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A little spiel me…


I’m a writer and a doctor. I’m both. And I need both to make me tick. We all have balance in our lives. Medicine brings me in contact with others, serving and helping, creating human bonds. Writing gives me solace, a chance to separate from the milling throng, and channel my inner muse. (I know that sounds a bit high-falutin’, but I don’t know how else to put it.)

When I write, I take my knowledge, lessons, and personal experience, and I put it down on screen. What comes out is not the product of that simple equation, and the feeling it gives is not the sum of these things either. There is more to it than that. Someone much wiser than me once said that in order for our livelihood to be sustainable, we need to engage in things that feed us, that give us energy, not in things that take from us, or use our energy. Medicine unashamedly takes from me – but that is the nature of the deal. Within this western medical model, I provide a service to others, a utility, as payment and thanks for the brain I have been given, the training I have received, and the knowledge I can impart. Writing, on the other hand, feeds me, it nourishes me, and it fills me full.

So, it’s art versus science. The creativity of writing, balanced by the structure of medicine. The solitude of typing, complemented by the busyness of emergency. The freedom of the scribe, contrasting the perfect order of the physician. In the end, it’s a perfect balance.

And, having explored medicine, and writing a number of different genres, and being a slightly anal man of science, who quite enjoys the dichotomy of this energy equation, the obvious next step is to balance the two. To write about health. To give, and to take. To feed and be fed at the same time.

monogram_finalIt makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?


Doctor Me


At least part of me wanted to become a doctor so that I could help people. Through year 12, it gradually dawned on me that I might get the marks to make it into medicine.  Prior to this, nothing was guiding me, or pulling me in any specific direction.  I had completed the requisite careers assessments, each of coming out with the answer: “Computer says no.'” Way to go, Dexter. But thankfully, I made a decision to just go for it, and worked and worked, and by the skin of my teeth, I made it. And that was one of the greatest gifts a 17 year old boy could give himself – the knowledge to help others.

The other part of me wanted to become a doctor so that I could join my older brother at Mannix College and drink beer.  Except that I’m not supposed to say that bit.

Writer Me


As I learnt my way through medical school, and on through becoming a paediatrician, all the time I felt a gravitational pull towards my creative side.  As a kind of bodily possession, writing let me channel a voice that made my heart sing. It filled me up, making me feel alive and whole. I wrote whenever I need an outlet: each time I travelled, having proposed to my wife, through the evisceration of losing our pregnancy, right down to things as trivial as going to the bank. Even the time someone collapsed of a heroin overdose outside work.

Each time, I write. It is an outlet. It feels good and healing, friendly and loving, right and proper. Words are my friend, and if you’ve come here, then hopefully they are yours too.

If you want to hear more about this journey, click below.


Writer Me

The foetal beginnings of this Blog began ten years ago in an Internet café in Bangkok. On the 29th January 2000, I flew out of Melbourne as a fresh faced 24 year old, for my first experience overseas. Throughout the next ten months, I travelled through 39 countries and over 45,460km, only to return home full of memories and very short of cash. A wanderlust had sprung roots, an understanding that the world is an extraordinary, mystical, beautiful place, bursting with adventure and opportunity.

On that sweaty Bangkok morning in that internet café at 5am, I sent my first email back to friends. It was a simple thing, a quick hello, and a couple of observations I made about things I thought were funny and quirky. I got a few encouraging replies, and so the next email was a little more elaborate. That received feedback, and so the next grew from here. Each day of that year I met new people, and if we struck a bond, I’d add them to my email list. As I later learnt, my emails were being forwarded to friends of friends who were amused by my escape from Russian border patrol, my running with bulls, my evasion from Hungarian police, and my medical expertise required and given to numerous travellers on numerous flights.

By the time I returned home, the emails were essays, and they were being read – or at least junk mailed – from Copenhagen to Cairo.

* * * * *

Two years later, I took a second trip around Africa and South America, but this time I took a laptop. Initial plans to write a travel book of my adventures took a on an expanded role when, on an overland trip through Malawi, I was suddenly hit with the plot for a novel. In an instant, I had the entire structure, from beginning to end, downloaded through the USB port that sits just behind my right ear.

Over the next seven months, I finished my novel, “A Life in 40 Days”. As with many first novels, it has since been to writer’s school, reworked by several editors, and currently sits on a shelf, unpublished. It served as my writing apprenticeship – which began with English and Literature class at school – and became a fully fledged love affair through the process. In writing travel emails I learnt an ear for observation; through the novel I learnt my voice.

And then I got boring and serious again. I got a real job. I re-entered post-graduate Medical Training, working towards becoming a Paediatrician* all the time feeling the gravitational pull to writing, the thing which filled me up and made me feel alive and whole. I wrote when I had time, and when I needed an outlet: each time I travelled, each time my medical assistance was requested on an aeroplane, right down to when I saw someone bargaining for bread in a shop. Through big events, as I proposed to my wife and then through the evisceration of losing our pregnancy, right down to things as trivial as going to the bank. Even the time someone collapsed of a heroin overdose outside work.

Each time, I write. It is an outlet. It feels good and healing, friendly and loving, right and proper. Words are my friend, and if you’ve come here, then hopefully they are yours too.

Thanks for coming. And I hope you enjoy the ride.

*Disclaimer – Play at your own risk. All names have been changed to protect both the innocent and the guilty. All names, except those of my wife and family, as I only have one of them, and they already know who they are. They, of course, remain neither innocent, nor guilty.

For a more medical view of the world, check out my other blog: itllonlyhurtforaminute.com. But that one isn’t serious either. Well, not yet, anyway.



Dad Me


I have tremendous compassion for the parenting journey, from pre-conception, through that first difficult year of life.  This is a time of enormous adjustment, and one that hit me for six. There is nothing that can compare to the enormity of the shift that is becoming a parent.

It has altered me in ways that I can no longer even see, but what I can see is how it had affected the way I care for patients, the way I write, and the way I view the world.

Becoming a parent is the most rewarding job I have ever had. My two gorgeous daughters are the crowning achievement of my life. They drive me mad in equal parts, and at times make me want to stab both of my eyes out with a red-hot poker. But hey, that’s parenthood.


Not bored yet? Then here’s a little bit more, and some testimonials…