Mr Perfect and #socks4docs

Mental health and depression are serious issues. GPs see, treat, and support people with these issues everyday but who looks after the GPs? We can see that doctors are only human and suffer the same stresses as everyone else. Sadly, sometimes, it is too much.

 

 

 

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I wrote previously about how to detect depression in patients. ‘Listen to the patient’, ‘How do they feel?’, ‘How do they make you feel?’. Experienced GPs can spot depression a mile off…in other people. How many turn that acumen on themselves? How many have their own GP to care for them?

 

 

I also wrote ‘American studies show patients are scared of psychiatric referral. Australian GPs are also scared of psychiatric referral’ and ‘Untreated depression is associated with decreased quality of life and increased mortality. Depression can be successfully treated and treatment is effective. The earlier the better!’. This is as true for GPs and doctors as it is for every other person.

So GPs, doctors, and others – Exercise, diet, psychotherapy, GP counselling, reducing drug and alcohol use, getting more and better sleep are all options. These take time and effort so give yourself permission to spend these on You. Your friends, family, and colleagues are here for you. They will #bekind.

 

 

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Depression is not just a chemical imbalance. No pill can defeat the entirety of the patient’s life and circumstances pushing them in the wrong direction. Consider the your environment and be aware of the particular pressures of medical work and life. GPs have a fantastic and privileged therapeutic relationship with their patients, and they can use this to capitalise on the essential window of time before delivering medical advice. This “privileged moment for change” prepares people to be receptive to a message before they experience it. Robert Cialdini has coined the term ‘pre-suasion’ to describe this. The therapeutic relationship allows pre-suasion, and therapeutic change can then be addressed, with consideration of motivation, opportunity, and ability.

 

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Dr Eric Levi has literally stepped forward online with the #crazysocks4docs / #socks4docs hashtags. It’s a lighthearted way of getting us to acknowledge a serious topic. I’m in!

 

 

 

#socks4docs (holiday edition)

 

 

 

 

 

The equally dapper Terry Cornick has been kind enough to contribute his story to my blog – and I hope it gives some of you hope, a good read, and another option for you and your patients.

 

 

 

Terry is a Healthcare Consultant, Mental Health Advocate and Freelance Writer.

His professional background includes Consulting in Healthcare and he loves creating, research, technology, and communications. Daily he deals and develops relationships with Doctors so knows a little about them too and the unique stresses they are placed under.


Initially as a hobby, Terry created a grassroots men’s mental health support network named “Mr. Perfect” that is growing by the minute. Although it does not pay a cent, it pays handsomely in purpose. You can check it out at
www.mrperfect.org.au


Known sarcastically by his wife as “Dr Terry” he lives on the North Shore of Sydney with his young family and is currently contemplating his next move professionally, navigating the ever challenging and life-threatening dilemma for men of “providing” yet being “Mr. Perfect” personally too.

 

Trying to summarise and reduce my story to a blog is a challenge to say the least. Although a relatively spritely 33 years old, the increasing grey hairs and wrinkles around my eyes and my “old soul” remind me daily this life is a battle. And the battle is ultimately with yourself (hands up I have paraphrased this from a song I once heard, I just cannot remember which).

I love to compartmentalise and segment so my mind can attempt to process things, ideas, events, thoughts, feelings. Broadly speaking I did this with my life; pre-25 years old, 25 to 30 years old and 30 years old and beyond.

The first stage can sometimes appear as a blur. But perhaps an easier way of me dealing with it. It was a painful period for the majority of it. A challenging upbringing, tragic events, abuse and trauma pushed me so far into a shell that I never thought I would emerge from it.

 

 

During the okay times, this was okay with me. My introverted character and lack of self-esteem meant hiding was easier and far less painful. Until the occasional explosions. But life then returned to the blur.

A couple of moments in my early Twenties truly made me question my sanity. So at 21 years old I googled “Depression”. I matched 6 out of 8 symptoms. So clearly I was fine. I closed the laptop and the cycle of darkness continued as did the periodical suicidal meltdowns (behind closed doors of course).

Then the “Great Escape” took me to the other side of the world travelling. Less than two years later I was back in Australia for good, despite this being the deepest, darkest scene of my life. After a night out on the Gold Coast I stood on a balcony peering and leaning over contemplating that this was a good time to jump and end the pain. I felt so weak and thankfully, eventually, stepped back.

Somehow, after a few more substantial blips and obstacles, my life starting to become what others saw as “success”. More money that I knew what to do with, travel, a waterside apartment and a beautiful partner. One of my best mates teased me at work and called me “Mr. Perfect” regularly, not knowing 1% of my history or what was going on in my complex mind.

 

 

Look familiar?

 

 

Behind the acting and those curtains and backstage was a chaotic scene. Anxiety, PTSD and Depression drove me to the edge. But approaching my 30th year on this earth I made some changes. As I was about to get married, my absent dad passed away in the UK. I was sick of my job and when we started to talk about having a family, I could imagine putting my child through a similar existence.

So I visited my in-law’s family GP. He looked me in the eye and asked “How long have you felt like this?” I paused. “For as long as I can remember.” His usually relaxed face turned serious. “I know a great Psychiatrist I would like you to see”. It took every ounce of energy to do so but once that train was in motion I was getting professional help (lucky enough to have the resources to do this privately) and within six months I felt positive.

I started writing a book and then a blog (I did not show my wife) and Mr. Perfect was born. A chat in the pub with mates, a cursory read of a report about men’s “connectedness” and healthcare professionals I know telling me there was little grassroots support for their male patients, and the Mr. Perfect movement gained momentum.

 

 

There have been many blips, I am not “Perfect” after all. From stopping my medication without advice, from stopping my Doctor appointments to then leading back to professional help when the cloudy spells turned into storms and into hurricanes. These weather systems are here for life, and that’s okay, but with the right strategies I can turn this into something impactful for others.

But there is hope. Friends, family and colleagues have all benefited and most importantly my son will arguably be the most loved and supported kid when it comes to talking about his mental health.

 

 

Thanks Terry! You can see the themes above of time and a relationship as potent therapy for the management of major depressive disorder in general practice. The initial clinical gestalt and the ongoing therapeutic relationship can be powerful tools for change. Depression is subjective and has been part of the human condition throughout history. This gives us all we need to move forward.

 

 

 

 It therefore seems fitting to end with the words of a doctor from another time:

“The three grand essentials of happiness are: Something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for.”

Alexander Chalmers (29 March 1759 – 29 December 1834)

 

 

 

If you are worried about depression, anxiety, or have any other mental health concerns, reach out:

ACIS 131465 (South Australia – Acute Crisis Intervention Service)

 

 

 

Partridge Street Doctors

 

 

Your GP at Partridge Street General Practice

Dr Gareth Boucher

 

 

Dr Penny Massy-Westropp

 

 

Dr Monika Moy

 

 

Dr Katherine Astill

 

 

Dr Nick Mouktaroudis

 

 

Dr Nick Tellis

 

 

Beyond Blue & Beyond Blue New Access (free mental health coaching)

 

 

Mr Perfect

 

 

Doctor’s Health SA

 

 

GPs Down Under

 

 

GPDU

The RACGP EGM – #bekind

The RACGP is about to have an Extraordinary General Meeting.

 

 

Why and why is this important?

 

 

The YES case from Dr Edwin Kruys 

The NO case from Dr Harry Nespolon

I see a lot of anger in the GP community.

 

This didn’t go well…

Some of this anger comes across like this:

Read up on the changes here and here.

I’m voting – are you? I believe General Practice is one of the greatest vocations around. Don’t be angry, be informed, support your college and your colleagues, and #bekind.

 

Happy voting!

Business For Doctors Conference

Good Medicine is Good Business.

I’ve summed it all up in five words. The End. I’ve been an owner of medical practices for over 10 years and a doctor for nearly double that. Good Medicine is the bedrock of all Good Medical Businesses  but it’s not all that goes into a Good Medical Business. How do you practice Good Medicine when you can’t pay your bills? How can you keep your mind on your valued patients if business worries are weighing on you? Your Business starts with You and so looking after yourself is a great start. A healthy mind in a healthy body and a business focus in a medical career are great systems for allowing doctors to practice the great medicine their valued patients deserve.

nick tellis running melbourne

I’m heading off to the Business for Doctors conference in Melbourne. I’ve packed my running gear and I’ll be working on my business focus, a healthy mind, a healthy body, and a great practice.

melbourne by night
Melbourne – who can resist?

Here’s some of the conference details.

Friday Program

Friday June 2 2017


2 Keynotes, 23 workshops including 2 interactive business learning workshops for BAS and Web design.

Keynote Speakers
Dr April Armstrong – Founder and Director, Business for Doctors
Michael Traill – Using Business Disciplines for Social Purpose. Lessons from the trenches of social enterprise.
Headshots Professional Photographs (Full delegates only or $50 onsite) from 10am

Workshop Presenters include:
Dr Jon Brown – Web Design
Dr April Armstrong – MBS – Pack & Stack – strategic model for maximising income in general practice
Dr Juvi Arulanandararajah – Stress management – “Burnout”
Dr Sachin Patel – Seven secrets of a Successful private practice
Dr Cate Howell – Navigating Relationships
Jamie Holroyd – Stratosphere – How to grow your practice & One page business plan
Alan Smith – Accountant – BAS workshop
Matthew Holden – Accountant – Business Structures for Doctor & Understand Tax Strategies
Arabin-Foye Private Wealth – Ryder Widdowson – What I wished doctors knew about money and wealth (double session)
Health & Co – Selling your practice to a corporate & Tax consideration when selling your business
Medlife- Roy Bostleman – – Understanding Personal Insurances: Tips for Optimising your Policies & Personal Insurance for Practice Owners: Tips and Trap
Tego – Melanie Tan – Demystifying medical indemnity and ways to mitigate your risk
BOQ – Melinda Goddard & Lloyd Levin – Financing a practice – New start-ups and Buy ins

Cocktail Networking: Included with Full, discount and day delegate tickets. Tickets Available on request for partners, practice managers and medical colleagues and BFD Facebook members – $50

Saturday Program

Saturday June 3 2017

2 keynote speakers, 23 workshops and including 2 interactive workshops.
Headshots professional Photographs (full delegates only or $50 onsite) from 8.30am

Keynote speakers
Noel Whittaker – Building wealth in Challenging Times
Dr Cate Howell

Workshop Presenters Include
Dr Jon Brown – Web design 2 – marketing and google analytics
Dr Sachin Patel – The 5 pillars of preventative life care
Dr Cate Howell – Work-life integration & Emotional Intelligence
Stratosphere – Jamie Holroyd – Budgets Forecasts- Profit & loss/Balance Sheet/Cash flow
Dr George Forgan-Smith – Marketing and Branding – interactive workshop
Dr Juvi Arulanandararajah – How to keep your self (and yourself) sane, productive and happy
Nexus Legal – Alan Prasad – Business Structures – understanding tax and strategies to minimise & Case Study on Legal Risks
Employsure – Brad Walkes & Elizabeth Burns- The importance of contracts and policies for business owners
Araban-Foyle Private Wealth Pty Ltd – Ryder Widdowson – Superannuation and Self managed super funds (double session)
Brentnells SA – transitioning from Employee Doctors to Independent Practitioner & High Performing Medical Practices

Gala Dinner – Tickets $150 – additional tickets now available for practice manager, partners and medical colleagues. BFD Facebook members $175

Sunday June 4 2017

Key Note Speaker
Tim Read – Marketing – The Boomerang Effect
Dr April Armstrong – closing address and special announcements

Workshop Presenters:

Dr Cate Howell – Health and Wellbeing Script
Stratosphere – Jamie Holroyd- Shareholders and Partners Agreements & Debt and balance sheet gearing
Dr April Armstrong – MBS workshop (double session) Implementing Billing Strategies – double your billings in 60 days
Property Investment – Quantity Surveying

Workshop Recordings: All Keynote speakers, practice set up and MBS workshops will be recorded as well as a number of other workshops over the 2 1/2 days. Full delegates can request recordings at no charge once available from armchair medical

You can read more here.

I’m really looking forward to this and taking back some valuable information. Feel free to say hi when you see me running around at the conference and like this post and there’s a coffee in it! Partridge Street General Practice is also looking for Great GPs – could it be you?

Remember – GPs and other doctors are always learning. Learn more, be better, practice better medicine AND have more time for you, your family, your patients, and your health! What more could you ask?

Budget 2017 in Pictures

Politicians are going to politic.

What do GPs have to say about it?

Dr Ewen McPhee on behalf of the RDAA

Dr Bastian Seidel on behalf of the RACGP

 

 

 

 

So, in summary, it’s not great but we’re still Here to Help.

If you have ANY questions – See Your GP!

Our Team can Help You.

 

 

You can see any of our Great GPs right here:

Dr Nick Tellis

Dr Nick Mouktaroudis

Dr Ali Waddell

Dr Gareth Boucher

Dr Emmy Bauer

The Straight Dope on Dope

The first two commercial shipments of medicinal cannabis products to be legally imported to Australia have arrived in Melbourne and Perth, following action taken by the Australian Government. Patients have expressed interest in this and so here is what we know:

 

 

It’s going to be complicated!

 

 

You’re thinking this…

 

 

 

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But it’s more like this:

 

 

 

medical marijuana pathway

 

 

Link here: SA_Cannabis_Pathway_Overview

 

 

What do the Feds think?

 

 

 

What do the professionals think?

 

 

 

The Royal College Of General Practitioners is not keen – RACGP-position-on-medical-cannabis

 

 

The initial evidence is not great:

 

indications for medical cannabis

 

But

 

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So, in summary, it’s not easy!

 

 

However, if you have ANY questions – See Your GP! If you have chronic pain, epilepsy, depression, or ANY of the conditions listed above – Our Team can Help You.

 

 

 

You can see any of our Great GPs right here:

 

Dr Gareth Boucher

Dr Penny Massy-Westropp

Dr Monika Moy

Dr Katherine Astill

Dr Nick Mouktaroudis

Dr Nick Tellis