Rheumatic ❤️ Disease

‡ Yesterday I saw a four-year-old boy with school sores. The day before my colleague saw a 16-year-old girl with a fever and knee pain. Last week our visiting paediatric cardiologist saw an eight-year-old girl with a new cardiac murmur. Last month our clinic health worker saw a 25-year-old male receiving...

Of Art and Uncertainty

“In order to make progress, one must leave the door to the unknown ajar.” Richard Feynman...

Ring, ring, why don’t you give me a call?

The phone rings. I wake from a deep sleep slightly panic stricken. It takes me a minute to comprehend that I’m in bed and on the phone to a nurse from an outer island. They run through their patient’s story, requesting advice. It takes me another minute to realise...

Non-sterile gloves for abscess I&D?

The clinic nurse was setting up for an incision and drainage (I&D) of an abscess.  After opening the dressing pack and laying out the necessary equipment, she inquired about my glove size.  I replied “small”.  She said, “oh no, Doc, what size STERILE gloves?” This made me question a...

Deadly App

Here is a list of apps that we use in our day to day rural and remote medical practice. This is a follow on from our list of online resources we can’t live without! You can check them out here. What apps would you add to the list?  ...

Silos in health care: how can we master them?

A friend of mine recently had a baby.  Let’s call her Amy.  She lives in one of Australia’s many quaint country towns. This week, in addition to managing the usual sleep deprivation and adjustment that comes with a newborn, she also had several appointments to attend.  She saw her...

The Torres Approach to Hepatitis B

Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) is widespread in the Torres Strait. Over the last few years there has been a focused effort within the medical team to devise a strategy to ensure safe and appropriate diagnosis and management of CHB. Extensive consultation with the local workforce and relevant specialists guided...

Magnesium. What’s in it for ATSI?

As we improve our preventative health screening practices in Remote Indigenous Health we inevitably encounter incidental abnormalities in routine pathology. Given our limited resources and developing recall systems, what do we do about them? Hypomagnesemia is a common finding in population screening in the Torres Strait.  Epidemiological studies have...