A fund that lets you choose your provider, the level of cover that suits you, and supports the medical community as a whole.
At Avant we recognise that your practice entity has separate risks and exposures.
Aircraft safety demonstrations always
encourage parents to put on the oxygen delivery mask before they assist their
child to do the same. While this seems counterintuitive at one level it is
couched in the logic that the parent has to be able to act to protect the
safety of the child so self-preservation initially needs to come into play.
When it comes to managing occupational stress, the same rule needs to be
applied for medical practitioners. Doctors cannot take good care of other
people if they do not take good care of themselves.
Despite this adage, it is often
believed that doctors are poor at taking care of their own welfare and lack an
appreciation of their personal limitations, often falling into the trap of
feeling pressured to working at all costs, even when unwell. The very nature of
medical practice means it is inevitable there will be a certain levels of stress
but the critical point is recognising when stress becomes distress.
Being able to maintain a healthy equilibrium depends on how well you care
for your own needs, whether you allow yourself to seek support at difficult
times and whether you have the capacity to build up resilience to ride out the
inevitable distressing times.
Working excessively long hours increases
the potential for error and over time, fatigue impairs judgment and the
capacity to cope. A flow on effect is that relationships with family, friends
and colleagues can be affected because there is not enough emotional and
physical reserve to sustain healthy relationships.
Unfortunately, this can also
spill over into how you relate to your patients. In Avant’s experience
practitioners in the midst of a particularly stressful time, whether it is
because of personal matters or work pressures, are more vulnerable to mistakes.
This leads to a reduced capacity to relate well and effectively with patients
and colleagues, which in turn increases the risk of complaints further.
It is a cycle that is best avoided so at these times it is very important to
seek support from family and friends, colleagues and from Avant’s expert staff.
An added safety and support net is accessing a professional body such as the
Doctors’ Health Advisory Service in your state.