Doctors' health is an integral aspect of general practice. GPs are expected to be able to provide care to their peers and health issues are an inevitable part of life that GPs will confront in their practice. These issues are much discussed but the research informing these discussions has been limited.

Our research unit is steadfastly improving the quality of research available to inform our knowledge about doctors' health. This research recognises the need to embrace doctors' health in a positive and holistic manner without the stigma that has been associated with the "sick doctor".

Doctors' health is much more than mental health and impairment. It includes enabling positive self-care practices for mental and physical health needs and supporting colleagues to access formal health care for physical and mental health care when this is necessary.

Currently research in our centre has focused on health access issues that doctors' face and understanding how best to provide care to doctor-patients. Future research is intended to develop longitudinal studies and educational interventions designed to understand and improve the health of doctors. The research interests of our team include the integration of Complexity Theory in investigating, understanding and implementing positive change in health systems, recognising the power of narrative synthesis in this process.

Congratulations to Dr Margaret Kay who, in October 2020, received a Queensland Faculty award from the RACGP for her work on doctors' health.


Current projects

  • Understanding the Health Access Behaviours of Doctors Seeking Medical Care for Themselves: This research project is designed to contextualises the health access of doctors within the broader sociological understandings of health recognising the historical issues underpinning health access and acknowledging the related socio-cultural issues. The research includes a detailed explication of Complexity Theory with the purpose of progressing the conceptual development of the use of this theory in informing the methodology and method of this qualitative research. Complexity Theory was used to inform the interpretation of the findings and the development of a model of Doctors' Health Access. (Project Contacts: Dr Margaret KayProfessor Geoff Mitchell)
  • Improving Doctors' Health: Can Undergraduate Education Promote Healthy Doctors? A Pilot Study: This is a pilot project using an on-line survey tool that gathers data about the health of medical students, their preventive health care practices and their advice to patients about preventive health care. (Project Contact: Dr Margaret Kay)

Contact us

For more information about our research, please contact Dr Margaret Kay