Thursday, 23 April 2015

Visual Arts Night tonight!!!

Creative Doctors Visual Arts Night is on tonight in North Sydney at north Sydney Community Centre, 220 Miller St North Sydney at 7.00pm. Watch this space for details of the great art on display.

We have 14 doctors exhibiting visual art ranging from drawings and watercolours to glassmaking, photography and felting.

One of the exhibitors will be Dr Marc Grunseit who gave up doctoring years ago and is now an award winning professional glass artist. Let that be an inspiration to you all.

Here's an example of Marc's work- a fused glass donor wall in a hospital foyer.
To see more of Marc's creations follow this link to his website. I promise you'll be blown away!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Last Writes - A story by Dr Hilton Koppe

I've got to stop talking about Hilton - he's rapidly becoming the star of the Creative Doctors blog. But don't worry Hilton - there's plenty of talent out there and I'm sure your pedestal will get a bit wobbly very soon!
In the meantime, the story Hilton shared with us at our Creative Doctors Creative Writing Workshop in March has been published in the most recent edition of Pulse MD - Voices From the Heart of Medicine
Dr Hilton Koppe

Here's the link to the story.

And for those of you who need encouragement to read it here are some of the things people have said in the comments so far:

Lovely and touching story, Hilti!   #sheila turken

I just about managed to finish reading your account before tears could flood my eyes completely Causing temporary blindness.   #promila thomas

Thanks very much Hilton for sharing this moving story, which feels deeply authentic. I'm sure that this man was very fortunate to have you accompany him throughout his illness and to bear witness to the end. You've also offered a frank insight into the frustrations, doubts and fears which are an integral part of this work   .#Sally Warmington

A pleasure to hear your fine voice from my inbox this morning, Dr Koppe. You've expressed many aspects of my own experience -- the satisfaction, doubts and sadness of being a rural GP -- salty like a breath of Lennox Head breeze -- thank you.   #Janelle Trees

Lennox Head NSW Australia

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Come With Me to Iowa City

I just looked at the program for the Examined Life Conference in Iowa City this month and can't believe I am not going to be there.
Here it is. If you are interested in Medical Humanities and are not going to be there the program will make you weep!

Our own Hilton Koppe will be there of course - but there is much, much more.

University of Iowa
I note that two of the editors of Pulse - voices from the heart of medicine, an online magazine which publishes health related literature, will be there talking about using writing to help take on the Goliath of the medical system. (To my knowledge two of our Creative Doctors have been published in Pulse. Here's a link  to a piece from 2011 by Dr Sue Ogle, geriatrician from Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney).
There are also sessions on memoir writing, using writing to help medical students, developing a writing program for residents and using literature to promote "reflection and discernment".


My eye was also taken by a session on knitting, but it turns out it is an essay on the metaphor of knitting as healing rather than a talk on knitting as therapy (a personal favorite of mine).

The conference is in my diary for 2016 already!

Friday, 3 April 2015

Howard Gwynne - Finding Work-Life Balance Through Photography

Creative Doctors has attracted the attention of freelance journalist Gabe McCauley (click here to read more of Gabe's work) who has offered to write a series of short profiles of creative doctors for the blog. Today he profiles the indefatigable  Howard Gwynne who is one third of our organising committee – the one who does all the hard work!

Dr Howard Gwynne
 Dr Howard Gwynne is a medical practitioner who has had a complex, lengthy and at times stressful career as a GP psychotherapist, among many other things. Relatively recently, Dr Gwynne has found a creative outlet which allows him to keep his equilibrium in a job that can be overwhelming. Through his photographic works, Dr Gwynne is able to explore various emotional states of being which allows him to reflect on his patients and his own mental wellbeing.
“Expressing yourself through writing or music or art is an excellent way of bringing balance into your life,” says Dr Gwynne.
The Sydney-based psychotherapist was inspired to take up photography seriously when he found new techniques for taking photos.
“My inspiration came from discovering that I had a camera which could take multiple exposures. This means that I can use the camera to take one picture on top of another,” he said. “It’s a way of making pictures have a lot more feel and texture and a lot more emotion.”
“I have an interest in using the multiple exposures to look at things like mental illness. I have had a couple of pieces published in the Medical Journal of Australia which reflect mental illnesses… such as anxiety and depression,” he said.