The mental health group, 'Beyond blue', conducted a national survey where they interviewed more than 14,000 doctors and medical students.
The survey found that Australian doctors and medical students are victims of extreme psychological distress. Alarmingly, one out of 5 students and one in 10 doctors experienced suicidal thoughts.
AdvertisementNearly 4% of the doctors were in the throes of increased levels of psychological distress.
Among the doctors, cancer specialists were the most distressed lot.
Former Australian Medical Association president and Beyond Blue adviser Dr. A. Mukesh Haikerwal said, "We deal with lots of trauma. Psychological trauma, physical trauma and other things that affect way we work."
Beyond Blue chief executive Kate Carnell said, "Nearly 59 per cent of doctors believed that it was a bit embarrassing to be a patient of another doctor. So many of them weren't putting up their hand and getting support when they were struggling."
Surprisingly, there was a lot of stigma about mental health problems among the doctors themselves and they hesitated to seek care.
"It can affect their ability to deliver the best possible care. If somebody is experiencing significant depression and anxiety they're not going to be able to do their job as good as they should be able to."