Doctors' health and wellbeing

Healthy doctors ensure a sustainable workforce that provides best patient care. Find out what we're doing to support our doctors' health and wellbeing, and the services and resources available to our fellows, trainees, specialist international medical graduates and immediate family members.

Here are just some of the actions we’re already delivering, based on our DHWB framework that underpins our work:

Converge International - 24/7 support when you need it

The ANZCA Doctors’ Support Program is a confidential and independent counselling and coaching service that is now available to all fellows, trainees, specialist international medical graduates (SIMGs) and immediate family members via the helpline, online live chat, the app and face to face meetings. This service is offered confidentially and at no charge, to support our members for a variety of work-related and personal problems that may be affecting work or home life.

For urgent assistance;

  • Please telephone 1300 687 327 in Australia or 0800 666 367 in New Zealand
  • Identify yourself as an ANZCA fellow, trainee, SIMG. Or family member
  • Book your appointment or access urgent care.

Alternatively, you can email or download the app to book your appointment. Converge International gives you access to qualified professionals, including psychologists, social workers, counsellors and management coaches.

Depending on your preference, assistance can be provided face to face, via telephone or online live chat and services are available throughout Australia and New Zealand. They can help with a range of issues and concerns, including:

  • Interpersonal conflict and tension.
  • Work-related stress.
  • Critical incident response.
  • Harassment and grievances.
  • Relationship or family matters.
  • Personal and emotional stress.
  • Mental health concerns.
  • Personal crisis or trauma.

Critical Incident Debriefing Toolkit

Our online Critical Incident Debriefing Toolkit provides a comprehensive, evidence-based resource on what are critical incidents, how to provide support and a hot debrief following a critical incident. It can be read in sections or as a whole.

Within the toolkit you will find journal articles, fact sheets, podcasts, TED talks and videos, websites, and how-to and explanatory documents.  Each section has been broken down into blogs and resources for people to access when they’re stressed, concerned, curious, or only want to engage with a brief summary of the literature or to watch a short video on their chosen subject matter.

The toolkit provides the research and evidence of why individuals benefit from support, and how a culture of psychological safety is critical to all aspects of training and learning. It offers a comprehensive background and framework on when and how to conduct a hot debrief.

Wellbeing Special Interest Group (SIG)

To protect the personal and psychological wellbeing of our fellows and trainees, we continue to encourage you to access the range of resources through the Wellbeing SIG.

Library resources

The introduction of library guides through the ANZCA Library has a valuable section on doctors’ welfare that holds resource materials and articles to support and guide fellows and trainees. This guide is updated regularly. 

Wellbeing Charter for Doctors

Four medical colleges have come together to form a Wellbeing Charter for Doctors that defines wellbeing and sets out the shared responsibility for supporting doctors’ wellbeing.

It is a collaborative effort by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM), Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG). 

The charter is endorsed by the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges (CPMC), the unifying organisation for specialist medical colleges of Australia.

ANZCA recommends that this document is read in conjunction with PS49 Guideline on the health of specialists, specialist international medical graduates and trainees which provides further details and recommendations.

CPD wellbeing education sessions

We've approved a new wellbeing CPD education sessions activity for the knowledge and skills category of the ANZCA and FPM CPD program.  This activity will attract one credit per hour, capped at 10 per year, and is supported by a new CPD Handbook - Appendix 24 Guidelines for wellbeing CPD education sessions. Full details available here.

Doctors' self care

As doctors, it is particularly important to take time out to focus on self-care by regularly visiting your general practitioner and taking other measures to avoid burnout. By ignoring your own physical or mental health issues, you may be putting yourself and your patients at risk.

For resources on burnout and recognising the signs of substance abuse in colleagues, please visit the Wellbeing Library Guide

Trainee Wellbeing Project Group

The Trainee Wellbeing Project Group (TWPG) was formed in 2019 to deliver on recommendations identified by the Trainee Wellbeing Working Group in their 2018 report to ANZCA Council. These recommendations aimed to provide trainees with tangible and practical outcomes to support their wellbeing and their engagement with the college. Council endorsed all the recommendations and from there, the Trainee Welfare Working Group (TWWG) was established.
The TWWG model focused on trainee leadership and bringing onto the group trainees and fellows from both anaesthesia and pain medicine with an interest in specific aspects of trainee wellbeing.
Now, two years on, the trainees and fellows who worked on this group have progressed these recommendations and we are pleased and proud to show their significant achievements in the work completed. We acknowledge all those who’ve contributed. This dedicated work of the TWPG and TWPG, has demonstrated the level of importance that the college places on doctor’s health and wellbeing.
This report explains all that’s been achieved and how trainee wellbeing fits into the strategic priorities of our college. By having the report freely available, it is highlights and showcases to all fellows, trainees and SIMGs and the broader community the work being done in this important area.

Promoting good practice and managing poor performance guidelines

We have prepared a series of guidelines for anaesthesia and pain medicine managers, leaders, mentors and colleagues that support excellent professional standards and assist in identifying and managing practitioners who may be performing below an acceptable professional standard.

Wellbeing advocates

Wellbeing advocates are recommended for all ANZCA and FPM-accredited hospitals.

Wellbeing advocates must have knowledge and an interest in wellbeing and have the ability to perform a guidance role and offer support to those in need in a confidential manner.

Their role is to offer "wellbeing first aid" in the first instance and should then refer trainees or colleagues to relevant professional personnel for further advice or assistance if required. For more information please see RD26 Wellbeing Advocate. Wellbeing Advocate Networks are now in Aotearoa, New Zealand and the various Australian regions. Should you wish to join your local network, or register as a wellbeing advocate, please contact  


Wellbeing Special Interest Group (SIG)

The aim of the Wellbeing SIG is to promote the personal and psychological wellbeing and to heighten awareness of wellbeing issues in anaesthetists and pain medicine specialists.

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ANZCA Doctors' Support Program

As part of our ongoing support for our fellows, trainees and specialist international medical graduates (SIMGs), ANZCA has engaged the professional services of Converge International – a confidential and independent counselling and coaching program.

Find out more

Critical Incident Debriefing

Our Critical Incident Debriefing Toolkit provides a comprehensive, evidence-based resource on what are critical incidents, how to provide support and a hot debrief following a critical incident. It can be read in sections or as a whole.

Find out more

Doctors’ health advisory services

We have developed a directory of doctors' health advisory services and helplines in Australia and New Zealand.

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Long Lives, Healthy Workplaces

This toolkit is a resource to support anaesthesia departments and individual anaesthetists to operationalise a framework they can put into action.

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Bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment

ANZCA considers bullying, discrimination and harassment unacceptable behaviour that will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Fellows and trainees acting as college representatives are responsible for ensuring an environment free of this behaviour.

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Doctors' Health and Wellbeing Framework

The ANZCA doctors health and wellbeing framework informs our strategic and operational efforts in the wellbeing space..

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Dr Ray Hader Award for Pastoral Care

Named after Dr Ray Hader, this award promotes compassion and a focus on the welfare of anesthetists, other colleagues, patients and the community.

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Last updated 15:19 17.11.2022