HeadCoach for Physicians is an online training mental health training program for physician supervisors to equip them with the skills to better support the mental health and manage the work environment of doctors-in-training.

The development of HeadCoach for Physician supervisors was informed by consultation with physician supervisors, mental health online training experts, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and the research literature on mental health issues amongst doctors.

The HeadCoach for Physicians program is a self-guided online program that completed in 1.5 hours. It consists of three overarching topics that cover common mental illnesses amongst doctors, responsive strategies for helping doctors in need, and how to minimise mental health risks at work.

HeadCoach for Physicians has been evaluated in a pilot study (see below for publication) and cluster randomised controlled trial (publication in development). This research has shown that HeadCoach for Physicians can benefit physician supervisors by building their confidence and responsive supervisory behaviours in supporting doctor-in-training mental health.  


The program aims to build physician supervisors’ confidence in supporting the mental health of doctors-in-training and promote supervisorial behaviours that are more likely to result in a mentally healthy workplace. It also seeks to improve mental health literacy and reduce stigmatising attitudes towards mental health issues.


Over the lifespan of this project, we have: tailored the program to physicians who supervise doctors-in-training through consultation with physician supervisors and their peak professional body; conducted a pilot to assess the acceptability and feasibility of the program; incorporated additional program content and resources based on pilot feedback; and conducted a cluster randomised controlled trial with physician supervisors in Australia and New Zealand.


  • Australian Government Department of Health through The Prevention Hub
  • iCare Foundation



Gayed, A., Kugenthiran, N., LaMontagne, A.D., Christensen, H., Glozier, N. and Harvey, S.B. (2021). Can an online mental health training program improve physician supervisors’ behaviour towards trainees? Internal Medicine Journal, Accepted Author Manuscript. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/imj.15...