Doctors in training form a critical cohort in the AMA. I had the joy of chatting to a group of DITs at AMA WA headquarters recently on a stormy winter evening. The chicken skewers were some compensation for the weather but those attending gave the impression that they care about medicine and the future of healthcare workplace much more than their own comfort for the night.
After presenting my reasons for running as a candidate for President of AMA WA this year they asked some good questions that the AMA as a whole should consider. But when it comes to implementing solutions it is the DITs we must listen to and empower to control their own affairs.
How better to involve the DITs in events that the AMA holds? The profession is short of opportunities for connection. We have seen the decimation of our hospital based opportunities to meet to socialise and have a coffee and chat with other doctors. So much opportunity for networking patient care ideas has been lost. Social events designed to be inclusive and DIT friendly and affordable may fill some of that gap.
How to improve retention within the AMA family of DITs making transition to their specialist status at end of training in particular? This rests in selling the member value proposition – our work on the hospital awards and being able to assist GP registrars should be emphasised. But we are not doing well enough. Ideas around training for DITs in the business side of medicine and of creating an agency to curate and encourage bespoke medical careers within the WA health system would add more value. Allowing for different models of membership such as pay per use and further discounting should be considered as well.
How to make sure our new CEO, starting soon, understands the importance of the DITs? Council representation should probably increase for DITs. Having them front and centre in our policy making body reminds the whole organisation that the things we are used to may not work in the future. Just because we tried something before doesn’t mean it wont work this time. You cant be what you cant see and for the AMA the DITs are our future. The President will be an important mentor the new CEO in their understanding of our culture. Having worked with Paul before as President I am well placed to enable the practical steps that will pass on his passion for DIT causes.
Being able to leverage AMA power in a smart way for the causes important to DITs above all requires that we listen more. Then when we need to unleash our power to improve the culture of workplaces and conditions for our docs we know we are focussing the attack on the correct targets.