Professional isolation in the workplace is a well-recognised risk factor to professional well-being. This can occur irrespective of workplace location and size of the organisation and is specifically mentioned in the Medical Board of Australia’s Professional Performance Framework.
This is important to us as a college, and to all our members, irrespective of location. In order to support our colleagues a Peer Support Group (PSG) six-month pilot prgram was undertaken in 2022.
The pilot program has now been approved by the RACMA Board to continue on an ongoing basis. This initiative has a dual purpose in that these facilitated discussions support our professionally isolated colleagues as well as improving member wellbeing by providing an avenue in which issues can be shared confidentially in a safe environment amongst peers without judgement.
The objective of the PSG is to provide structured peer support to RACMA colleagues of all jurisdictions who are professionally isolated. Meetings will be conducted monthly for approximately an hour.
The objective of the meetings is to provide a forum in which its participants can discuss topics with their peers but due to their professional isolation are not able to do via other means and would include but are not limited to:
- Problem solving and brainstorming.
- Confidential collegiate discussions.
- Peer support, collaboration, and consultation.
- Reflective practice.
- Networking opportunities.
Facilitator RACMA Peer Support Group Program
Would you be interested in giving up 60 minutes of your time, once a month, to lead a Peer Support Group targeted at supporting these professionally isolated colleagues?
Role and Expectations of PSG Facilitators: Click here to access the Role & Expectations document
- The PSG facilitator is expected to chair and manage the virtual meeting requirements for the PSG.
- The PSG facilitator will be tasked with monitoring and reducing any potential conflicts of interest that may arise throughout the group.
- The PSG facilitator will be tasked with coordinating any evaluation activity within the group as required.
- If required by volume, alignments may be made to match facilitators and participants based on jurisdiction, regions (e.g. metropolitan, rural and regional), and Medical Administration portfolios (e.g. Australian Defence Health System and Private Hospitals).
- RACMA Fellows with greater than five years’ experience post Fellowship would be preferred.
- Prepared and motivated to undertake facilitator training if the program identifies a requirement for training.
- Core competencies include strong facilitation and collaborative communication style.
PSG activities will be recognised as a CPD activity by RACMA under the Category Peer Learning. Documentation of PSG activities as CPD, and the required reflections, is the responsibility of individual participants.
This is a great opportunity to support our professionally isolated colleagues, in particular those in regional rural or remote locations.
Participant RACMA Peer Support Group Program
Role and Responsibilities of PSG Participants: Click here to access the Role & Expectations document
- Participants will be expected to declare any conflicts of interest at the start of each session and actively contribute to the PSG.
- Participants are expected to commit to attending a one-hour meeting monthly on the day and time as determined between the facilitator and assigned participants.
- Participants are expected to act in a professional and respectful manner at all times, to support and assist their peers in the group and observe strict confidentiality in relation to any matters discussed – Chatham House Rule apply.
- Participants will be expected to contribute to an evaluation of the PSG group at the end of the pilot program and otherwise as required.
- All RACMA Fellows, Associate Fellows, and Candidates are eligible to be participants of the PSG in their respective jurisdiction, irrespective of the remoteness or otherwise of their workplace.
- Priority will be given to those applicants who can demonstrate their professional isolation and in particular those in regional remote and rural locations or working as sole practitioners in their organisations.
Click here to view the Terms of Reference document.
PSG activities shall be recognised as a CPD activity by RACMA under the Category Peer Learning. Documentation of PSG activities as CPD, and the required reflections, is the responsibility of individual participants.