Monthly media digest: November/December 2021

10 January 2022

A digest of college news coverage for November/December 2021

FPM Dean interviewed on national ABC radio about chronic back pain

Associate Professor Michael Vagg was interviewed on 31 December for a national ABC 10 minute segment marking the end of the 2021 Global Year About Back Pain.

Protected titles for anaesthetists

Australian investigative journalist Adele Ferguson sought the views of ANZCA and President Dr Vanessa Beavis for an opinion article in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald on 18 December 2021 about the use of the titles "anaesthetist" and "specialist anaesthetist."

Ms Ferguson has spent several months investigating the practices of cosmetic surgeons and the 18 December article is the latest in a series. "The problem is the law. Under the current system, the title cosmetic surgeon isn’t protected and neither is the title anaesthetist," Ferguson wrote. You can read the ANZCA media statement here.

You're Awesome': Doctor hopes for low-key Christmas after two years of pandemic uncertainty

Dr Jo Sinclair who works for Auckland's Middlemore Hospital was interviewed on 18 December in Stuff as part of the "You're Awesome" campaign which is a chance to reward healthcare workers for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign is led by Auckland's three district health board foundations and backed by Stuff.

Whakaari eruption: Fellows research features on anniversary

Research by fellows Dr Matthew Taylor and Dr John Burnett features in a Stuff feature article on the second anniversary of the Whakaari/White Island eruption tragedy, 10 December. 

Fellow Dr Craig Carr speaks out about ICU beds in NZ

Dr Craig Carr, an intensivist at Dunedin Hospital and the New Zealand regional chair for the Australia and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS), told Stuff on 6 December the ICU community did “not believe that New Zealand currently has sufficient ICU beds meet our population's needs”. He's was quoted in numerous newspapers on that day saying New Zealand hospitals are routinely postponing up to 14 per cent of elective surgeries that need post-operative intensive care, even with no widespread transmission of Covid-19.

Prestigious award for Melbourne anaesthetist Dr Amanda Baric

Fellow Dr Amanda Baric was interviewed on the 3AW Melbourne breakfast radio program on 1 December about her Order of the Polar Star award from the Mongolian government.

Dr Baric is in good company -- previous recipients include President Barack Obama and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The award, Mongolia's highest civilian honour, recognises Dr Baric's work and commitment over the last 15 years to provide safe and high quality anaesthesia and surgery in the country.

ANZCA/FPM fellow first Māori woman to head Pharmac's Advisory Committee

The New Zealand Herald ran a story on 28 November about Dr Jane Thomas (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu) who will lead the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee (PTAC) from December. 

Taranaki anaesthetists help hospital to environmental award

Stuff reported on 23 November that Taranaki District Health Board has won an environmental award from the Regional Council for as the result of two years of work by sustainability lead Maria Cashmore. She says the anaesthetist team has cut its carbon emissions by 161 tonnes over four years. “These are doctors being environmentalists, I am just like, wow.” 

FPM Dean comments on opioid prescribing post-surgery in The Guardian 

A/Prof Vagg was interviewed by Guardian Australia science writer Donna Lu on 18 November about a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study that compared the effectiveness of strong and mild pain relief on patients at a NSW hospital.

Research honours for ANZCA and FPM fellows

FANZCAs Professor Paul Myles (Monash University, Alfred Health) and Associate Professor Craig French (Western Health) have been named as the top researchers in their fields of anaesthesiology and critical care in The Australian newspaper's Research 2021 (paywall) list of the top 250 researchers on 10 November.

FPM fellow Professor Michael Nicholas (University of Sydney) was singled out as the top researcher in the field of pain and pain management. 

FANZCA and aeromedical specialist profiled on being a flying doctor

Dr Katherine Townend, fellow, intensivist and aeromedical specialist, was profiled in the magazine Style on 9 November on why the flying doctor service in New Zealand is so important.

FANZCA Prof Craig French tells of the abuse frontline COVID ward health workers are experiencing

Associate Professor French was interviewed by The Age and Sydney Morning Herald for a feature article on 7 November describing how frontline staff at Western Health in Melbourne have been verbally abused by patients and families of patients who do not believe in either COVID-19 or the vaccine.

“It has been incredibly challenging and distressing,” Western Health intensive care director Craig French said.

“Patients and their families have expressed the belief that they don’t have COVID, it’s not real to them, even though they are critically ill or somebody they love is very, very sick."

NZ fellow Dr Morgan Edwards features in magazine profile 

ANZCA fellow, obstetric anaesthetist Dr Morgan Edwards of North Shore Hospital in Auckland is an Instagram sensation with more than 45 thousand people following her pregnancy and health posts. Woman magazine featured an article on Dr Edwards and on 2 November Stuff reprinted it with the headline Meet Dr Morgan Edwards, the Kiwi doctor busting Covid myths online.

Last updated 11:01 17.01.2022