Who are we?

Mission, vision and values

Mission

D4D was founded by medical professionals who operate in the field. The organisation believes that structural guidance/support and preventive action can prevent doctors from no longer being able to cope with their job. D4D strives to research how a physician can continue to be the best doctor he or she can be. Because patients deserve healthy and happy doctors that excel at their job.

Vision

D4D wants to be a visible, approachable and recognisable point of contact for the medical profession, offering a vision on care for physicians. By providing medical assistance and psychological support, but also by teaching doctors how to better delineate and organise their practice as well as improving team work.

D4D wants to help spur a cultural change in which medical doctors are allowed to be vulnerable. It also wants to teach them to ask for help on time – when necessary. Self-care is an absolute condition for quality care, both for physicians and their patients. It forces medical doctors to examine their own lifestyle and make corrections. Self-care means having the right amount of time for reflection, to focus on one’s mental health, mindset and on choices that might or might not need to be made.

Preventive action is important and centres on self-care, medical and psychological care for the doctor and for his practice. Ideally, this form of prevention already starts during medical training, where trainee doctors are taught about the risk of burnout, addiction, suicide…

D4D promotes a healthy mindset rather than focussing on the treatment of the symptoms.

D4D acts in collaboration and alongside organisations with the same objectives. D4D wants to keep in touch with the field at all times to know and be aware of developments in this field.

Multidisciplinary support is very important for D4D. D4D relies on a team of medical doctors, psychologists, coaches and other health care providers for this.

We prefer specific intervision teams to individual assistance.

D4D also wants to respond to the cry for help from a physician in distress. D4D therefore offers the possibility of a referral within a formalised network, depending on the physician’s needs.

Values

The consent of the medical doctor in (possible) distress will dictate the next steps. The distressed doctor’s environment can also be offered tailor-made advice. However, when it comes to providing individual care, doctors in distress must specifically request this assistance themselves.

The counsellors guarantee absolute discretion and observe professional secrecy. This is necessary to offer colleagues in need the security they need and to preserve and guarantee the integrity of D4D.

D4D is not a commercial organisation. Our services (website, advice by telephone) are free. The market price applies for individual or group care.

History

In 2007, the NRKP (National Board for Quality Promotion) proposed a fantastic project to the RIZIV (the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance), namely the founding of ‘the Institute of Professional Health Belgium’. This concept focused on providing care to medical doctors in distress as well as on the prevention of burnout and the notion of self-care, starting during a doctor’s training.
The project was inspired by the many national and international alarming messages about doctors’ health issues.
In addition to burnout among physicians, there was also the issue of the high drop-out figures of newly graduated GPs. The intermediate future of GPs was assessed and the impact of these developments on the population of Belgium which is entitled to healthy doctors.

2010: The RIZIV-commission did not agree with the proposal. It did however instruct the KCE (Federal Knowledge Centre for Health Care) to conduct a study about burnout among Belgian GPs, which proposed measures and an approach to prevent burnout.

2011: The results of the KCE study were presented and formulated in 14 recommendations.

2012: The RIZIV provided a budget for developing a business plan. A Task Force with representatives of the scientific GP trade unions SSMG and Domus Medica was established.

An umbrella organisation was also founded in which the various health care stakeholders actively worked to implement the 14 KCE recommendations, each within their own field.

Since 2009, physicians can follow a training course to treat patients with a burnout or with work-related complaints.

At the same time, four health care workers joined forces on 19 April 2011: a psychiatrist, a GP, a psychologist and a coach. By then they already had been meeting informally for quite some time, to discuss their individual cases among others. Together they formed a think tank around D4D (Doctors 4 Doctors). Their aim was to provide doctors in distress with an approachable and recognisable point of contact because this facility did not exist at the time.

In October 2011, they organised a World cafe D4D – a creative brainstorming session – involving 30 experts. In December 2011, a symposium entitled ‘Doctor in Need’ organised by the Royal Society of Doctors of Antwerp reiterated the message that “We have to create a platform for doctors in need!”.

The ‘Non-Profit Organisation D4D’ was born out of this need.

D4D is a non-profit organisation

Articles of association

Below is a link to our articles of association articles of association.

Management and staff

Members of the board:

  • GP Eric BOYDENS, managing director
  • psychiatrist Andy DE WITTE, president
  • GP Paul SMITS
  • GP Annelies VAN LINDEN

Members of the executive committee:

  • GP Eric BOYDENS
  • Anne DE MALSCHE, accounts
  • An TEYSSEN, PR and communication
  • GP Annelies VAN LINDEN
  • Joris VOET, administration

Intake doctors who will handle your request:

  • GP Eric BOYDENS
  • GP Myrjam CRAMM
  • GP Tine VAN HAEGENBORGH

The intake doctors will always handle your request with the utmost discretion and confidentiality.

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