Violence is a serious public health issue and the medical profession has a role to play in tackling this issue. Occupational violence is a significant problem in Australian general practice. Doctors need training to recognise and manage patients at risk of becoming perpetrators or victims of violent behaviour, both to protect themselves and to reduce violence in the wider community. A national task force on violence in medical practice should be established to monitor, evaluate, prevent, and reduce medical workplace violence. A national summit of all medical groups should be held to examine the increasing violence in Australian society as a public health issue. Australia's medical practitioners are in a strong position to advocate for better mental health, drug and alcohol, and family support services to manage patients at risk of violent behaviour.