Dr YES is a school-based harm minimisation health initiative of the Australian Medical Association (WA). It commenced in 1996, and is delivered through the AMA (WA) Foundation. Dr YES sends trained volunteer medical students into metropolitan and rural high schools to have frank, open discussions on topics concerning youth health such as drugs and alcohol, sexual health and mental health.
The underlying purpose of all the sessions is to help high school students make healthy choices in risky situations. The medical students discuss the issues high school students face with the aim of equipping them with the confidence and knowledge necessary to make that healthy choice.
The sessions at the schools are fun, entertaining and informative; helping to provide accurate information about topics that may not normally be discussed with a teacher. Dr YES’ success is a product of the peer-to-peer style of sessions that the medical students facilitate. This helps students to develop an atmosphere of mutual respect and confidence. Dr YES is well supported by the medical faculties of the University of Western Australia, University of Notre Dame Australia and Curtin University. The program is also well received by high schools across Western Australia.
In 2018 Dr YES delivered sessions in schools across Perth as well as traveling north to Port Hedland and south to Albany.
In 2017 Dr YES delivered sessions in schools in the Perth Metropolitan area, as well as in Mandurah, Geraldton, Bunbury and surrounding areas.
In conjunction with the Dr YES program, a youth specific GP education program, Youth Friendly Doctor (YFD) training is delivered. Dr YES encourages students to see a GP about any health issues they may have, and the YFD program facilitates this by training GPs to be as approachable to young people and as well informed on matters of concern to adolescents as is possible.