Junior doctor wellbeing program recognised in icare awards
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s innovative wellbeing program for junior doctors has taken out a highly commended award at this year’s Insurance for NSW icare awards in Sydney.
The program, known as BPTOK, empowers basic physician trainees, or medical registrars, with the knowledge and skills to maintain their wellbeing during their training years and their future careers.
Since its inception in April last year, BPTOK - originally funded through Sydney Local Health District’s Pitch program - has received attention nationally and internationally, and contributed to an important conversation on doctor wellbeing.
Incorporating workshops on stress and burnout, goal setting, performance coaching, relaxation, debriefing and mindfulness, BPTOK has helped establish a platform for driving ongoing cultural and organisational changes in the health system.
This year, more than 430 senior executives across NSW Health were present to see 23 organisations compete for honours across five categories showcasing outstanding risk management practice and innovation.
BPTOK was highly commended in the Steve Hunt Award for excellence in prevention. The award was accepted by program founders Dr Bethan Richards and Dr Peter Lim.
“We are very grateful to be highly commended for the BPTOK program. Much has been achieved in the past 18 months since its inception, sparked by the deaths of three basic physician trainees last year in NSW,” Dr Richards said.
“We were all profoundly affected, yet frustratingly, we knew it was not a new problem. We knew we had to start a difficult conversation, and change something. And the results to date have been incredibly positive for the individual, the organisation and our patients,” she said.
“For the 59 basic physician trainees who were part of the pilot BPTOK program in the last 12 months, 90 per cent reported an improvement in their work life balance; 55 per cent felt that the program had significantly reduced their stress levels and 50 per cent had a sustained improvement in their routine levels of exercise.
“Given the success of the pilot BPTOK program, Sydney Local Health District is exploring opportunities to roll out similar programs to all of our doctors in training. We have established an important platform for communication both within our workplace and more broadly, and with this in place, we hope to continue to the conversation, help drive system change and ultimately create a happier, healthier junior medical workforce.”