Medical leaders need to take ownership of the doctors’ wellness agenda

Sabe Sabesan
Med J Aust 2021; 214 (10): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51075
Published online: 7 June 2021

To the Editor: Doctors’ wellbeing is an important agenda for reducing doctors’ burnout and its consequences. It is often confused with wellbeing related to personal lives that is not controlled by workplaces. My observation is that systems are implementing symbolic solutions, which undermine the efforts of advocacy for system solutions. I see wellness through my experience during teenage years, growing up in the middle of a war. I suffered emotional trauma; more than that, moral injury that was inflicted by the hypocrisy of the system that violated my human rights. Moral injury occurs when we perpetrate, bear witness to, or fail to prevent an act that transgresses our deeply held moral beliefs.1 All I wanted was for someone to stop the war; I was not expecting to be sent to a wellness officer or to wellness and resilience training workshops. In the past 22 years as a doctor, I am seeing the emergence of the term “moral injury” in health care settings and is linked to doctors’ wellbeing.1

  • Sabe Sabesan

  • Tropical Centre for Telehealth Practice and Research, Townsville Hospital, Townsville, QLD

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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