A prayer for gastro

My brain works in interesting ways. I woke up this morning and had the basic parts of this interpretation of the Our Father in my head. Made me remember some ‘great’ times working on the paediatric ward at Flinders Medical Centre a few years ago. If you ever have this terrible gastro bug, feel free to recite this prayer to help your suffering. Not meant to cause offence, but please enjoy.

Our virus, who art intestines

Noro by thy name;

First vomits come,

Then out your bum,

In waves of cramps and nausea.

Give us this day sips of Hydralyte,

And forgive us our hand hygiene,

As we forgive those who keep at a distance;

And lead us not to dehydration,

But deliver us soup and blankets. Amen.

NRHSN 2013 dinner speech

Delivered on the 16th August to the 2013 NRHSN NextGen conference. Only went over time by 3 mins….

Talking to future country doctors, nurses and allied health providers about rural GP work, communication skills, teaching and family at the National Rural Health Student Network conference.

RDWA Keynote Speech

Delivered on the 24th May to the 2013 RDWA Conference. First time I had to speak for 30 mins!

“Gerry grew up for 22 years in the outer suburbs of a small Victorian town called Melbourne. So how was it that this ‘city boy’ ended up undertaking GP training and wanting to work in rural South Australia? Was it family heritage in the bush, inspiring placements, the lure of aviation or all three? Surely they will find out he barracks for Collingwood sooner or later….”

Impetigo: Rocky style

Having difficulty remembering what the lesions look like, what antibiotics to use or what else to education patients? No fear, in 3 minutes your problems will be solved. Apologies for poor singing/pitch and subliminal pro general practice messages…




Country GP taught me to fix my jumper


Poor old jumper

I have a favourite black jumper. In fact, its helping me write this post at this moment. Everyone has an item of clothing just like it. Unfortunately, the price paid is increased wear and tear. My black jumper started to develop a large hole under the armpit area at the start of last year. The nurses in Wudinna would give me grief when I started wearing it in the winter (sometimes for the cold, other times to disguise a non-ironed shirt…)

Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade

Eventually, enough nurses, family members and people on the street convinced me to get it repaired. Some said take it to a shop and other offered to stitch it up themselves. After politely declining on a few occasions, I found the opportunity to repair my old friend on a recent trip to Melbourne. Mum provided the obligatory box of needles, thread and scissors. But I had never fixed up any sort of material damage before, the only relevant word I knew was ‘darning’ from Elenor Rigby by The Beatles.

But the truth was I had done something like this, in fact I would do it once or twice a week. Often patients would present to the clinic with large cuts and lacerations and need stitching. Surely I could use these skills here? During a medical student and intern placement in country South Australia, I learnt a number of tips and tricks for suturing. In Jamestown, a pulley type horizontal mattress and running subcuticular stitches were taught to me by the great GPs there. To finish off each run of suture, I managed to remember how to do a hand tie. Amazing what can come back to you after three years!

Concentration at the kitchen table

Concentration at the kitchen table

So away the stitches went attempting to close the large axillary dehisence in my jumper. One aspect that was different was having to thread the cotton through the needle tip. That took steady hands and a large amount of accomodation (see cross-eyed picture above). Luckily I avoided any needle stick injuries as the material edges started to oppose. It probably took me 3 times longer than stitching up skin, but I eventually finished. And I can report that there has been no further wound separation since!

Has anyone else used medical/surgical techinques for everyday tasks? Im sure there’s more out there…(looking at you Leeuwenburg)

I had to cut my own threads!

I had to cut my own threads!


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