Doctors in Training
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While the AMA DiT Agreement 2013-2017 provides guaranteed time off, maximum shift lengths and breaks between shifts, if a DiT’s roster or work pattern is assessed as ‘high risk’ the DiT is entitled to refuse to do the work (sub clause 25.3).
This is an issue not just for DiT health and wellbeing. Fatigue management is also to ensure patients are not affected by excessive workload. Academic literature suggests that fatigued doctors will:
- make subconscious short cuts in their patient diagnosis / treatment
- have reduced efficiency in encoding information
- make errors in their handover / clinical notes.
AMA Victoria is available to give members advice on the risks of their rosters as well as take up individual complaints on behalf of members.
For more information, contact Andrew Lewis, Senior Industrial Relations Adviser, AMA Victoria, on (03) 9280 8722.
To help doctors determine whether they are at risk of fatigue, the AMA has developed an on-line fatigue assessment tool. Doctors who use the assessment tool will receive an on-line assessment of the fatigue risks of their roster. Doctors who are assessed as being at risk are encouraged to raise this with hospital management. Having completed the audit and receiving a "high risk" result enables a doctor in training to legitimately resist a direction to work.
Access the AMA Fatigue Risk Assessment Tool here.
There are a number of services to turn to if you are feeling stressed, distressed or bullied.
- AMA Victoria Peer Support Service
- Victorian Doctors Health program (VDHP)
- Employee Assistance Program - contact your hospital human resources department)