32 minutes | Oct 26, 2020
Empathy, Sympathy, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Compassion, Pity and Mirror Synaesthesia
Empathy, sympathy, compassion, pity and now: mirror synaesthesia. I’m confused. As healthcare professionals, we are told the gold standard is empathy when it comes to understanding those in our care, yet what does this really mean? And, is it actually a genuine emotion or an aspiration? Or, perhaps even a convenient fiction? How do I know if I’m being empathetic and not simply deluding myself and doing nothing more than projecting my own emotions and assumptions onto my patients?And then there is the new kid on the block, mirror synaesthesia, which is akin to empathy on steroids, and might just be pseudoscience… How do you feel about this? Me? I’m really confused. So, in this episode, we’re going to explore the underlying assumptions that inform these concepts and separate what’s grounded in evidence, and what’s based in wishful thinking.The Handover, brought to you by Ausmed. For more information, visit https://www.ausmed.com.au.
19 minutes | Oct 13, 2020
Everything is Awesome
Every year the global scientific community comes together and hosts the Ig Nobel Prize Awards for pointless research. The award ceremony is basically a big booze-up, but it is attended by genuine Nobel prize winners, the world’s leading scientists, science journalists, medical researchers and a who’s-who of the global scientific community. The point of the awards is to make people laugh, for scientists to poke fun at themselves, and to make people realise that science can, indeed, be fun! But, last year, in my opinion, they marked themselves as distinctly non-inclusive in their candidate choice as they overlooked (or omitted) one of the unsung heroes of the global medical research program: Lego Minifigures. In this episode, I’m going to take a look at some of the past winners of the Ig Nobel Prize and review some important research that was ignored or overlooked that, in my opinion, should have been the hands-down winner of 2019. The Handover, brought to you by Ausmed. For more information, visit https://www.ausmed.com.au/.
30 minutes | Sep 21, 2020
The Mad Woman in the Attic
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, more than half of all residents in any aged care facility will have been diagnosed with dementia, and of those diagnosed, two-thirds will be women. As of 2016, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, dementia is also the leading cause of death of women in Australia. In most cases, dementia - especially Alzheimer’s – is a diagnosis by exclusion. That is, it’s a diagnosis arrived at when all other probable causes have been excluded. Despite a number of near-misses, there’s no widely available guaranteed test you can do that definitively tells you someone has dementia. In fact, it can only be diagnosed with certainty on autopsy. Does anyone sense that there’s something amiss here? I do, and in this episode, we’re going to examine if it’s valid to ask the question: is dementia a diagnosis of convenience? That is, a way of dealing with that inconvenient mad-woman in the attic? The Handover, brought to you by Ausmed. For more information, visit www.ausmed.com.au.
22 minutes | Aug 31, 2020
Be Ye Compliant, All Ye Who Enter Here!
The coronavirus pandemic has stimulated considerable debate in one really contentious area of healthcare: Should we be providing extremely limited human and material resources to care for those people who, historically, may not be compliant with the recommended management of their chronic diseases and health? In this episode of The Handover, I’m not exactly going to respond to that issue directly, but rather, I’m going to look at one of the deeply troubling assumptions that underpin this question in the first place, particularly the concept of compliance. And, I’m going to suggest that, for several reasons, we have developed a really skewed perspective of what 'compliance' means, how we may be erroneously interpreting healthcare data and what this entails for the healthcare consumer. The Handover, brought to you by Ausmed. For more information, visit www.ausmed.com.au.
25 minutes | Aug 17, 2020
Speaking of Courage...
How do we speak of the courage of those in the healthcare professions? On the first of December 2019, the first case of COVID-19 was detected in Wuhan, China and despite the best efforts of the Chinese authorities, the World Health Organization and governments worldwide, on the 11th of March 2020, the virus had spread to nearly every country in the world and a pandemic was declared. At the forefront of treating those infected with the virus and stopping its spread has been a global team of several-million dedicated healthcare professionals and ancillary healthcare staff who continue to do an incredible and extremely difficult job to this very day. Every one of these people, despite significant risk, courageously - and I mean that - turned up for work day in and day out to care for others and many, unfortunately, paid for this selflessness with their lives, having become infected themselves. In this episode, we present a tribute to those healthcare staff who have lost their lives in the battle against COVID-19 and hope that in some way it reminds you of the grave and costly sacrifice that is being made every day by such people to ease the suffering of those affected by the disease and to contain its spread.The Handover, brought to you by Ausmed. For more information and healthcare resources, visit www.ausmed.com.au.
27 minutes | Aug 4, 2020
Is the Evidence that Informs Your Practice 'Dirty'?
Healthcare professions pride themselves on the use of an evidence-based framework to inform their practice. Decisions are grounded in evidence that has been obtained through rigorous research and vetted by means of a robust process of peer review and editorial scrutiny before it is disseminated for use. But what would you do if some of the evidence that informs your practice is, in fact, 'dirty'? That is, the research data, whilst entirely valid, was obtained by completely unethical means? In this episode, I’m going to explore this question in depth and investigate how one set of datum from a series of shocking WWII Nazi human experiments snuck its way back into the contemporary research literature and, in fact, informs some of our current clinical practices. The Handover, brought to you by Ausmed. For more information and healthcare resources, visit www.ausmed.com.au.
28 minutes | Jul 13, 2020
Feelings, Not Facts: The Rise of the Global Anti-Vax Movement (And How the Medical Profession Has Unwittingly Fuelled its Growth)
In January of 2019, the World Health Organization declared vaccine hesitancy to be one of the top ten existential threats to the human race, yet since that declaration, and despite millions of dollars being ploughed into combatting the flow of vaccine misinformation, the online presence of the anti-vax community has grown by an incredible 500% over the last 12 months. So what-the-Edward-Jenner is going on? In this episode, I’m going to examine the reasons behind this exponential rise of anti-vax sentiment, how the medical profession itself has inadvertently provided the fuel for its growth, and how this is pushing us at supersonic speed towards a global healthcare disaster. The Handover, brought to you by Ausmed. For more information and healthcare resources, visit www.ausmed.com.au.
27 minutes | Jun 21, 2020
We Really Need to Talk About Aged Care ... (But We Won't)
Over the past 23 years, there have been 19 major inquiries, investigations and reviews into aged care services in Australia, culminating in the current Royal Commission. Every one of those has told us – as future inquiries, investigations and reviews will continue to tell us - that we really, really need to talk about aged care. But we don’t. And we won’t. And we probably never will. In this episode, Darren Wake talks about just how dysfunctional residential aged care is in Australia and why there is one elephant in the room that everyone is too embarrassed to confront. It’s an issue that, by itself, creates the largest single barrier to a constructive and productive dialogue about aged care services across the country, both now, and in the future. And if you’ve worked in aged care, you already know what it is. The Handover, brought to you by Ausmed. For more information and healthcare resources, visit www.ausmed.com.au.
1 minutes | Jun 17, 2020
Teaser - Episode 1: We Really Need to Talk About Aged Care ... (But We Won't)
Listen to this teaser from Episode 1 of The Handover: 'We Really Need to Talk About Aged Care ... (But We Won't)'. The full episode will be available on Monday the 22nd of June! Subscribe to make sure you don't miss out!
2 minutes | Jun 11, 2020
Trailer - The Handover New Season
In 2020 we welcome the return of The Handover podcast with a brand new season! I'm your host, Darren Wake, and every two weeks I'm going to bring you something new about health, healthcare and the human body. This season, The Handover will be extremely wide-ranging, if not totally free-range, experimental and eclectic. For more information and helpful healthcare resources, visit www.ausmed.com.au. (Previous seasons' episodes of The Handover are available to Ausmed subscribers, only at www.ausmed.com.au.)