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Research Thesis Topic

Doctors Working Well: Improving Mental health Among Medical Professionals

Topic ID

Thesis Topic/Title
Doctors Working Well: Improving Mental health Among Medical Professionals


This thesis will adopt a variety of methodologies to examine and address stress, burnout, and mental health issues among medical professionals.

Research work by the IMHS research team has been underway to document the mental health challenges of medical professionals and develop a novel intervention to address these.

Severe alarming statistics regarding medical practitioners have emerged recently. Suicide is now the leading cause of death among medical residents in the USA . Australian doctors face greater risk of suicide than the general community, with female doctors being twice more likely to commit suicide than a member of the general public . Furthermore, medical errors now rank as the third leading cause of death in the USA . Crucially, a key factor underpinning both doctor suicide and work performance (i.e. diagnosis and prescription errors, absenteeism, and career attrition) is doctor mental health, including stress and burnout .

Our data demonstrates that burnout is present in more than half of Australian doctors sampled, and rates of severe/extremely-severe stress are high (44.1%) and substantially elevated compared to Australian norms . It has been found that cognitive behavioural interventions demonstrate the greatest promise for assisting doctors. A pilot randomised-control trial of a mindfulness/cognitive behavioural training intervention, delivered to junior doctors, found that when compared to an active control condition, the doctors in the treatment condition had successfully reduced stress and burnout .

The proposed thesis will build on this research and examine the efficacy of the online Working Well program in promoting resiliency, reducing distress and burnout, and mental ill-health in medical doctors.

Principal Supervisor

Associate Supervisors

Research Affiliations
  • Institute for Resilient Regions

Field of Research
  • Psychology

Available Academic Programs

Application Open Date

Application Close Date

USQ Scholarship Applications

Pre-approved for Ethics
Not Applicable

Admission Requirements

Please review the admission requirements for the academic program associated with this Thesis Topic

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