Friday, 14 July 2017 06:08

Dr Google

Dr Google

For good or bad, Doctor Google, is a presence in all our lives. People, understandably, wish to be well informed about their health and there is a wealth of good information online.  Unfortunately, Dr Google can also lead you up some strange paths. One minute you just want to know why you are getting migraines and the next some nutter with a website is suggesting Kale enemas as a cure for all your ills! 

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 06:08

Lifestyle change: What's holding you back?

Lifestyle change: What's holding you back?

In modern societies a lot of ill health and unhappiness is partly or wholly due to poor lifestyle choices we all make. These include our diet, inactivity, alcohol consumption, cigarette use, work-life balance, sleeping habits and many more. As doctors these choices are the most difficult thing to encourage people to change and our success rates are poor. 

Friday, 14 July 2017 06:08

Back Pain

Low Back Pain

Lower back pain is very common with up to 85% of people experiencing some form of it at some point in their lives. By far the most common form of this is what doctors term acute mechanical back pain, which can last for up to 6 weeks. 

Monday, 21 May 2018 11:48

Ban the Cotton Bud

Ban the Cotton Bud

You will probably never meet a doctor who has a good thing to say about cotton buds. People will stick a range of mind-boggling objects into their ear to remove wax or just give it a good scratch. The humble and innocuous cotton bud causes more trouble than all of them combined.

The skin of the ear canal is thin and delicate and the eardrum is surprisingly not that far away either.  Pushing an ear bud in and rotating it repeatedly because it feels good to scratch that itch can abrade the skin setting up a painful outer ear infection. Put it slightly too far and the eardrum can be damaged and even ruptured.

The last 3 weeks, for us all, has been filled with making and adjusting to change. Each day has brought new problems, compromises and frustrations to our ways of working and living.

The way we deliver health care in General Practice has been overhauled to help contain the spread of CoVID-19 while still being able to provide as close to usual care of our patients as we can. We have rushed to adjust to this and now can draw breath to reflect and refine our processes.

Wednesday, 04 March 2020 09:29



It is apparent that in the coming weeks the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in China will spread to Australia to a significant degree. The television footage of Chinese health workers head to toe in protective suits, together with many questions yet to be answered about the virus and its health effects, has led to high levels of community anxiety. So, what should we all be doing in Busselton?

Wednesday, 15 April 2020 11:45

Flu Clinics (2020)

Our recent after hours flu clinics held over the weekend proved a hit with hundreds of older patients taking the opportunity to get a flu shot before the flu season arrives. This was a new initiative by Busselton Medical Practice to protect older people from exposure to disease.

Monday, 16 December 2019 11:23

Heat Stroke

Heat Stroke

With the hot weather upon us it is time to consider the effects of high temperatures upon our health. The most dangerous of all these conditions is termed heat stroke. But what is it exactly?

Why do I need a referral to see the Specialist?

It seems such a hassle to get a referral before seeing a specialist. There’ s making an appointment to see your GP first, then the waiting to see them and then the cost of the visit to get the referral. And you still have all that to do for the specialist again!

Tuesday, 23 July 2019 12:45

I have just got to get to sleep!

I have just got to get to sleep!

One third of a healthy person’s life on average will be spent asleep. It’s a good thing to for as Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth:

Thursday, 30 May 2019 13:24

Colds and Antibiotics

Colds and Antibiotics: Rarely a Good Combination

One of the commonest reasons people visit the doctor over winter is for a respiratory illness with symptoms such as a sore throat, hoarseness, runny nose, sneezing, fever or a cough. Their reasons for seeking medical help are varied.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018 12:37

Acne Treatment

Safe, effective treatments are out there but it can be confusing to know what’s right for you Having acne can feel embarrassing and painful. And sometimes it can be tricky to work out what's going to help and what’s going to make the breakouts even worse.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018 08:37


As the Australian population ages, one of the most significant health problems we face is osteoporosis. In 2017 in WA alone 14% of the population over the age of 50 had osteoporosis. The figures become even more alarming over the age of 70 with 43% of women and 13% of men having osteoporosis.

Wednesday, 02 January 2019 08:20

Looking Your Age?

For most of us the earliest and obvious sign of getting old appears when we look in the mirror. Our skin is the first to give the game away. The lines about our eyes, the brown spots that weren’t always there and the uncalled for sagging beneath our chin betray the pitiless hand of Father Time.

Monday, 11 March 2019 11:02

Whose Taken My Bloody Car Keys?

So you can’t find your car keys again. You storm about the house flinging out the odd accusation that some one must have shifted them. There is a lot of eye rolling going on in those watching the performance.

After you calm down you suddenly remember, “Ah that’s right! I left them next to my bed when I came in late last night.” 

Monday, 11 February 2019 08:28


In the 17th Century cutting edge medical advice to cure your warts was to:

“ Wash your hands in moonbeams in an otherwise empty well polished silver basin.”

And sometimes it worked! Then again so did spitting on your wart and rubbing it three times in the direction of a passing funeral.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019 08:00

Thinking About Going Gluten Free

Many of us will remember a time when the words “Gluten Free” were a rare occurrence in the supermarkets, restaurants and dinner parties of Australia and most likely only of interest for an unfortunate group of people who knew they had Coeliac Disease. Now it would be unusual not to know someone who claims to be gluten intolerant. A national survey in 2015 reported that 7.3% of us (excluding those with proven or suspected Coeliac Disease) reported adverse effects associated with gluten ingestion. Why the change?

Monday, 05 November 2018 09:58

Is It Safe To Exercise

We know that for virtually everybody some form of exercise is beneficial no matter what your age and health. If exercise were a pill it would have greater general benefits than all of the medicines we use.

There are many barriers to people making use of the miracles of exercise. One of these is whether the type of exercise they would like to do is safe for them? When we are young and healthy we rarely give this a thought but as we enter into middle age or experience various health issues, doubts can creep in.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018 08:38

Ingrown Toenails

In a typical scenario, your teenage son in a rare moment of verbosity manages to say “ Mum, I think there is something wrong with my toe.”

They then peel back their sweaty sock to display a sight you never thought possible in a first world country. There, in all its manky glory, is a red swollen big toe and if you are particularly lucky not oozing copious amounts of an unspeakable liquid.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018 09:23

Acne: Do something about it!

In the course of a week consulting as a GP it is not uncommon to see a patient, presenting with some other issue, who has a problem with acne. Often it is not mentioned, but some of our most grateful patients are those with whom we raise the issue and ask if they would like some help with managing it.

Monday, 08 October 2018 11:31

Antibiotic Resistance

When antibiotics were first discovered and used in the 1940’s they were quite rightly regarded as miracle drugs. They allowed many simple but potentially fatal infections such as pneumonia to be cured. Their use together with immunisations, contraception and public health measures has done more for alleviating human suffering and prolonging life than anything to date.

Monday, 20 November 2017 06:08

Who's Choosing Your Nursing Home?

Who's Choosing Your Nursing Home

At any stage of your adult life it is important to put in place instructions about your future or your families future. This is even more important as you age or if you have elderly parents. The best know method of doing this is through a Will, which covers your instructions at the time of your death. To die without a Will leaves your loved ones in a difficult position that requires various legal processes to overcome the problem.

Monday, 18 June 2018 09:39

Alternative Medicine

What's the Alternative?

Modern medicine prides itself on a firm commitment to scientific evidence in the assessment of the cause and treatment of disease. It is however an applied science to the deeply personal experience of every individual: this being their own body and health. This may explain why there is no shortage of opinion on how to treat illness by the public at large and specifically by those wishing to practice in alternative health care. Not all of these practitioners subscribe to the scientific method to ascertain medical fact or they may distort the method to give the appearance of scientific rigour.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018 06:08

Don't Die of Embarrassment

Don't Die of Embarrassment

As doctors we have all seen patients who have avoided seeking medical help out of a fear of embarrassment. Rashes in the groin, sexual problems, problems with urination, bowel issues, lumps in unusual places, fears of sexually transmitted diseases, emotional concerns, abuse at the hands of others and many more fall into this category.  


Tuesday, 06 February 2018 09:35

Shield Yourself From The Death Star!

Shield Yourself From The Death Star

Living in Australia, we are very aware of the need to protect ourselves against the harmful effects of the sun, but how does the light actually damage our skin?

Light is made up of visible and invisible components and it is the short wavelength light in the ultra-violet component (UV light) that causes the trouble. In turn this UV light is subdivided into UVA, UVB and UVC depending upon the wavelength. The most powerful of these is UVC, which is filtered out by the earth’s ozone layer and so poses no threat.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018 06:08

Why do Local Anaesthetics Sting?

Why Do Local Anaesthetics Sting?

It is one of the great ironies of life that Local Anaesthetics should cause a degree of pain before they start to work to block out further pain. Proving once again in life there is not such thing as a free lunch. But why do they sting when first injected?

Tuesday, 30 January 2018 13:44

Why Losing Weight is Hard

Why Losing Weight is Hard

Obesity is the major chronic health problem facing Australia. From it many other medical conditions can arise including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis and many cancers. Included amongst these is the unhappiness and despair it can cause amongst those who are overweight.

Monday, 20 November 2017 06:08

Should I have a Colonoscopy?

Should I have a Colonoscopy?

It depends…

Bowel cancer in Australia is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second most common cause of cancer death. In 2017 it is estimated there is a 1 in 11 chance an individual will be diagnosed with bowel cancer before the age of 85.  A colonoscopy is an important test in detecting bowel cancer but for most people it is not necessarily the first step.

Friday, 08 September 2017 13:47

Why Am I So Tired All The Time

One of the more common presentations to General Practitioners are complaints of tiredness without any particular other symptoms to suggest a cause. People will just say they feel tired all the time and don’t know why.

Most often no physical illness can be found and the tiredness is related to work/life balance issues, lifestyle factors such as insufficient sleep, life stresses and sometimes mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.