Beyond the Stethoscope
Doctor's stories of reclaiming hope, heart and healing in medicine
- Our health care system is sick. We live in an era of factory style medicine, spiralling costs, complex and chronic conditions, and doctors at the heart of it under pressure as never before. Witnessing worrying burnout in her doctor husband, Lucy Mayes went on a quest to find out what is really going on behind the scenes in medicine. Lucy asked doctors on the front lines how they make meaning in their work, what quality medicine looks like to them, and what their hopes are for the future of medicine. What emerged were consistent messages about elements of practice that the culture and systems of medicine still struggle to understand and support: the power of humanism; compassion; listening; the therapeutic relationship; preventative care; the doctors’ own wellbeing journey; and mind-body plus other holistic understandings of health and healing. Beyond the Stethoscope will leave readers shocked, moved and inspired by the struggles, wisdom and insights of those who sit before them in that most ancient and intimate of humanist exchanges: that of the doctor and patient.
- Lucy Mayes is a trained lawyer, social worker and company director. She works as a leadership, community and organisational development consultant, and story catcher. Her writing has been published in literary and academic journals and she is a sought-after speaker and facilitator. Lucy has served on several not-for-profit boards and has worked in leadership development for over twenty years. Her innovative work in leadership has led to her being awarded a Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship, and being Victorian runner up of the prestigious Australian Rural. Women’s Award in 2008. Lucy lives in Central Victoria, Australia where she is a proud and passionate mother, wife and community member. Her interest in the medical profession stems from her role as ‘doctor’s wife,’ and also from a former life practicing medical litigation law, and a lifetime interest in human systems and purpose at work. Castlemaine, VIC.
Foreword - Associate Professor Craig Hassed 19
1 - Let’s talk honestly - Dr Nina Sawicki, General Practitioner, NZ - 43
2 - Don’t fix the dead wood - Dr David Reilly, Consultant Physician & Healthcare Reformist, UK - 53
3 - A 65,000-year-long randomised controlled trial, unpublished - Dr Mark Wenitong, Aboriginal Medical Advisor (Aus) 64
4 “Excuse me, has the liver got a name?” - Dr Elizabeth Lewis, Psychiatrist (Aus) 73
5 The poetry of medicine - Dr Glenn Colquhoun, General Practitioner and Poet (NZ) 87
6 Meaning and medicine - Dr Brian Broom Immunologist, Psychotherapist, Lecturer and Author (NZ) 101
7 A witness and an ally - Dr Katie Moore, Paediatric Oncologist (Aus) 115
8 “The best of my knowledge and ability” - Dr Tralee Sugrue, General Practitioner and Homeopath (NZ) 129
9 Putting the patient at the centre - Dr Catherine Crock AM, Physician and Founder of The Hush Foundation (Aus) 135
10 To be vulnerable is to be strong - Dr Mark Davis, Psychiatrist (NZ) 149
11 Lifestyle and prevention: The future - Associate Professor Vicki Kotsirilos AM Holistic General Practitioner and Health Leader (Aus) 157
12 Healer, heal thyself - Dr Meaburn Staniland, General Practitioner (NZ) 167
13 Hearts in Healthcare - Dr Robin Youngson, Anaesthetist, Author & Co-founder of Hearts in Healthcare (NZ) 171
14 The joy of being a generalist - Dr Veronica Moule General Practitioner Obstetrician and Homeopath (Aus) 185
15 Open hearted surgeon - Dr Sharad Paul, Surgeon, Author and Teacher 193
16 “I’ll look after your child” - Dr Peter Howe, Paediatric Anaesthetist (Aus) 207
17 Clowning, curiosity and a love of people - Dr John Barton, General Practitioner and Psychotherapist (NZ) 221
18 Islands of rebellion – Islands of empowerment - Professor Vikram Patel, Psychiatrist and International Mental Health Innovator (India & UK) 229
19 Korero - Dr Jenny Simpson, General Practitioner (NZ) 239
20 East meets West - Dr Joan Campbell, General Practitioner and Traditional Chinese Medical Practitioner (NZ) 247
21 Time to care - Dr Liz Harding, General Practitioner (NZ) 265
22 Get real and feel - Dr Melvyn Polon, Paediatrician (Aus) 275
23 Crazy socks doc - Dr Geoffrey Toogood, Cardiologist & Doctors’ Mental Health Advocate (Aus) 283
24 “First do no harm” - Dr Robin Kelly, General Practitioner, Acupuncturist & Author (NZ) 291
25 Dancing doctor - Dr Richard Mayes, General Practitioner Obstetrician & Medical Educator (Aus) 303
Contributor Profiles 317
Further Reading 329
- 1 - Beyond the Stethoscope presents true, human interest stories of the most powerful kind - revealing the underbelly of a broken system and those struggling to survive within it. A timely account which coincides with current media and public interest in the toxic and dehumanising work cultures and practices in medicine, and concerning rates of suicide and burnout amongst doctors. We all need doctors. We need them to be healthy and well and we need the systems they work in to be healthy and well. These are their untold stories of wrestling with exhaustion and despair, while striving for hope, purpose and wellbeing.
2 - A side effect of the project was insight into the power and influence of big business and cultural and structural influences over what is considered 'good medicine'. A number of the doctors interviewed challenge the status quo of their training and structural requirements, and, out of integrity of their professional commitment to 'do no harm', look to integrate more holistic views of health and healing into their mainstream practice.
3 - Author Lucy Mayes, a lawyer, writer and social worker has witnessed first hand her doctor husband's frightening struggles with the overwhelming demands of his profession. She also saw his yearning to bring whole human care onto the same footing as science and economics in his practice, and the barriers to humanism on all sides. She felt strongly: here was a story that needed to be told. She spent 8 years travelling around Australia, New Zealand and further afield bearing witness to, and capturing the stories of doctors working across multiple specialties and contexts.
4 - Beyond the Stethoscope is for members of the general public who have an interest in true stories; society and its major institutions; the struggle between economics and care; the shared human journey of finding purpose; meaning and wellbeing at work; humanity at work in human systems; holistic health and wellness and the future of medicine.
5 - Beyond the Stethoscope includes interviews with some high profile doctors, some with international reputations and followings as authors, educational leaders, and sector advocates. Including Professor Vikram Patel (UK & India public health expert), Dr David Reilly (UK government health advisor), Dr Robin Youngson (world leader in compassionate care) Dr Catherine Crock (world leader in patient centred care), Dr Vicki Kostirilos (author, teacher & integrative healthcare leader), Dr Craig Hassed (author, educator & mindfulness expert), Dr Glenn Colqhoun (award winning author and poet), Dr Brian Broom (author & founder Mind-Body Health studies, Auckland University), Dr Mark Wenitong (Aboriginal health leader) and Dr Robin Kelly (author), Dr Geoffry Toogood (mental health advocate), and Dr Sharad Paul (surgeon, author, public speaker, entrepreneur, philanthropist).
* Professional PR agencies engaged in both Australia and New Zealand with strategic campaign involving contributed content across various media platforms (mags, newspapers, online, radio &tv).
* Full author support with supported social media strategy, management of social media platforms with 1500+ followers, offerings of free content to print and online media.
* Richard, Lucy's husband also has his own profile with media interest in relation to his story as "dancing doctor" and "mullet man" - having embraced dance as his self-care tool and becoming an accidental min-celebrity with a feel good news story in the process.
* Recently featured in Qantas magazine and on The Project.
* Richard and Lucy are experienced in presentation, communication and media skills and are available for interview alone or together. Also active in industry circles, media and events.
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