Friday 4 June 2021    The Calile Hotel, Brisbane        8:00am – 5:00pm

Doctors’ Health in Queensland promotes health and wellness for our Queensland Doctors

This past year has highlighted that a focus on doctors’ health is vital for the delivery of high quality, safe health care for our community. Supporting the health of doctors benefits the individual doctor, their health care team and the patients they care for.

Building on our previous learnings and recent experiences, this New Horizon Forum focuses on establishing strong leadership across the profession with the aim of improving the health of doctors and medical students in Queensland. Previous forums have explored the health issues experienced by doctors, the difficulties in help-seeking and recognised the need for cultural and organisational change.

Leadership is the key to enabling positive change. Leadership enables the individual to be proactive in their care and reduces stigma. Leadership provides health care teams with interventions that suit the workplace needs. Leadership ensures that robust policies are in place and implemented so that grassroots desire for cultural change is embedded into routine practices. Building on a foundation of research evidence and experience in caring for doctors, together we can establish the compassionate leadership we need for our doctors now and into the future. 


Find the full summary here:

Doctors’ Health in Queensland – The New Horizon Summary

Find out more about our Keynote Speakers

1. Dr Jillann Farmer, Deputy Director – General Clinical Excellence QLD,QH

Dr Jillann Farmer commenced as the Deputy Director-General of Clinical Excellence Queensland in June 2020, returning to Queensland Health after employment as the Medical Director of the United Nations, based at the headquarters in New York for 8 years. During tenure in this role, she was responsible for the health, safety and wellbeing of all UN personnel deployed throughout the world and was also responsible for the standards in healthcare facilities operating under UN the UN flag.

Prior to serving in the UN, she was the Medical Director of the Patient Safety Centre in Queensland Health, and the inaugural Director of the Clinician Performance Support Service.

In her earlier career, Jillann worked as a GP, and also for the Medical Board of Queensland, building the Health Assessment and Monitoring Program for management of registrants with illnesses that impact on their ability to practice. She has been a Director of Medical Services at a mid-size acute Hospital, and a Senior Medical Officer Emergency Medicine. She holds fellowships of both the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators.

During 2014, she led the UN’s internal response to Ebola, allowing the safe deployment of UN personnel into the Ebola Outbreak area, and ensuring delivery of healthcare services to them throughout the crisis. In 2020, she led the UN’s New York response to the first wave of COVID-19 in the USA, advising the Secretary General and the then President of the General Assembly.

During her tenure as UN Medical Director, she developed and launched the UN system workplace mental health strategy, developed the UN Safety and Quality Standards and implemented reforms of the UN Trauma care system.

AS DDG Clinical Excellence Queensland, Jillann has the lead for safety and quality across the healthcare system of Queensland. Outside of work, Jillann has been a martial arts practitioner for over 30 years, and is a keen hiker, kayaker, cyclist and cross-country skier.


2. Dr Bethan Richards, Chief Medical Wellness Officer, SLHD

Dr Bethan Richards is a Staff Specialist Rheumatologist, epidemiologist and Head of the Department of Rheumatology at Royal Prince Alfred (RPA) Hospital in Sydney, Australia. She is also Deputy Director of the Institute for Musculoskeletal Health, SLHD and Senior Clinical Lecturer with the School of Medicine, University of Sydney. In 2019, she was appointed as Australia’s first Chief Medical Wellness Officer and Director of the new SLHD WellMD Centre.

Dr Richards has a PHD in pain management in inflammatory arthritis, has a Masters in both Clinical Epidemiology and Sports Medicine, and has been an OMERACT arthroplasty and ultrasound fellow. She is the Rheumatology Series Editor, Medicine Today, Director of the RPA BPTOK/MDOK Wellbeing Program, Chair of Executive STARS (SLHD Targeted Activity and Reporting System) Committee and Rheumatology representative on the N.S.W Agency for Clinical Innovation’s Unwarranted Clinical Variation Taskforce.

Dr Richards is currently an investigator on >10 randomised controlled trials, including several NHMRC-funded trials, and has published 4 Cochrane Systematic reviews with another two in progress. Her research interest areas include inflammatory arthritis, big data and analytics, back pain, musculoskeletal ultrasound, pain management, doctor wellbeing, soft tissue injury, outcome measurement, low value care, and medical education.


3. Dr Caroline Walker, Founder, The Joyful Doctor (UK)

Dr Caroline Walker is a UK-based psychiatrist and psychotherapist, who became interested in the wellbeing of doctors after she struggled with her own mental health as a junior doctor.

Caroline is now an international role model for doctors with mental health conditions. She cares for an active caseload of doctors for NHS Practitioner Health and in 2017 she founded The Joyful Doctor – a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving the wellbeing of doctors through coaching, webinars and workshops, online courses, events and anti-stigma campaigning across social media.  Throughout the COVID pandemic Caroline’s videos on the mental health challenges facing healthcare professionals have reached tens of thousands of doctors across the globe. 

You can follow Caroline and the work of The Joyful Doctor here:

FB: @joyfuldoctor, Tw: @joyful_doctor, Ins: thejoyfuldoctor

iTunes/ The Joyful Doctor Podcast


Doctors’ Health Queensland are very grateful for the support from Avant Mutual, a Platinum Sponsor of the New Horizon Forum.


Facilitated group supervision: Harnessing the power of peers. Mick O’Keeffe and Forrest James

View our past event ADHN – A National Forum on Doctors’ Wellness 2019 and the Final Report

View our past event AMA Queensland / Queensland Health – Suicide Prevention Forum – Doctors’ Wellbeing 2017  and the Final Report