In light of recent deaths amongst our Victorian DiTs, a small working party has formed, and a decision has been made to hold a forum on Thursday 5th March 2015 at 7pm at AMA House, Parkville.
This is short notice but it was decided that it would be prudent to hold the meeting sooner rather than later as we are aware of impending examination timetables.
I am involved because I was a DiT not long ago, used to be a president of the AMA(Vic) DiT subdivison and around when there were some suicides amongst our friends about 10 years ago. What came of similar forums was the establishment of the AMA peer support service.
I have never shied away from being outspoken and an advocate for all DiTs including medical students. DiTs are a large, invaluable, resourceful and caring group of the medical profession.
DiT’s also get very bogged down in making to the ‘ticket’. They work hard and endure a lot to get good reports and pass exams.
Despite being a large group of the medical workforce DiTs can feel alone.
I have been vocal recently about what I do know. 4 DiT’s including 3 psychiatry registrars are no longer with us. There is and probably will always be conjecture and a lack of understanding about why they are no longer with us. These deaths may be unrelated or there may be a factor that ties more than one.
We don’t know unless we start talking.
And even if we do not know, we may be able to use this tragedy, and it is a tragedy, to regroup so trainees can tell those that want to listen exactly how it is to be a DiT nowadays.
We may uncover that other DiTs working in the 4 sites where they lost colleagues are not coping with the news. They may be struggling too. There may be systemic or their may be local issues.This is not about blame, it’s about guiding future discussions that hopefully will implement real change.
AMA (Victoria) and its senior officebearers, including the current AMA(Victoria) president, Dr Tony Bartone, and past presidents have stepped up to hear about this from the time we all heard about the deaths of 4 DiT’s since January 2015.
AMA(Victoria) have kindly offered to host the meeting and provide facilitators to assist the discussion.
I will be there because I want to know as well.
It’s Ok to say if you are not coping, or if you can see others not coping.
Please attend, regardless of your involvement in the passing of 4 DiT’s and especially if you are affected by the news. You do not have to be an AMA member to attend.
Please see your GP, or contact the Victorian Doctors Health Program via AMA(Victoria) if you need more formal support.
See you Thursday,