Exploring the untold narratives of junior doctors in South Africa Online Launch of Documentary (27 May 2021)
The Covid 19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the importance of frontline healthcare workers worldwide. However, even before the pandemic, junior doctors in South Africa had started speaking out about the negative impacts of working in a system that pushes them to breaking point. The last 14 months of the pandemic have amplified this strain and have left many healthcare professionals burnt out and unable to cope. “
The level of doctors not being able to cope is more than any doctor knows.”- Dr Anesu Mbizvo (28 year old, doctor, yoga teacher and entrepreneur in Johannesburg) “When you are operating in this tunnel-like vision mind set many things fall by the wayside. Relationships, family, mental health, physical health..”-Dr Brendan Savary ( 28 years old, medical officer based in Johannesburg. Husband and soon to be father) The reasons for this sit both at the systemic level and include the long working hours, under-resourced environments and more recently the lack of hospital safety at certain institutions, but also at the micro-level in how healthcare workers are often ill-equipped to deal with the trauma and lack of support they face in their workplaces.
Through a series of three interviews with junior doctors in South Africa all on very different paths, A Quiet Implosion seeks to explore what are some of the root causes of so many doctors not coping, what are some of the ways this problem can be addressed and how the next generation of doctors can be a part of creating change in the healthcare system. “These are not challenges that are unaddressable. These are not lofty goals… we could make it better for everyone.”-Dr Nic Thompson (31-year-old Emergency medicine doctor, Cape Town)
This docuseries was produced by Dr. Cyan Brown, a medical doctor with a keen passion for public health and helping to build more innovative, sustainable and inclusive healthcare systems and communities.The documentary is supported by Atlantic Fellows based at Tekano, a fellowship programme which the producer, Dr. Brown, is a graduate of. Tekano believes in addressing the inequities in the South African Health System in an effort to create a healthier, more equal nation with improved access to healthcare and services for all populations in South Africa. This documentary was funded as part of Dr. Brown’s social change initiative during the Fellowship journey.
“Our generation of doctors has to start advocating for building a more sustainable healthcare system that looks after all healthcare workers.
We cannot safeguard the health of our patients if burnout is normalized and exhaustion is seen as a status symbol. We need to have more honest conversations about this issue and ways we can start creating change.” Dr Cyan Brown (28 year old doctor and public health activist based in Johannesburg)
Join the LIVE Online Launch of the Documentary which explores the lived experiences of 3 young doctors in South Africa as they share vulnerably, powerfully and in the hope of catalyzing change. The launch will share snippets of the documentary followed by a panel of speakers that will unpack the key issues that young doctors in South Africa face on a daily basis, but more importantly, talk about big and small ways change can be created to look after healthcare workers and build a more sustainable healthcare system.
Dr Anesu Mbizvo - Click Here
Dr Brendan Savary - Click Here
Dr Nicolas Thompson - Click Here
'A Quiet Implosion' - Click Here