting is "Confident competence - creating and maintaining our abilities" and will be convened by the Welfare SIG. A number of keynote speakers have been confirmed:

Please visit the meeting website to register and for further information.


The biannual Welfare SIG Newsletter. Please see below the newsletters.

Past events

2016 Welfare of Anaesthetists SIG meeting – Satellite meeting to the ASA NSC

September 16, 2016, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, VIC.

For further details, please visit the meeting website.


2016 Combined Communication, Education, Management and Welfare SIG Meeting

October 7-9, 2016, Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific, NSW. 
For further information, please visit the meeting website.



The resource documents developed by the Welfare SIG provide brief comment, give references, and identify strategies for use in dealing with the more common professional and personal stresses. If you are a member of the SIG but not a FANZCA please contact the SIG Co-ordinator for access to these documents. 

RD 01 Personal Health Strategies 2016
RD 02  Financial Issues 2016
RD 03  Depression and Anxiety 2016 
RD 04  Retirement 2016
RD 05 Critical Incident Support 2016
RD 06 Training and Examinations 2016
RD 07 Sexual Misconduct 2016
RD 08 Mentors 2011
RD 09 Why don’t you have your own GP ? 2016
RD 10 Breaking Bad News 2016
RD 11 After a Major Mishap 2016

RD 12 The isolated anaesthetist 2016
RD 13 Impairment in a Colleague 2016
RD 14 Medico-legal issues 2016
RD 15 Training and Family Responsibilities 2016
RD 16 Welfare Issues in the Anaesthetic Department 2016
RD 17 Infectious Diseases 2011
RD 18 Latex Allergy 2011
RD 19 Ergonomics 2011
RD 20 Substance Abuse 2016
RD 21 Organ Donation 2011

RD 22 Bullying and Harassment 2011
RD 23 Communication Consent 2011
RD 24 Mandatory Reporting 2011
RD 25 The Disruptive Anaesthetist 2011

RD 26 The role of the welfare advocate - 2015


Resource Documents

If you would like to create or request a specific resource document, please click here to view the resource document submission guidelines.

Peer Groups Reference Document
The Welfare SIG has produced a reference document on peer groups and how to set them up. Please click here to view the document.


Doctor's Health Advisory Service

If you are concerned about yourself or a colleague, contact the "hotline" nearest to you


NSW/NT  +61 2 9437 6552
ACT +61 2 6288 6008
Qld +61 7 3833 4352
Vic +61 3 9349 3504
WA +61 8 9321 3098
Tas +61 3 6223 2047
SA +61 8 8273 4111
NZ (04) 471 2654 (NZ only)


Keep track of the latest resources in Welfare of Anaesthetists with our new Library Guides.



Recognising warning signs

Are you enthusiastic for long, difficult or complicated cases?  Do you volunteer to work extra shifts or to do extra or late cases on a list? Are you over-anxious to give breaks to your colleagues?  Did you know that these are some of the warning signs of drug abuse, according the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI)? These attributes are also those which are generally valued by anaesthetists, which highlights how difficult it can be to recognise substance misuse amongst our colleagues.  


For more warning signs and for strategies on what to do when you suspect someone may have a substance abuse problem, I encourage you to read the Welfare of Anaesthetists Special Interest Group resource document RD 20 Substance Abuse 2013.  This and other resource documents can be found on the ANZCA website here.


Recommendations for future articles of the month are welcome.  Please contact Events or Dr Suzi Nou (Suzi.Nou@nh.org.au).  


Podcasts and other resources

Mindful training under pressure to perform on demand by Patsy Tremayne.

To access this podcast and other resources please login to Networks then click here.

History of the Welfare of Anaesthetists SIG video
Watch the History of the Welfare of Anaesthetists SIG: Dr Di Khursandi and Dr Genevieve Goulding oral history recorded in May 2016.

Useful articles in dropbox

Please contact Events to gain access to dropbox which contains useful welfare articles. 



If you would like to join the Welfare SIG, please download an application form or contact the SIG Co-ordinator Events or phone +61 3 9510 6299.



The executive of the Welfare of Anaesthetists SIG meets regularly, usually via teleconference to discuss matters related to the group's area of interest.






Dr Marion Andrew



Dr Greg Downey



Dr Robert Fry



Dr Anna Hallett


Member Dr Jane McDonald NSW


Dr Suzi Nou



Dr Tim Porter



Dr Catherine Purdy



Dr Prani Shrivastava



Dr Kushlani Stevenson



Dr Tracey Tay 



Dr Monika Tecsy


RANZCP representative

Dr Shirley Prager


Trainee representative

Dr Maryann Turner


Trainee representative

Dr Shanthi Pathirana


For further information:Events, phone +61 3 9510 6299 or visit the ACE website.

Other activities

  • Articles in ANZCA Bulletin, ASA newsletters and other publications.
  • Doctors’ health advisory services numbers in ANZCA Bulletin and ASA newsletter.
  • Liaison with ANZCA, ASA, NZSA, doctors health advisory services, regional medical boards.


Copyright © Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.