Promising breakthrough: dramatic miracle cure offers hope to victims

Doctor's bag

Miracle cures don't exist

The problem with headlines about medical breakthroughs and miracle cures is that they never live up to the expectations. On the other hand, the breakthroughs happening every day in primary care do not attract much media attention.

Seventeen years ago medical journalist professor Schwitzer published the seven words you shouldn’t use in medical news: ‘promise’, ‘breakthrough’, ‘dramatic’, ‘miracle’, ‘cure’, ‘hope’ and ‘victim’. Has Schwitzer’s taboo list made an impact?

Words you shouldn't use in medical news Source: Twitter

Not really. A quick Google search shows that the same words are still used to celebrate ‘heroic medicine’ – often surgical interventions, new drugs or medical technologies. Scientific progress and developments are important but not always easily translated to every day care for every day Australians. They are never ‘miracle cures’.

At the same time we see an ongoing increase in spending on hospital treatments and little investment in keeping Australians healthy and out of hospital. The breakthroughs in primary care…

View original post 524 more words


A weekend of firsts in Japan


Kudos to Manabu Saito for the many firsts in his Rural Generalist Workshop supported by the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine. In a move that is new to Japan Dr Saito ran a workshop for six Vanguard Rural Generalists of the Japanese Rural Generalist Program, with Specialists in Anaesthetics, Obstetrics, Surgery, Cardiology, Orthopaedics and Radiology, running sessions on clinical skill building and exposure to cross discipline knowledge.


Medical knowledge was coupled with feedback and performance improvement, another first for the Registrars as their supervisors gave them personal feedback not only in medical knowledge but also their evolving use of the English language with the very excellent Jasmine Millman.

Jasmine is a Dietician, English teacher and Ph.D. Student living on Okinawa researching gut microbial biomes as a possible key to the longevity of Japanese people’s lives. It was a pleasure to meet another Australian passionately supporting the…

View original post 97 more words

Bion’s Theory of Assumptive Cultures

Some fundamental work on group dynamics

Group Dynamics

Group psychotherapists often discuss the work of W. R. Bion, who offered up a host of insights into groups and their processes in his writings, but particularly in his book Experiences in Groups, which was published by Tavistock in 1959 but then circulated much more widely in 1961 (when printed by Basic Books).  Bion was a classically trained psychoanalyst, who with his colleague John Rickman used groups as part of treatment program carried out during World War II at a Northfield Military Hospital. The treatment they implemented there was radical for times, but includes the basic principles found in most group-level approaches to change—flattened status structures, development of a therapeutic milieu, focus on the group and its dynamics (the “here and now” perspective) rather than on events external to the group, and the development of trust and openness.

Those experiences in the group apparently puzzled Bion considerably, and he spent…

View original post 974 more words

For the Doers of Deeds

No truer words Edwin

Doctor's bag

the man in the arena

A wise quote, one of my favourites, for all decision makers, leaders and ‘doers of deeds’:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the person who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.

~ Theodore Roosevelt

Image: Gladiator (2000 film), Dreamworks.

View original post

When bicycles & biros are needed. Not Porsches & Parkers

Dr Thinus' musings

Another concerning story about the deeply flawed NDIS system recently surfaced.

Over $ 400, 000 for one individual. And he is worse off.

I have posted my views about the NDIS before. It is a deeply flawed scheme. This unfortunate man now has $400K in funding yet his care deteriorates.

Despite all the rhetoric about patient choices etc. it is simply one massive money grab for ruthless entrepreneurs who sees it as easy money.
The most frightening aspect as that all the State & Federal services that used to provide theses services are now shut down with list skills & facilities.  There is nothing to go back to when the NDIS runs out of funds – as if surely will.

We are used to seeing media storms about privatisation in healthcare and education. The sentiment against it is a valid concern for the viability of the process and exploitation of…

View original post 93 more words

Not just a GP – I’m your specialist in uncertainty


uncertaintyAs a GP I’m your ‘specialist in life’. Yet life, as we know, is a tumultuous, unpredictable creature.

What I actually specialise in is managing chaos.

It’s no exaggeration to boast that, after 25 years of constant practice, I have mastered the art of uncertainty.

Mastery is not an end point, of course — the day an expert stops learning is the day expertise wanes. But I, along with thousands of my GP colleagues, am about as good as it gets.

Collectively, we experienced GPs constitute the A-team of sorting out the whims and vagaries of all of life’s assaults upon health.

Give me a thousand people with a fever (or just hang around my office for a year) and I’ll sift through them more accurately, safely, swiftly and cost effectively than any other health profession in Australia.

It’s what I do.

I’ll do it cheaper than a paediatrician, safer…

View original post 373 more words

10 podcasts for GPs (and their patients)

Doctor's bag

10 podcasts for GPs

I really enjoy podcasts. There is something appealing about listening to people’s stories via the cloud – and at a convenient time and place. I usually listenon the way to work.

Apparently Australia is the fourth largest consumer of podcasts in the world. In 2014 I posted 6 great podcasts for primary care, one of the most visited articles on this blog. As podcasting seems to be more popular then ever and new podcasts for family doctors have been launched since my last post, it istime for an update.

So here is my top10. Many podcasts are suitable for a wider audience. Click on the iTunes or SoundCloud logo to listen, and feel free to share your favouritesin the comments section.

And of course, a big thank you to all podcasters.

#1: The Good GP

Named after the successful RACGP media campaign, The Good GP is a new…

View original post 471 more words