Art therapy for the palliative care clinician

painting-1

I had wanted to learn to paint for many years, and finally found the time to take some classes during my research fellowship year. It was really good fun and I loved it. Unfortunately, my fellowship year soon finished and clinical commitments meant I could no longer attend the classes.

art-therapy-1

Nevertheless, I decided that I would keep painting, once a week (usually on a Wednesday), just for me. At the end of a busy day, it’s often easier to just slump on the couch and watch some TV. I’ll be honest, sometimes the couch wins. However, I do manage to drag myself out of the house again most Wednesdays, get myself down to the studio for a couple of ours of what I fancifully call my ‘art therapy’ before bed. And when I do, I never regret it.

art-therapy-2

As you can see, I’m just a beginner and still have a lot to learn about painting. But I love losing myself in the work, just thinking about form and colour – anything other than patients and families and suffering and medicine, or audits or guidelines or research or presentations. I also love heading out and painting outdoors when I can get away.

img_5035

If you also like painting, or any other form of art – please join us for #PallANZ tweet chat on the 29th, which will be on the topic of “palliative care and the arts”! You can find the details here.

Harassment in healthcare – What can palliative care learn from the RACS?

As many of you would know the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons has recently released its expert advisory group Draft Report into discrimination, bullying and harassment in surgery.  The results of the report are confronting even if they are unfortunately not altogether surprising.

Continue reading

New fellow survey

Fellowship6363

(Image via wikipedia)

Are you a “new fellow”? Have you recently qualified (or about to qualify) as a palliative medicine specialist (FAChPM +/- FRACP)?

Transitioning from advanced training to consultant-hood can be a challenging time in one’s career. Help us understand how best to support you by completing this brief and anonymous survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NZ97VVL

Thank you!

Self-care: Is it selfish?

Did you work over the holiday break?

Unlike many times in the past – this year I didn’t work a shift on Christmas Eve; or Christmas day, or even New Years. I spent this time with my family. And I turned off my electronic gadgets (well, for the most part)!

I spent quiet time reading. How refreshing it was to have no agenda, and nothing that just had to be done. The only trouble was that, somehow, this felt quite indulgent.

After all, we are trained to care for others – but perhaps not so enlightened on the art of self-care. Is it selfish? Or does genuine care for others perhaps start with yourself? Continue reading