Professional Development and self Care

Whole Hearted Medicine Pty Ltd is a recognised training provider with the RACGP and has been approved for CPD activities with the following colleges  RANZCOG, ACEM and CICM. ACCRM approval is pending. The other colleges can self report as below.  The retreats provide an education program with 28.5 hours of workshops, small group discussions, reflections, experiential learning and assessments. The program fulfils all the college requirements of established learning objectives, reflection and assessment.


The RACGP has accredited Whole Hearted Medicine as a training provider. 
Each retreat is an Accredited Activity with the RACGP resulting in 40 Activity points (Cat 1). 

We have been in contact with the RACP and have received this from the college. Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) can claim CPD credits for this activity in MyCPD. There is 28.5 hours of education.


CICM have accredited these retreats for:
Category 2B: Active or Interactive Small Group Learning- 2 points per hour
Category 5B: Personal Advancement- 1 point per hour


A Whole Hearted Medicine Retreat is approved for RANZCOG CPD 2019-2022 Triennium 28.5hrs of CPD


We have been in contact with the ANZCA and have received this from the college Fellows of the Australasian College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) can claim CPD credits for this activity in the online CPD portfolio.. There is 28.5 hours of education. 

A Whole Hearted Medicine Retreat is approved for ACEM CPD 2021 for 
 28.5hrs of CPD


The cornerstone of our education model encompasses our core pillars of SELF CARE, SELF AWARENESS and SELF COMPASSION into a balanced concept of the ‘Whole Hearted Doctor’.

The Whole Hearted Doctor is one who:
- knows, respects and has compassion for their own ego.
- is able to build and maintain appropriate and compassionate boundaries for themselves and others.
- is able to practice self compassion as they move through stages of growth and learning.
- having mastered all these skills and committed their ongoing practice, is able to extend this knowledge to those around them including colleagues, juniors and students.

Banishing the ‘I shoulds’.
Dealing with self comparison.
Perfectionism and Imposter Syndrome.
Practicing ‘Loving Kindness’.
Dealing with uncertainty in healthcare.
Understanding self sabotage.

Banishing the ‘they shoulds’.
Ego work- what hooks and what harms my Ego?
Understanding your triggers and how to manage them.
Finding balance in life- ‘How do I say no?’.
Making and holding compassionate boundaries.
Knowing how to identify and support colleagues in difficulty.
Emotional agility.

Behaviour change psychology.
How to implement and maintain healthy habits.
Introduction to mindfulness.
Mindful movement- yoga and meditation. 
Breath work for stress reduction.
Physical self care eg: screening/CST intervals etc for each age group.
Mindful and healthy eating.
Review of support available to doctors.

We aim to help doctors tap into their sense of self awareness which in turn helps them be better able to identify and manage feelings of burnout in themselves and others. As an organisation we hope to lead the path towards a more holistic and proactive role in maintaining the wellbeing of doctors and all healthcare providers, not only ensuring their own personal feelings of fulfilment but also their professional longevity in an often demanding profession.

Why is this important?

The need for doctors to attend to their own self care is now embedded in the 2017 World Medical Association Declaration of Geneva -“I WILL ATTEND TO my own health, well-being, and abilities in order to provide care of the highest standard.”

The Beyond Blue survey of medical professionals performed in 2013 identified several key findings 
*The working environment of doctors and medical students is challenging. Many survey participants reported long work hours, difficulty balancing work and personal responsibilities, and significant work related stress. 
*The intense work environment may contribute to the high levels of general and specific mental health distress, including high rates of depression and suicidal ideation, in comparison to the general population. 
*Females, Indigenous students, doctors working in rural areas, and young doctors appeared to be particularly vulnerable to poor mental health. 
*Encouragingly, a high proportion of doctors sought treatment for their mental health symptoms. However, a number of barriers to treatment seeking were identified.
*The most commonly identified barriers were concerns about privacy, confidentiality and embarrassment. 
*The reported impact of mental health conditions on work and personal functioning appeared to be modest. This suggests that many doctors are able to limit the negative impacts of poor mental health both at work and personally. 
*There was some evidence of the existence of stigmatising attitudes, held by both students and doctors, towards doctors with mental health conditions. 

The recommendations were:
 *Promote the importance of maintaining good mental health and wellbeing. 
 *Address the stressful and demanding nature of the work environment. 
* Systemic intervention to address negative attitudes towards those with mental health symptoms.
*Target support for vulnerable subgroups. Females, Indigenous students, those working in rural areas and young doctors were at risk of poor general and specific mental health problems
*Ongoing monitoring of the mental health status of doctors and students.

An article published in the MJA by Dr Ann McCormack in 2018 stated that 
“female doctors suicide at 2.27 times the rate of the general population, and male doctors only a little less often at 1.41 times the general population”. 

She recommended these changes 
*Doctors should invest in activities that will support their physical and mental health, and model such behaviour to junior colleagues;
*Doctors need to learn how to be kinder to themselves and extend compassion towards the struggles of both junior and senior colleagues;
*Medical students should be selected not just on academic performance but increasingly sophisticated aptitude testing should be used;
*Regular enquiry into the mental health of medical students should be a high priority, and ongoing support should be offered;
*Doctors should teach and model resilience;
*Doctor wellbeing programs should be mandated, including peer support networks;
*Workforce planning should avoid the growing bottleneck at the advanced training level; and
Collegiality should be built back into medical and health workplaces.

Work Outcomes
Apart from the improving the human cost of burn out and reducing mental illness there is evidence supporting that doctors who practice self care have 

*Increased work efficiency 
*A reduction in clinical errors
*Improved feelings of work satisfaction 
*Increased effectiveness in communication
*Improvement in leadership roles and outcomes
*The ability to Improve workplace morale 
*A clear understanding of whether they are well enough to be at work or not. 

“Absenteeism costs Australia $7bn each year and presenteeism costs another $26bn per year.”
 Converge International