Top quotes on positive mental wellbeing for doctors
Here's our favourite wellbeing quotes from doctors we've spoken to recently
Health & Wellbeing
September 21, 2020

New Zealand’s annual Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) is back on 21–27 September 2020.

Run by the Mental Health Foundation, the week is an opportunity to raise awareness, bring focus to what better mental health looks like and to reimagine wellbeing.

Figures around the mental health and resilience of doctors both in New Zealand and around the world are alarming. Research suggests that rates of suicide, depression and anxiety are higher in RMOs than in their age-matched peers.

‘First, do no harm’ is our top priority, but as doctors, we’re often so focused on helping our patients and communities that we neglect our own health and wellbeing. That’s why, in 2016, Medworld successfully lobbied the World Medical Association to include a new pledge in the Declaration of Geneva;

I WILL ATTEND TO my own health, well-being, and abilities in order to provide care of the highest standard.

It’s a small step, but one that has enshrined the importance of taking responsibility for our personal health and wellbeing in the Physician’s Oath.

The theme of this year’s MHAW is ‘Reimagine Wellbeing Together – He Tirohanga Anamata’. In the spirit of reimagining wellbeing together, we’ve gathered some of our favourite quotes and ideas from inspirational doctors we’ve talked to.

Dr Emma Thurston

Revolutionising your wellbeing

Learn to say no and prioritise your own health – I think as a profession we often neglect looking after ourselves. It isn’t selfish to practice self-care, in fact it makes you more able to care for your own family, friends and patients.

Dr Sarah Arachchi

Balancing motherhood and medicine

In medicine, we are taught some of the most important concepts about being healthy and the importance of preventative strategies in achieving a healthy lifestyle. Yet, as life goes on, and work gets busy, it is easy to forget.
Sleep. Exercise. Eat healthy food and try to prepare it yourself. Mindfulness. Take time to pause and reflect.
Lead by example. Invest in yourself. Believe in yourself. Your journey starts there.

Dr Amanda Thomson

Dr Amanda’s simple tips for better mental health {LINK:}

Doctors by nature are generally very caring people. It is very easy to over commit, particularly when working in under resourced areas. I think one of the main things I have learnt throughout my years of working in mental health, is to make a conscious effort to create time for self-care and to learn how to set boundaries at work in regards to work load, so as to maintain my own mental fitness and to ensure every patient receives the time that is required to provide optimum care.

Dr Tom Mulholland

Dr Tom’s ambulance at the top of the cliff  

Doctors need to realise that they need to put themselves first. It’s like anything. Farmers put their cows before they put themselves and doctors, they’ll put their patients before they put themselves. We’re all too busy to get stuff done… but it’s about making that time and going in and getting it done properly. That’s the way we’ll fix it.

Dr Gareth Andrews

Five ideas on mixing adventure and medicine

I hear ‘I used to do this, I used to do that’ so often from other doctors. I think it’s important to dedicate yourself to what you love doing and build your career into your lifestyle instead of sacrificing everything else for it.

Prof. Fiona Wood

Key ideas behind being a great doctor

I think engaging in negative energy and using your precious energy in trying to justify yourself is just a waste. It’s much smarter going to find somebody who you can connect with; who will support you; who will facilitate you being your best. That’s where you put your energy.

Got an interesting idea or perspective on mental health and wellbeing for doctors? We’d love to hear from you. Email:

Article by
Doctors by medworld

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