Doctors' Health and Wellbeing Framework

In 2018, significant progress was made with the collaborative drafting and college-wide consultation on a pilot framework and planning for operationalisation in 2019.

Many thanks to everyone who provided feedback during the draft interim framework consultation period. The feedback received was most encouraging and highlights:

  • The importance of and support to ANZCA’s commitment to doctors’ health and wellbeing.

  • The role that we all hold in creating "Better health and wellbeing".

  • Five terminology-related amendments to improve clarity of the pilot framework which will be in place until November 2019.


One of the four main goals outlined in ANZCA's 2018-2022 Strategic Plan is  “Supporting workforce and wellbeing”. The first step towards achieving this is the development of the following doctors’ health and wellbeing pilot framework to guide ANZCA’s strategic and operational efforts in 2019.

This pilot framework has been adapted to ANZCA’s needs from beyondblue’s “First responders’ good practice model for mental health and wellbeing”. To ensure relevancy and meaning for ANZCA, consultation with a broad range of key stakeholders internally and externally has occurred. A review of this pilot framework will occur in late 2019 to incorporate learning and refinement to best reflect ANZCA’s operations and intended outcomes.

The outcome 

The outcome of this framework – better health and wellbeing of our doctors..


Three integrated action areas

  1. Promotion: 
    Promoting the positive aspects of being in the profession as well as the importance of self-care in the role of doctor. Promoting research.

  2. Prevention:
    Advocating to reduce profession-related risk factors for health and wellbeing.

  3. Support: 
    Providing effective and accessible services and resources to support doctors’ at each stage of their careers.

Four key principles

There are four key principles that will guide the implementation of all health and wellbeing actions in alignment with this framework.

  1. A collaborative approach and a willingness to respond:
    Reflecting the collective effort considered essential to achieve the overarching intent including; joint strategies with fellows, SIMGs, trainees and staff, and, partnership with employers, other colleges, societies and agencies. From the importance of self-care to leading cultural change, we are all part of shifting the professional paradigm to one that considers the health and wellbeing of our doctors a priority.

  2. Risk and protective strategies: 
    Reflecting our ability to promote evidence-based strategies through education, policies and other areas of influence in employer organisations.

  3. A respectful, positive approach to creating a safe and supportive culture: 
    Reflecting our ability to provide leadership and advocacy in the profession, supporting a culture which positively embraces the importance of health, safety and wellbeing of doctors.

  4. An accessible, integrated approach: 
    Reflecting our ability to provide integrated strategies that consider work environment, home and personal life, and the potential stigma associated with seeking help.  ANZCA’s commitment is to take a pro-active approach in supporting access to resources, training, support services (ANZCA and other).

ANZCA'S role

The following descriptions intend to support shared clarity around ANZCA’s role in doctors’ health and wellbeing.

  • Education:
    ANZCA to incorporate health and wellbeing learning across the lifecycle stages including: professional standards, curricula, CPD and learning resources shared with members and broader partners.

  • Leadership:
    ANZCA to actively engage with our fellows, trainees and SIMGs to support the shift in paradigm to a healthful anaesthesia and pain medicine workforce through:

    • De-stigmatisation.

    • The importance of self-care.

    • An evidence-based, risk-management approach.

    • Advocate for changes required in legislation and in workplaces.

  • Standards and accreditation:
    ANZCA to ensure consistent, clear and achievable health and wellbeing standards are effectively encouraged and monitored through accreditation processes and systems.

Career life cycle

This reflects the importance of the transition across the following stages to a doctor's career: Training; new specialist; mid-career; retirement; and return to work. And that this should be considered in relation to the framework intent, actions areas and principles. 


What will happen in the pilot period?

Conducting the pilot period in 2019 enables us to:

  • Trial the pilot framework with ANZCA’s current doctors’ health and wellbeing activities and to see how it works in guiding ANZCA’s role and efforts in support of what our fellows, trainees and SIMGs require

  • To develop new business processes and operational tools to support college-wide implementation of doctors’ health and wellbeing initiatives

  • Raise awareness of current doctors’ health and wellbeing commitments to fellows, trainees and SIMGs e.g. delivering on the Trainee Wellbeing Working Group recommendations.

  • Continue with monitoring the effectiveness of Converge International and ANZCA’s Bullying, Discrimination and Sexual Harassment processes.

  • Continue to build relationships to support the ongoing learning and collaboration for doctors’ health and wellbeing e.g. Welfare SIG, sister colleges.

  • Make any further refinements to the framework and role description and develop an ANZCA strategy document for doctors’ health and wellbeing to align with the strategic plan period of 2020-2022

More information

If you have any queries or issues, please contact us

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