David Beaumont Key Topics of Thought

How to Care for Yourself Better - Key Topics of Thought from Dr David Beaumont

Continuing our series of interviews with exceptional people, MedWorld’s Dr Sam Hazledine interviewed occupational health advocate David Beaumont about his medical career and how doctors can take better care of themselves. You can listen to the full podcast here {LINK: to podcast}.

Beaumont.png

 

Director of Fit for Work and former President of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, David Beaumont is a passionate advocate of occupational health. Fit for Work assists people across New Zealand get back into work after injury and illness, but in this interview, David discusses what doctors and the industry can do to support doctors’ health and wellbeing. Here’s a few key topics for thought from the interview.

 

1/ Understand your personal values.

To lead an exceptional life, you need to lift your values and focus on what matters to you. But, as David Beaumont explains, you can’t do this if you don’t understand what your personal values are in the first place:

“To lift your values, you have to define what your values are […] if I had known that at eighteen [years old], I think some of my life choices might have been different.”

Take the time to discover what matters to you most and centre your values and wellbeing at the heart of what you do.

 

2/ Recognise your responsibilities.

Recognise that you need to be healthy to better serve your patients, to better serve your roles within your family and most important of all, to be a better you.

“[W]e have got to recognise that we are more than just doctors, that we are people with aspirations, with wants and needs and a role in our families,” says David Beaumont.

 

3/ Register with a GP.

Figures suggest that a large proportion of doctors are not registered with a GP. Many feel they can, or are expected to self-diagnose. Others seek advice from colleagues in an inappropriate way, in hospital corridors or during a lunch break when their colleague may not be ready to give their full attention.

Doctors are often poor patients. Register with a GP and seek advice through proper channels when you need it, learn to become a better patient so you can become a better doctor and a healthier person.

 

4/ Treat doctors as you would other patients and support the change.

David highlights that even if a doctor does seek advice, some doctors are poor at seeing other doctors as patients. It follows the unfair expectation that as a doctor, you should know best.

It’s an issue which requires action beyond an individual level, but through awareness and support, individuals can help make a change.

“The Australasian Faculty of Occupational Health and Environmental Medicine, has recently lead the development of a permission statement on the health of doctors for the Australasian College of Physicians. In that, what we are doing is highlighting this as an issue; we need to have the health of doctors on the table, we need to talk about it openly and actually make it a priority for the profession. So we need to recognise that it is a problem,” says David Beaumont.

 

5/ Recognise that stressed doctors make mistakes.

This isn’t an issue solely related to doctors. Anybody under stress, who feels tired and ‘burnt out’ is likely to make mistakes at work. But when your work involves caring for patients, mistakes can cause harm. Our modern Hippocratic Oath, the Declaration of Geneva asks us to ‘do no harm’ – but by not caring for ourselves properly, as doctors we may unintentionally do harm to our patients.

MedWorld and MedRecruit has petitioned the World Health Organisation to include caring for ourselves, to better care for our patients to be included in the Declaration of Geneva. You can check progress and join the debate here.

“Interestingly, it is clear that the reverse is true,” says David.

“Doctors who are good at prioritising their health, good at health seeking behaviours, good at health-related activities actually provide the best advice to their patients and model change in their patients and motivate the right kind of health behaviours in their patients too.”

How to Care for Yourself Better - Key Topics of Thought from Dr David Beaumont

Continuing our series of interviews with exceptional people, MedWorld’s Dr Sam Hazledine interviewed occupational health advocate David Beaumont about his medical career and how doctors can take better care of themselves. You can listen to the full podcast here {LINK: to podcast}.

Beaumont.png

 

Director of Fit for Work and former President of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, David Beaumont is a passionate advocate of occupational health. Fit for Work assists people across New Zealand get back into work after injury and illness, but in this interview, David discusses what doctors and the industry can do to support doctors’ health and wellbeing. Here’s a few key topics for thought from the interview.

 

1/ Understand your personal values.

To lead an exceptional life, you need to lift your values and focus on what matters to you. But, as David Beaumont explains, you can’t do this if you don’t understand what your personal values are in the first place:

“To lift your values, you have to define what your values are […] if I had known that at eighteen [years old], I think some of my life choices might have been different.”

Take the time to discover what matters to you most and centre your values and wellbeing at the heart of what you do.

 

2/ Recognise your responsibilities.

Recognise that you need to be healthy to better serve your patients, to better serve your roles within your family and most important of all, to be a better you.

“[W]e have got to recognise that we are more than just doctors, that we are people with aspirations, with wants and needs and a role in our families,” says David Beaumont.

 

3/ Register with a GP.

Figures suggest that a large proportion of doctors are not registered with a GP. Many feel they can, or are expected to self-diagnose. Others seek advice from colleagues in an inappropriate way, in hospital corridors or during a lunch break when their colleague may not be ready to give their full attention.

Doctors are often poor patients. Register with a GP and seek advice through proper channels when you need it, learn to become a better patient so you can become a better doctor and a healthier person.

 

4/ Treat doctors as you would other patients and support the change.

David highlights that even if a doctor does seek advice, some doctors are poor at seeing other doctors as patients. It follows the unfair expectation that as a doctor, you should know best.

It’s an issue which requires action beyond an individual level, but through awareness and support, individuals can help make a change.

“The Australasian Faculty of Occupational Health and Environmental Medicine, has recently lead the development of a permission statement on the health of doctors for the Australasian College of Physicians. In that, what we are doing is highlighting this as an issue; we need to have the health of doctors on the table, we need to talk about it openly and actually make it a priority for the profession. So we need to recognise that it is a problem,” says David Beaumont.

 

5/ Recognise that stressed doctors make mistakes.

This isn’t an issue solely related to doctors. Anybody under stress, who feels tired and ‘burnt out’ is likely to make mistakes at work. But when your work involves caring for patients, mistakes can cause harm. Our modern Hippocratic Oath, the Declaration of Geneva asks us to ‘do no harm’ – but by not caring for ourselves properly, as doctors we may unintentionally do harm to our patients.

MedWorld and MedRecruit has petitioned the World Health Organisation to include caring for ourselves, to better care for our patients to be included in the Declaration of Geneva. You can check progress and join the debate here.

“Interestingly, it is clear that the reverse is true,” says David.

“Doctors who are good at prioritising their health, good at health seeking behaviours, good at health-related activities actually provide the best advice to their patients and model change in their patients and motivate the right kind of health behaviours in their patients too.”

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