Originally, health programs for doctors were operated on the goodwill of committed volunteers in each state.
In 2014 the Medical Board of Australia saw the need to invest in these independent programs. They therefore partnered with the Australian Medical Association to establish an independent national program called “Doctors Health Services”, now known as DRS4DRS.
MBA recognises that DRS4DRS needs to operate separately from regulatory bodies, so that we can confidentially support doctors without fear of reporting. We are therefore a subsidary of AMA and operate independently.
Frequently asked questions
Let us clear up some common questions about doctors health so that you can access the support you need.
What do DRS4DRS do?
Each state in Australia has its own helplines and referral services. As the national coordinator, we’re here to help you navigate these services.
Is the service confidential?
Absolutely. While we do receive funding from the Medical Board of Australia, we operate independently from regulatory bodies.
What happens when I call the helpline?
The helplines are staffed by senior GPs and counsellors with experience in Doctors’ Health. When you call a helpline you’ll speak to someone at the paging service who will then ask you for a name and contact number. This is not an emergency or crisis line, but a first point of contact.
Can you help me find a good GP?
Yes. Some states have clinics specifically for doctors, while others have a directory of GPs trained to treat doctors. We can help you contact the State Service you want and help will be provided to assist you to find a GP who treats medical colleagues.
What can I talk to you about?
You can call us to get advice on your physical and mental wellbeing. We’re a listening ear to provide you with perspective.
Who is running the show?
DRS4DRS and the state services are currently run by dedicated doctors who have a vision to see improved wellbeing in the medical profession.
Mr David Brennan
Member of Expert Advisory Council
David is an experienced executive and non-executive director across the financial services, government and health landscape.
He is currently the Chairman of the Doctors Health Service Limited and the Australasian College of Sport & Exercise Physicians, as well holding board and committee roles with the Society of Hospital Pharmacists Australia and the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists.
David has an investment banking background having held roles at both Macquarie Bank and the Bendigo and Adelaide Banking Group, currently serving as Director – Distribution at U Ethical Investors.
David holds degrees in banking law and finance from both the University of Technology, Sydney and ESC Rouen in France. David has also completed the Melbourne Business School’s senior executive MBA and the Executive Education programme at Harvard University.
David is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of both the Governance Institute of Australia and the Financial Services Institute of Australasia.
Ms Liesel Wett
Liesel is an experienced Chief Executive Officer and health strategist. She is currently CEO of Australian Pathology, the peak body for private pathology practices in Australia.
Previously, Liesel held the position of CEO of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, the professional membership organisation for 18000 pharmacists in Australia.
Liesel is chair of Goodwin Aged Care Services in the ACT, the leading aged care provider and largest not-for-profit employer in Canberra and is a director of Pathology Awareness Australia. Liesel holds a BSc, an MPH and MBA.
Liesel is a Fellow and non-executive director of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Dr Caitlin Weston
Caitlin obtained her MBBS from Sydney University in 2013, having previously completed a Bachelor of Liberal Studies at the same institution, majoring in French studies and biological science. She completed her first two postgraduate years in regional New South Wales before undertaking a critical care year in Newcastle and her first year of anaesthetic training on the Central Coast.
Caitlin was awarded a 2016 Churchill Fellowship to explore policies and programs for clinician wellbeing and spent eight weeks in 2017 traveling around the USA, Canada and the UK to gain a greater understanding of current issues and available solutions. She has since left anaesthetic training to pursue her passion for clinician health, presenting at international conferences, working on solutions in health technology and learning about driving change through health policy.
In 2019 Caitlin was co-Chief Resident of the International Conference on Residency Education and at the Canadian Conference on Physician Health she was recognised by the Canadian Medical Association for her work as an International Wellness Ambassador.
She commences training with the RACGP in 2020 and looks forward to improving the wellbeing of healthcare workers directly as a clinician and through policy and culture change throughout her career.
Dr Roger Sexton
Roger is an experience rural procedural general practitioner with a longstanding interest in the health of doctors and in medical education.
He has been a persistent advocate for doctors’ health establishing the Dr.DOC rural doctors’ health program in 2000 becoming the inaugural Medical Director of Doctors Health SA in 2010 and Doctors Health NT IN 2016. He is a director of Barossa Hills Fleurieu SA Local Health Network.
Roger was the chair of the Medical Board of SA as it transitioned into the Medical Board of Australia in 2019 and has been a member of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee and the AMA Council of General Practice.
He is currently deputy chair of national medical indemnity insurer, MIGA, Chair of its Risk Management Committee and member of its Claims Committee and Governance Committee.
In addition to his MB BS and FRACGP, Roger holds an MBA and studied at Harvard Business School in 2018.
Dr Tony Bartone
Anthony (Tony) Bartone is President of the AMA having been elected in May 2018. Prior to his election as President, Tony was Vice President a position he held since 2016. He was previously the President of AMA Victoria and prior to that was AMA Victoria’s Vice President.
Tony is an experienced General Practitioner and management executive, working in two General Practices in Melbourne. His principal specialty interests include men’s Health, mental health counselling, care co-ordination of patients with multiple chronic illnesses, and aged care. Tony has held many Federal AMA Council and Committee positions since 2008, including serving as a member of the AMA Council of General Practice.
At the 2016 National Conference, Tony was admitted to the Roll of Fellows of the AMA recognising his outstanding services to the AMA and as a mark of the high esteem in which he is held by Fellow members.
In addition to his MB BS and FRACGP, Tony also holds an MBA (Hons 1)
Mr Warwick Hough
Drs4Drs Pty Ltd
Our Panel of doctors’ health experts
The Board is advised and supported by its Expert Advisory Council. The members of the EAC are a dedicated group of doctors who are experienced in practitioner health:
Dr Margaret Kay
Queensland Doctors’ Health Programme
Assoc Professor Jill Benson AM
Doctors’ Health South Australia
Dr Antonio Di Dio
Dr Tim Dewhurst
Victorian Doctors’ Health Program
Dr James Lawler
AMA Council of Doctors in Training nominee
Dr Sarah Newman
Doctors’ Health Advisory Service Western Australia
Dr Bill Pring
Australian Medical Association nominee
Dr Liz Weber
Dr Edwin Whiteside
Doctors’ Health Advisory Service New Zealand
Ms Jessica Yang
Australian Medical Students’ Association nominee
Dr Choong-Siew Yong
Doctors’ Health Advisory Service New South Wales
Ms Christine Brill
Drs4Drs Pty Ltd