Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Our Shows are Formidable!

Life is full of surprises - not least of which is the kind of thing that goes on when doctors take to the stage.

Performers Night this year will again be at the wonderful Camelot Lounge in Marrickville and will feature, among others, the notorious Dow Jones and the All Ordinaries as well as a return visit from the Westmead Hospital film makers - this time the psychotherapists' dream team. By special request there will be a return performance by last years highlight Isabel McTigue and her flaming hula hoops. New acts and old ...at Camelooooot. (Doesn't it just make you want to burst into song!)
Camelot Lounge Cnr Railway Pde and Marrickville Rd Marrickville
Thursday 4th September - BE THERE!

Friday, 22 August 2014

half way to istanbul

Since joining a poets group several years ago my previously erratic poetry output has become much more regular and more satisfying.
I wrote this poem in April 2013 on a plane on my way to a conference in Istanbul via Seoul. It was a time when the North Korean leadership was once more flexing its nuclear muscles. 

half way to istanbul

across the misted plain
a cumulus castle presses
ragged battlements
against a fiery sky 

to the north a dragon
bigger than the castle -
bigger than the mountain
on which the castle stands -
rears up and
roars at the setting sun

the cabin lights dim -
down below
liquid lines of headlights flow
across the darkened landscape -
wing tips rise
anticipating home
for some this journey ends
in warm beds
in this land of grace
but for the rest
stiff necks and swollen feet
come with us
as we flee towards the sunset
out of dragon’s reach

Friday, 15 August 2014

Musicus Medicus and the NSW Doctors Orchestra

by Dr Cathy Fraser

Reflecting my limited Latin learned by slow osmosis during my medical and musical studies, “Musicus Medicus” is the name I came up with when I founded the NSW Doctors Orchestra in 2004. We now have about 250 members who welcome the opportunity to combine their work in medicine with their ongoing interest in and passion for music. At least once a year, 60 to 80 doctors and medical students from all areas of NSW come together at one time to play in the orchestra with general practice and all specialties represented. Apart from the hard work and fun it’s also a great chance to catch up with colleagues from a variety of fields of medicine. We like to think we’re promoting a healthier life-work balance at the same time as having heaps of fun making good music.

Musicus Medicus supports both the arts and medicine by donating to the Sydney Eisteddfod as well as to a different medical charity of our choice each year.  The Eisteddfod has served as a launching pad for many of the musicians in the orchestra as well as many of the professionals who join us as soloists.  We fund the NSW Doctors Orchestra Instrumental Scholarship for young soloists aged 16 to 25 years of age. In addition we support the Young Virtuosi Program run by Fine Music 102.5FM. 
The medical charity this year was the Day of Difference Foundation, which aims to reduce the incidence and impact of children's critical injury in Australia. Founded in 2004 by Ron and Carolyn Delezio following the tragic and highly publicised accidents of their daughter Sophie, the Foundation's pioneering 6-year Paediatric Critical Injury Research Program is building evidence to deliver improved outcomes for critically injured children and their families. 
You can find Musicus Medicus on Facebook.

If you’re interested in joining us or supporting us, check out our website www.nswdo.net.au

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Invitation from Dr Richard Wu

Richard Wu is Sydney-based psychiatrist with an interest in painting, psyche and the neuroscience of creativity. He is a contemporary Chinese Ink Brush painter and has developed a psychological model of understanding Chinese painting about which he has lectured internationally, in Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. He is a longstanding supporter of Creative Doctors.
Richard would like to invite you to a free talk he is giving on the history of Chinese classical art on Saturday 30th August at the China Cultural Centre in Sydney which he promises to be accessible to people who are interested in the subject but without much prior knowledge. The talk promises to be "a brilliant visual journey accompanied with stories of dynasties and individual cultural icons, and their creative endeavours, from 300 A.D. to the dawn of the 20th Century".


Saturday, 9 August 2014

More About Us

Medicine is a hard taskmaster and can be all-consuming if we let it –  sometimes at the expense of our health and our relationships, but also at the expense of our talents. Medical students and graduates are often people who had to choose medicine over other possibilities for which they were equally well-equipped  - music, art, sport, the humanities generally.
 In 2010 a small group of Sydney doctors were disturbed by the imminent demise of Dr Tony Chu’s Creative Doctors Network. Tony, an actor and filmmaker, had run the Network with great enthusiasm and success for several years, providing support and encouragement for doctors who needed or wanted to rediscover their creative selves. Circumstances prevented him from continuing to do so.
Several of us decided that we couldn’t do without the network, providing as it had the impetus for us to reignite or expand our creativity.
Marg Gottlieb, Howard Gwynne and I got together with Judith Babich of Active Locums, who had also sponsored the CDN and was prepared to continue sponsoring our activities, to come up with something to keep the creativity bubbling.
For the last 3 years we have organised three functions a year, one each for visual artists, writers and performers, to help them network with likeminded doctors, provide them with a venue to display their works and  to encourage others to renew their interest in creativity for their health’s sake. (There is actually an evidence base for this idea and, if you insist, I will talk about it another time)
This blog is a natural extension of what we’ve already been doing. We’re hoping everyone will enjoy it and contribute

One of Our Performing Doctors at the Camelot  Lounge in Marrickville, Sydney
(not what you expected is it?)

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Sex on Thursdays

Short Story

Sex on Thursdays 

Jan Orman

"Have you noticed how much happier Dad seems to be these last few weeks?”
Bill looked up from the paper with the blankest look he could muster as Myra bustled in the door with the groceries. “You must have noticed! He’s even shaving and he told me today that he was planning to go back to bridge.” Bill smiled to himself but said nothing, not trusting himself to speak. She was used to his silence so she just carried on.
“I have to say I don’t know what I think about it. On the one hand I’m really pleased – it’s time he tried to have a life without Mum – but on the other it feels wrong. Part of me thinks he should grieve for her forever."
That’s what he’d always loved about Myra. She was totally honest and full of very human contradictions. Who, for example, seeing her sweet face, her soft white curls and her plump matronly body, would ever believe she liked sex so much! Bill could only count his blessings on that score.
“At least it gets me off the hook a bit” Myra sighed. “I might not have to visit quite as often. My garden is a mess - I need to fix it up before Christmas. I think some of my friends have forgotten what I look like.”

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Margo Hoekstra - Sculpture and the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio

There's something new for the Visual Arts page!

Margo Hoekstra started studying sculpture with Tom Bass in 1983.She continues to make sculpture at the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio and is represented by them. She has been honorary chairperson of the Studio School since 2003 and has been the driving force behind their program development.
In her spare time Margo is a Sydney General Practitioner.

Wind Rider - Margo Hoekstra 2009

Monday, 4 August 2014


Here we go! Launch Day for the Creative Doctors Blog.
I'm struggling a little with the technology but it looks like we are up and running. Welcome everyone -thanks for dropping in to see us.

Just to get us started I've posted some beautiful pictures here and under the Original Visual Art tab by Organising Committee member Howard Gwynne. You can see more of these on his personal blog at www.howardgwynne.blogspot.com and there will be poetry from Margie and Jan coming soon. Jan's new story "Sex on Thursdays" can be found under the "Original Words" tab

If you are a creative doctor and would like to send us a contribution to the blog please do so.

If you have any strong opinions or personal stories about the value of creativity to mental health (or health generally) we'd like to hear those as well.

We're looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

Photographic works by Dr Howard Gwynne:

the colours of anxiety

The figure (both of us) is small, jittery and red; the world around is big, overwhelmingly full of energy and colour and demanding attention.  The colours are bright, but intense and shrill - like a fingernail scratched on a board.  The puzzle of anxiety is its full of impending happening – the ingredients of life are there in over abundance - like a juggle with a hundred bright balls in the air at once and all about to crash down in my shaking, grabbing hands.

 the feel of depression

The bent over, downcast, slow moving figure surrounded by blowing greyness reflects the hopeless, insomniac, worthless, slowness, symptoms of depression. But more than anything the picture captures the trudging sense of emptiness and unrelenting bleakness that GPs and the families of the depressed see and live with. This is the perspective of incomprehensible endlessness rather than the depressive’s walled prison.

Friday, 1 August 2014

About Us

This is a blog for medical students and graduates with a creative streak.

We've found quite a few talented people in the years we've been running events for Creative Doctors. The world may have been a richer place if they had all decided not to study medicine!

Who are we?

We are Marg Gottleib, Howard Gwynne and Jan Orman. We are all Sydney GPs with an interest in mental health. We try to be creative ourselves but we also try to support the creativity of our colleagues by providing space for them to share the fruits of their creative labour.

Why do we do it?

We are convinced that creativity is good for your mental health and that doctors with good mental health are good for their patients.

We have three functions a year - one for writers, one for visual artists and one for performers.
Judith Babich of Active Locums sponsors these functions and all are welcome to attend to see and hear what these talented practitioners do in their free time.