GP Synergy recognises that GP training while challenging and rewarding, can be financially, physically and/or emotionally straining. As doctors our primary aim is to provide aid to others. It is important that we are in a state to do so.
There is a tendency for doctors to ignore the warning signs of ill health, with many choosing to push on with their work to the point of fatigue and burnout. You are encouraged to prioritise and take responsibility for your own physical health, including lifestyle management, establishing a continuing therapeutic relationship with your own GP and proactively seeking treatment. Regular self-diagnosis, treatment and prescribing are discouraged.
You are encouraged to actively look out for warning signs of fatigue and burnout in yourself and your peers. Signs of burnout include exhaustion, desensitisation, lack of meaning, preoccupation with work and making mistakes.
If you are travelling large distances, at night or on rural roads, it is your responsibility to be safe while driving. Psychomotor and other functions including cognitive impairment, reduced motor control and micro sleeps have all been shown to increase among fatigued doctors with implications for road safety.
You are strongly encouraged to consider safety and avoid driving when feeling fatigued.
Tips for preventing and managing fatigue (simple but they work!):
- a good sleep environment and avoiding devices/technology prior to bedtime
- exercise regularly
- a healthy diet and limit alcohol
- whilst at work take regular breaks and drink plenty of fluids.
What do you do when things are not going to plan?
Things may not always go as planned during your training.
Factors can affect your training including personal, social, health, financial, cultural, work and training related factors. It is always helpful to talk to someone and seek advice in such situations. Depending on what the issue is, people who can help you include your supervisor, medical educator, rural support officert, registrar liaison officer or a colleague.
- GP Synergy Wellbeing and Support provides more information, tools and resources.