It might be Fashion Week in Sydney, but it’s the trends in Australia’s general practices and hospitals that are getting this reporter’s attention today.
Friday 4 June is #CrazySocks4Docs day, and once again healthcare workers have sported some of their finest feet-warmers to break down mental health stigma in the medical profession.
Now in its fifth year, the custom of doctors wearing crazy socks on the first Friday of June has started going global.
The initiative was originally started by Dr Geoff Toogood FRACP, an Australian cardiologist who showed up to work one day while wearing odd coloured socks. Dr Toogood, who had been living with depression and anxiety, found that instead of being met with compassion over his somewhat odd appearance, he was met with ridicule.
He started Crazy Socks 4 Docs, calling on doctors to check in with their colleagues and reduce the stigma around mental health in medicine. It also serves as a reminder that for doctors, it’s okay to not be okay. Dr Toogood hopes that through his charity, doctors’ suicide around the world will be reduced.
The Medical Republic, 4 June 2021
The state’s top health official has issued a dire warning over an “appalling” outbreak of the potentially fatal disease syphilis and dangers to SA’s marginalised people.
There is an “appalling” outbreak of potentially fatal syphilis is SA’s Indigenous communities because they have “no visibility” in Adelaide, chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier FAFPHM, FRACP says.
Giving evidence this week to state parliament about the health dangers to “marginalised” people, Prof Spurrier said the outbreak had spread to non-Indigenous people.
“It (syphilis) spread from northern Australia into South Australia, but it really is across the whole country now,’’ she said. “We have had two cases of congenital syphilis (passed on to babies at birth) in South Australia, which really is appalling.”
In the first five months of 2021, SA Health has documented 102 suspected cases, likely to eclipse last year’s total of 221 suspected. None were recorded between 1999 and 2015.
Herald Sun, 2 June 2021
A Sydney neurologist will hold Adelaide clinics to examine ex-footy players worried about mental scars after repeated head knocks on the field.
Former AFL players concerned about their mental health because of repeated concussions during their playing days are being urged to come forward to be examined by a visiting Sydney neurologist who will hold monthly clinics in Adelaide.
Macquarie University neurologist Dr Rowena Mobbs FRACP will hold the first of the clinics Tuesday and will assess four former players who may have suffered detrimental long-term health effects from repeated head knocks, including dementia. Dr Mobbs will also consider whether the former players could be possible or probable candidates for the concussion-linked brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
“Neurologists are seeing people coming through with memory loss and mood changes and questions of CTE,’’ she said. “And so this is potentially a wave of dementia that’s now facing the (sporting) codes.’’
Herald Sun, 14 June 2021
Hospital admissions for heart failure appear to have at least halved for people with type 2 diabetes over the past decade, Victorian research suggests.
“The uptake of statins, better medical attention, overall metabolic control, lifestyle factors and lower rates of smoking could all be factors that are helping to drive some of the improvements,” study author Professor Richard MacIsaac FRACP, director of the department of endocrinology & diabetes at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, said. In general, cardiovascular presentations in the state declined from 2004 to 2016, but the most startling figures were among those with the metabolic disease.
The study, published in the MJA, found acute myocardial infarction dropped 5% every year for the general population, 7.7% for those with type 1 diabetes and 11.4% for those with type 2 diabetes.
The Medical Republic, 21 June 202
South Australia has now become the fourth state to legalise voluntary euthanasia.
The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill passed the House of Assembly on Thursday morning.
The laws are expected to come into effect in 18 months – but how will it work?
The Advertiser spoke with Melbourne-based VAD-trained oncologist Dr Phillip Parente FRACP. The Monash University Associate Professor has been providing VAD assessment since March 2020.
Several of the specialist’s oncologist patients were among 224 Victorians who have died using VAD in the law’s first 18 months.
Dr Parente, who once opposed VAD based on his Catholic beliefs, said all of his patients to date had self-administered the VAD medication after a thorough and rigorous application process that takes no fewer than nine days, and on average 19 days, to complete
“They must have capacity to administer the medication on their own, unassisted,” he said. Patients unable to swallow or too weak to self-administer can apply for intravenous practitioner administration.
The Advertiser, 24 June 2021
Gout is a curable condition, held back by poor adherence to medicine, latest research suggests.
Speaking at this year’s Australian Rheumatology Association (ARA) Annual Scientific Meeting, rheumatologist Professor Richard Day FRACP said the importance of gout as the most common inflammatory arthritis among men was sometimes under-appreciated.
Almost half-a-million Australians had gout, and the proportion rose to one in five among men over the age of 70, said the professor of clinical pharmacology at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney.
While there was an “epidemic” of gout, Professor Day said, the condition was “completely curable”.
“The problem is adherence to therapy,” he said, pointing to a 2018 meta-analysis indicating the rate of adherence to medicine was less than 50%.
“This is very low for a condition that is so intrusive,” said Professor Day.
The Medical Republic, 31 May 2021
Issue 2 • 2021

Members in the media

Gout curable but hampered by poor adherence

Gout  Film x-ray both foot and arthritis at first
image Syphilis blood test

Syphilis outbreak has spread into South Australia Indigenous communities


Don’t hide your socks, or your mental health

People Wearing Multi Colored Socks

Neurologist Dr Rowena Mobbs begins monthly Adelaide clinics for footy players worried about mental health and repeated concussion

Image skull with brain damage
Diabetic Measurement Tools

Hearty news for folks with diabetes

Euthanasia Bill: How voluntary assisted dying would work in SA

Sixty-three year old woman with brain cancer in ho
© 2021 The Royal Australasian College of Physicians