The JMO Be Well program has been established by NSW Health to provide funding to support local workforce projects that contribute towards improving Junior Medical Officer (JMO) wellbeing, training and supervision. The program is a new initiative arising from the NSW Health JMO Wellbeing and Support Plan.

The JMO Be Well program is a significant investment in local workforce innovation and provides the opportunity for organisations to design and deliver projects that meet local needs. One of the main objectives is to develop an evidence base of effective local workforce innovations that can be replicated across the State.

The first round of applications for funding was held towards the end of 2018. Eight projects have been successfully awarded funding and are described below. Updates on any future funding rounds will be provided on this webpage.

For any program enquiries please email  

Local Health District

Project title

Project description

Nepean Blue ​Mountains LHD

Enhancing JMO mental health and wellbeing through interventions designed to change workplace culture

This is an integrated project with two components:

  1. An education intervention: JMOs will learn how to self-assess and monitor wellbeing and to employ techniques to optimise wellbeing, including positive psychology, mindfulness, self/peer coaching and other compassion. The program will be delivered through 8-10 fortnightly face to face small group workshops by fifteen experienced medical educators from Nepean (working in pairs), trained as facilitators in positive psychology techniques and mindfulness
  2. Embedding the intervention by exploring the workplace environment and culture: Simultaneously to (1), we will use a novel interdisciplinary approach to understand the workforce factors that influence JMOs’ confidence, performance and wellbeing. These include work design, supervision and a supportive and collaborative team environment. This action research component supports the intervention by providing JMOs and their supervisors’ feedback about JMOs’ experiences and the workplace factors that best support JMOs’ learning, performance and wellbeing. The research consists of a longitudinal, within subjects design where we track JMOs experiences in each rotation, enabling us to develop evidence about how different work context factors affect JMO wellbeing.


Sydney LHD

Roll out of BPTOK to JMOs

The “MD OK” program will be a phased roll out of the award winning “BPT OK” program to all interns, residents and senior resident medical officers in Sydney LHD. The BPTOK program was established in 2017 at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, with the aim of empowering Basic Physician Trainees (BPTs) with the knowledge and skills to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing, not only during the training years, but for the rest of their careers. With overwhelming positive feedback and a demonstrable improvement in BPT sick leave and SAC1/2 medication errors, benefits from BPTOK have been realised by our trainees, organisation and importantly, our patients. Sydney HD is now keen to roll this program out to a larger number of junior medical staff.

“MD OK” will similarly comprise of a series of professional development workshops, team based physical activities, skilled mentoring, mindfulness training and the provision of biofeedback devices.

South Eastern Sydney LHD

JMO Mental Health First Aid – Train the Trainer

The project will provide added resources to support the Mental Health and Psychological Wellbeing of JMOs by training managers in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). The project will train JMO Managers, Education Support Officers and other non-clinical staff who are often the first point of contact when JMOs are distressed or facing difficulties in the workplace.

Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based training course which gives staff the skills and confidence to have supportive conversations with colleagues, and help guide them to professional help if needed. It has been shown to increase knowledge, confidence and helping behaviours, and reduce stigma.

St Vincent’s Hospital Network

Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal Junior Doctors

Aboriginal Junior Doctors who have the potential to make great contributions to the healthcare system and should be well supported in their early years. The primary focus is to attract and retain Aboriginal Junior Doctors to compete their prevocational and, where appropriate, their vocational and specialist training years at St Vincent’s Hospital Services and to encourage them to take leadership roles. It is intended to study the effectiveness of the program to understand which aspects are most valuable in supporting the wellbeing and growth of Aboriginal junior doctors with the aim of replicating this across the State.

The initiative will include partnerships across the medical continuum, extra support through mentoring and administrative services, sponsorships or scholarships to cover training costs, support to attend key Indigenous events, opportunity for leadership development and potential secondment at local Aboriginal Medical Services.

Murrumbidgee LHD

Pre-Reg Ready!

JMOs face enhanced stress while on rural rotations due to dislocation from normal support networks. These stressors are compounded by the transition to junior registrar roles as work hours and responsibilities increase. Furthermore, the hospital has a high number of JMOs from diverse backgrounds who are more vulnerable to transitions to rural areas where cultural supports may be different from their home network. Rural JMOs may report that research opportunities, specialty training and entry onto training pathways are difficult to access in rural areas.

The “Pre-Reg Ready!” program would develop and extend existing local and state-wide small pilot programs to provide an integrated program of transition from JMOs to junior registrar roles. Our program “Pre-Reg Ready!” focuses on minimising the stressful transition for residents to junior registrar roles by facilitating:

  • Improved supervision and mentoring (residents co-supervise after hours with senior registrars),
  • Active career planning (preparation to minimise stress in entry to specialty pathways),
  • Rural research network (to promote positive opportunities for research into rural JMO welfare and recruitment)
  •  “Network Networking” with intern-resident-registrar social functions with each term changeover to induct rotating JMOs into rural specific health and social networks
  • Building clinical and supervision capacity through locally delivered Teaching on the Run modules, and ruralism in General Practice.
  • Health Promotion through integrated health days.

Northern Sydney LHD

Rethinking the Medical Workforce at RNSH

A key driver of JMO Wellbeing is workload which drives overtime, hours of work, work-life balance, career security and overall stress levels.  Additionally, the cost pressures from overtime, accrued days off, untaken leave, internal inefficiencies and workaround have become a major constrain in safety, performance and impacts on quality of care.

This initiative proposes a systematic evidence based evaluation of the JMO workload at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) with a view to ensuring sustainable, satisfied, well-trained and effective medical workforce is in place. This will include a qualitative study of the ‘lived experience’ of working as a JMO at RNSH and a quantitative analysis of relative and absolute workload both in-hours and out-of-hours,

This will facilitate the development and implementation of solutions including but not limited to targeted increased in staffing numbers, redistribution of existing workforce, ‘low end’ work substitution and implementation of wellbeing and support systems.

Hunter New England LHD

Return to Work Program for JMOs

Periods of absence from clinical work may occur for various reasons such as maternity and paternity leave, academic work, recreational leave, illness and injury. Returning to work can be a stressful time and it is important that the JMO is supported during this period.

This project is a return to work program for JMOs. The desired outcomes are:

  • Design and implementation of a return to work simulation course for JMOs to be run by the HNE Simulation Centre which would include immersive scenarios, crisis resource management skills and adult life support
  • Design and implementation of a structured return to work program for JMOs to ensure they return to safe and confident clinical practice. This would incorporate:
    •  Methods of keeping in touch with clinical practice during the period of absence
    • Providing access to a specific return to work simulation course
    • A needs analysis prior to returning to work to facilitate tailoring of the program to the individual
    • Ongoing support and review of the JMO’s clinical progress and welfare needs after they have returned to work
  • Ensure that the JMOs who have had leave from practice are not disadvantaged in their ongoing medical education and training.

Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD

Balint group support and growth for JMOs



This project would aim to establish and develop the workforce training for JMO Balint Group(s) to be started in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, as well as extend the evidence base for this intervention into the JMO group.

Balint groups are a type of facilitated support group that has evidence for improving medical student empathy for patients and each other, and subsequently preventing burnout. There have been a number of studies in medical students, and all indicators are that this benefit would continue in the JMO group, but further research is needed.

The project would be aimed at establishing an initial Balint Group with local psychiatrists who are trained in this area, while simultaneously training co-facilitators who can continue the groups on a wider scale within the LHD. There would also be outcome measures taken pre- and post-intervention to assess effects (with a control group), with the aim of expanding the evidence base for the intervention in this region.

Current as at: Friday 1 February 2019