Critical Care – Out There


One of the challenges of being a rural doctor is the need to stay abreast of knowledge and skills across a wide variety of fields.  More than “just a GP”, our work encompasses primary care for sure – but also on call responsibilities for emergency, anaesthesia and obstetrics.  My colleague Casey Parker over at BroomeDocs […]

Airway Thrills

Attribution : Dr Andy Buck of

I’ve been asked to run an Airway Workshop for rural doctors at the annual RDASA Masterclass conference to be held in Adelaide 2015. Airway management is an essential skill for the rural clinician and one with which I am slightly obsessed… “Without an airway, you’ve got nothing!“ This is also an area of expertise that […]

You Are Not Alone


“All Alone on Kangaroo Island” was the title of the talk assigned to me for #smaccUS in Chicago. Speakers don’t get to choose the title of their talk – instead Chris Nickson (@precordialthump) assigns a topic…usually in line with expertise. It was tempting to talk to my favourite subjects – those into which I’ve devoted […]

Two papers at smaccUS

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Day One of the smaccUS conference was a bit of overload for me.  I was nursing a mild hangover from the post-workshop Faculty dinner and was somewhat anxious about my planned talk “All Alone on Kangaroo Island“. In fact, on that latter, I had even arranged a bail bondsman just in case the Yanks were offended […]

A Practical Approach to C Spines?

Courtesy Mark Wilson

For the past few decades, the importance of spinal immobilisation has been emphasised in standard texts, trauma education such as the international Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) & Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) courses and in many emergency medical service (EMS) operating procedures. Such approaches often mandate the universal application of spinal immobilisation to trauma […]

Desert Island Airways


Every now and then, discussion amongst clinicians turns to the hypothetical of “what if you were stranded on a desert island?” and then leads into fierce debate on emergency drugs, preferred contents of a doctors bag or various airway devices. Of course all of this is hypothetical – not many of us are going to be stranded, […]

All About That (MedSTAR) Base

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Readers of the blog will know that I spent the second half of the year with MedSTAR, South Australia’s retrieval service and part of SA Ambulance Service (SAAS). As a rural doctor I am usually a user of this service. It’s taken a few years after being invited to coordinate time off to arrange time out of practice […]

GP Anaesthesia 2020 & Beyond

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The concept of a “GP anaesthetist” or “GP obstetrician” can be a vexed one. Colleagues with the appropriate specialist ticket (FANZCA & FRANZCOG respectively in Australia) may question why the heck a general practitioner is meddling in their arena of expertise. We may hear similar from FACEMs in regard to emergency care. I have no doubt […]

Got droperidol?

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If you’ve been following blogs such as THE PHARM recently, you’ll probably have seen reference to a chap called Minh le Cong and a drug called ketamine.  Now it’s no secret that many in the prehospital and emergency fields are fond of ketamine – it’s a useful dissociative agent with analgesic properties and can be […]

Frozen Out

Disappointing news this week from CountryHealth SA – on April Fools Day they announced that an agreement has been reached with the AMA(SA) regarding rural doctor contracts …but neglected to inform the Rural Doctors Association of SA, who not only represent rural doctors in this State but with whom CHSA were supposedly negotiating. The current […]