2016 DSN events


2016 DSN AGM & conference 

The elephant in the room - getting a medical job with a mental health diagnosis

Saturday 17th September 2016, Human Rights Action Centre, London

11.00 - 12.30  DSN AGM 2016
13.30 - 14.15  White pebbles - simple steps to navigate your career path  
Dr Melanie Jones

Dr Melanie Jones retired from clinical anaesthesia to become an independent medical career coach and trainer.  She completed her MA in Managing Medical Careers in July 2013  and has worked as Associate Postgraduate Dean for Careers and LTFT in Wales. Melanie now delivers workshops across the UK to develop and enhance career support skills in educational supervisors.   Her special interests include the careers of women doctors and support for doctors facing career dilemmas.
Find her on Twitter @medicsupport
Doctors' Support Network 2016 Dr Melanie Jones mental health
14.15 - 14.45 Portfolio careers  
Dr Jenny Holmes

Jenny has a portfolio career,working part time in learning disability psychiatry and part time in forensic medicine. She believes strongly in everyone's potential to recover fully from mental illness and challenging stigma
Outside work Jenny is a mum of five and enjoys a busy family life while owning far too many pets. 
Doctors' Support Network 2016 Dr Jenny Holmes mental health
14.45 - 15.00  Working in medicine outside the NHS

15.20 - 15.40  Handling ill health in CVs and interviews  
Dr Louise Freeman

Louise previously worked as a consultant in emergency medicine.  After a period of time away from medicine due to ill health she has now returned to practice in a variety of areas.  Louise is particularly interested in how doctors deal with the topic of ill health absence when applying for jobs.
Doctors' Support Network 2016 Dr Louise Freeman mental health
15.40 - 16.30  Open forum - what do we want from services for sick doctors?
Results of open forum are listed below:
• Confidentiality – unless safety issues -with clear boundaries between treating doctors and doctors who are colleagues.
• Location of treatment – not in the same places as your patients
• Consistency
• Recognising pre agreed plans e.g. treatment plans
• Autonomy
• Advance directive e.g. doc as patient expressed wishes regarding future treatment if unable to express own view at the time
• Shared Decision Making – ICE
• Expertise of treating doctor
• Power differential • Not your boss!
• Minimal waiting list
• Specific issues
• Doctors present late -like kids – compensate until they fall off a cliff

International Congress of Royal College of Psychiatrists

27 - 30th June 2016
DSN sponsored a stand at the recent International Congress of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in London.  As usual, there was a very positive attitude to DSN and the stand was well visited.

DSN attended interesting sessions on the provision of inpatient care for adults, 'Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty' and of course the themed session on doctors' health with speakers  Dr Clare Gerada, Ben Wessely and Dr Ahmed Hankir.  

BMA Listening and Learning

Doctors' Support Network 2016 BMA Listening and Learning workshop mental health
11th May 2016
DSN took part in the ongoing BMA 'Listening and Learning' exercise where the organisation is looking at how to increase equality and inclusion in medicine. Representatives from a variety of organisations were present and discussion took place around legally 'protected' characteristics such as disability or race as well as non protected factors which might also affect doctors' ability to progress fully in their careers.

UK Association for Physician Health

Doctors' Support Network 2016 Louis Appleby at UKAPH mental health
10th May 2016
The UK Association for Physician Health holds an annual meeting and this one centred around discussion of the GMC Fitness to Practise process and its effect on doctors' health.  The key note speaker (about the current GMC review) was Prof Louis Appleby - pictured on the left with Kirsten Leslie from occupational health in Cornwall.  
The programme included an excellent talk from barrister Mary O'Rourke about her thirty years of experience of representing doctors in professional proceedings.  She reflected that in her experience the vast increase in GMC proceedings had resulted in leaders in their medical field not being seen by their peers.  Mary also spoke about doctors and insight reflecting that the majority of doctors are not found 'guilty' of the charge so accepting e.g. undertakings was not an outcome that most felt able to resign themselves to despite the promise of an earlier end to stressful proceedings.  She felt that this conflict can result in doctors being seen as lacking insight.
An important announcement was made at the meeting about the commissioning by NHS England of a service for GPs in England addressing their mental health as well as a new occupational health service for GPs.  Although the new service will only be for GPs in England at the moment, this looks like progress...

Cardiff University - The development of a tool to support earlier disclosure among doctors and medical students

4th May 2016
DSN took part in a Cardiff University meeting to discuss the further development of an online tool to help doctors to decide how / when to seek help for their mental health.  

GMC - Putting mental health safety at the heart of the fitness to practise process

7th April 2016
DSN was invited to take part in a recent consultation event on the current review of the GMC's Fitness to Practise process and its effect on doctors' health.  Representatives from a variety of medical organisations attended and the discussion on our table centred around the importance of effective local management of health / performance issues prior to escalation to GMC referral.

Mental Health Day

Doctors' Support Network 2016 Mental Health Day
Dr Louise Freeman at the Mental Health Day 
6th February 2016
Mental Health Day event in Newcastle upon Tyne
A service user run event where over sixty user groups worked together to create an outdoor event where members of the public were encouraged to stop and have a chat. DSN shared a stand and members talked to interested passers -by.
DSN vice chair quoted in the Chronicle 
Dr Louise Freeman, vice-chairman of the Doctors’ Support Network, a peer support group for medics with mental health problems, said people had shown a lot of interest in their work, especially medical students.She added: “Quite a lot of people have been surprised that our group exists. There’s a body of opinion, even within the medical profession, that doctors don’t get mental health problems. That is not actually true. Doctors are not some kind of super race. Doctors and their colleagues forget that they are human beings and that they can suffer from serious mental health problems.Our group provides support to those who need our help.”

Click HERE for link to full article.
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