Dr Hannah Szewczyk

As the Chair of the AMA’s Council of Doctors in Training (CDT), first year FRANZCOG trainee Dr Hannah Szewczyk is looking forward to advocating on several issues over the next two years.

RANZCOG

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

As the Chair of the AMA’s Council of Doctors in Training (CDT), first year FRANZCOG trainee Dr Hannah Szewczyk is looking forward to advocating on several issues over the next two years.

The AMACDT represents medical trainees throughout Australia and advocates for equitable and safe outcomes for trainees and their patients.

Hannah’s experience as a member of council on the Flinders Medical Students’ Society executive committee and the Australian Medical Students’ Association council gave her an experience which provided her with extended exposure to policy and advocacy relating to public health and the workforce, and inspired her to chair the AMACDT.

“Improving doctor wellbeing is critical,” says Hannah, who is based in Adelaide. “Training is a very stressful time and workforce issues like the training bottleneck just exacerbate the stress.

“We have to look at improving culture and looking at it from a patient safety perspective because when you have burnt out doctors, the patients suffer as well.”

The AMACDT are advocating to get doctor wellbeing and feeling safe at work (also referred to as psychosocial safety) into the National Safety and Quality Healthcare Standards. Advocating for the South Australian model of legislating to make hospital boards directly and explicitly responsible for the psychosocial wellbeing of their staff is also a priority, according to Hannah.

Implementing a single employer model for all GP registrars and lobbying for action to ensure unaccredited registrars are better supported and not subjected to working excessive hours and unsafe work conditions, are two further goals for Hannah and the AMACDT.

Love of O+G

Hannah says her love for women’s health can be traced back to her high school days when she completed work experience at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, shadowing midwives. That passion led her to medical school and the decision to enter O+G training.

“I love working with women and their families, it is so rewarding, and I do love the balance of the surgical and medical work,” Hannah says. “It is never boring; I love being on the move in the hospital.”

And how does Hannah look after her wellbeing, with O+G training and her AMACDT role taking up a lot of her time.

“I am quite privileged I have my family close by who I can call on for support and help, as well as working at Lyell McEwin Hospital, which has been amazing for these early training years,” Hannah says. “There is a good, supportive culture at the hospital, which makes all the difference.

“In recent years I have focused more on my own wellbeing outside of work by trying to prioritise sleep and moving my body by doing pilates.”

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