The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has launched Doctors-4-Doctors (D-4-D) to help tackle the burden of burnout and rising rates of mental health challenges among medical students, residents and clinicians.
“Through this initiative, we will focus upon preventing burn out, address mental health challenges, reduce the incidents of suicide among Residents and clinicians. We will achieve this by creating awareness of the issue and using tools for emotional well-being. We will provide training for self- help and offer D-4-D Free Help Lines to those in need.”stated Dr. Santanu Sen, National President, Indian Medical Association (IMA), in a press statement on Tuesday (June 4).
Globally, the risk of depression and suicide among medical professionals is 2.5 times higher among medical students and doctors, with those in the age group of 24 to 37 years being the most vulnerable.
Emergency Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Psychiatry, Intensivists (ICU Doctors) and Anaesthetists are reported to be the main specialties under highest stress and risk of burn out or suicide.
“The D4D will tackle physician burnout and mental health at a system level through changes in policy and training. It will offer a Sustainable Support System to bring about emotional wellbeing, robust resilience and coping capabilities among the medical students, Residents and clinicians.” said Dr. Nilima Kadambi, Chairperson, IMA National Committee for Emotional Health and Wellbeing of Medical Students and Doctors.
IMA D-4-D Team has already held Awareness and Self-Help Work-Shops for Medicos about Emotional Well-being and Burn-Out in Bengaluru, Pune, Delhi, Surat and Cochin and soon will organise in Mumbai, Delhi and in other cities.
IMA is also working on strengthening and implementation of legislation to protect Resident doctors and clinicians against violence, better living and working conditions for junior doctors and residents.
With proper HR guidelines for duty hours and rest periods and strict documentation, reporting and action against campus ragging, bullying, sexual harassment, D4D initiative will also offer timely assistance and support with easily accessible professional counselling.”
IMA demands counselling centers and 24 x 7 Help Line in all medical colleges and teaching institutions.