Thank you for sharing your experience

It is not uncommon for doctors to experience the sudden death of a medical colleague. This loss can be due to an accident, illness or suicide and can be distressing, whether the relationship is a close or a casual one.

Doctors' Health NSW is keen to ensure that doctors feel supported at these times. We would like to hear about your experiences so that we can improve the support available for doctors in the wake of a sudden death of a medical colleague.

You can choose to participate in two ways:

  • via an online survey, and/or
  • participate in a personal interview about your experiences and thoughts.

If you would like to do the interview and complete the survey you are welcome to do both.

The Survey

This survey will ask questions about your experience with the death of a medical colleague, including what it was like for you, what support you received and what support may have been helpful. It should take you about 20 – 30 minutes to complete. The survey is completely anonymous.

The Interview

This link will take you to a form where you can register to be contacted for a 60-90 minute interview on your experiences of the sudden death of a colleague. In this interview we will discuss your experiences around the sudden death of a medical colleague, including what it was like for you, what support you received and what support may have been helpful.

About the Study

Doctors Health NSW and the University of Notre Dame Australia are researching doctors' experiences of loss. The aim is to understand the lived experience to guide the development of support resources for doctors. NSW Ministry of Health has provided funding to develop a locally relevant, evidence informed postvention resource, to provide guidance in these difficult circumstances. To ensure local relevance, a qualitative study will be conducted to formally investigate the experiences of doctors who have lost a colleague. Evidence-based guidance will then be developed to assist managers and affected individuals after the unexpected loss of a doctor in tragic circumstances.

What is Postvention?

Postvention encompasses a suite of support strategies that can be activated after a tragic loss due to suicide or other sudden death. This approach ranges from specialised suicide grief counselling to peer support. Given the startling reality that those bereaved by suicide are up to eight times more likely to themselves be at risk; postvention emerges not just as a reactive step, but as a preventative one.

Postvention and Doctors' Health

The medical community in New South Wales, like many others worldwide, grapples with the profound impact of suicide within its ranks. While doctors are often at the forefront of healing, they are not immune to the personal challenges and profound grief that may arise in the wake of a colleague's suicide or sudden death. Therefore, it is vital that organisations respond with compassion, care and understanding, to support and reduce harm to every doctor touched by the suicide or sudden death of a colleague.

Need Support?

If you become distressed while you are completing this survey, or at any time, support is available:

  • Doctors’ Health NSW on 02 9437 6552 (confidential 24/7 phone support for doctors, provided by experienced doctors who are not part of the research team)
  • Your own General Practitioner
  • Lifeline 13 11 14 or text: 0477 131 114, 
  • Suicide call back service 1300 659 467

Doctors’ Health NSW is a registered charity and would not receive any additional benefit from research participants using the 24/7 telephone support service.