25 September 2020
Doctors Supporting Doctors
Have you ever considered what happens to doctors after they retire? Maybe you've imagined them retiring to a hobby farm, spending more time at the holiday house or travelling extensively. But after that, as they age and perhaps move into aged care or become isolated, what then?
This is something the AMA Victoria (AMAV) thought long and hard about. Then about eight years ago, the AMAV together with the Victorian Medical Insurance Agency Ltd (VMIAL) - the parent of PSA Insurance - came up with a novel and rewarding idea called the Peer Visitor Program (PVP).
The idea behind PVP was to provide companionship to elderly doctors. By sharing medicine related stories and experiences, it taps into the passion the retirees had during their life long careers.
Medical practitioners and medical students volunteer to visit elderly doctors on a regular basis as part of the PVP. This helps reduce loneliness whilst respecting and honouring the elder doctor's professional life.
Dr Anna Power visits retired ENT surgeon Dr John Floyd who studied medicine in 1939. Anna finds it really interesting to listen to John's stories about medicine and reflects that although the have had very different journeys, they do share similarities and a common interest in all things medical. Prior to visiting John, Anna visited Dr Margaret Henderson who passed away at 102 years of age in August 2017.
Since this program first started, many retired doctors have benefited from this companionship. At one facility where there's a group of retired doctors, the PVP has now evolved to provide guest speakers. This includes medical specialists talking about a variety of interesting subjects. In fact, it's been so successful that other residents, such as retired lawyers, are joining in.
Recently, the level 4 COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne have led the AMAV to look at other ways of delivering companionship. This includes Zoom virtual meetings and phone contact. One such meeting was trialled in May, with more to come.
Increasingly this companionship program has become a necessity and, to some extent, a lifeline for our elderly doctors. VMIAL is privileged to be part of this program and help the AMAV create these vital links.
When you insure with PSA Insurance, you become part of our growing family which supports the PVP and other unique philanthropic initiatives funded by VMIAL. These support initiatives focus exclusively on doctors and dentists from their early days as students, to their practicing years and well into retirement. This makes PSA Insurance unique.
If you would like to refer an older doctor to the PVP for companionship, please contact Kay Dunkley at firstname.lastname@example.org.