Podcast 027: Otolaryngology With Dr Faruque Riffat

Otolaryngology isn’t likely to be any child’s first word, but it sure makes for a great Hangman game!

In this episode, Dr Faruque talks about the specialty colloquially known as ENT and gems of wisdom for making it onto a specialty program.


About the guest speaker

Dr Faruque Riffat is a consultant ENT/Head and Neck Surgeon with fellowship training in head and neck oncology, paediatric ENT, thyroid/parathyroid surgery and adult airway open/endoscopic laser surgery. He is one of a handful of ENT surgeons to be fully registered for specialist practice in Australia.

Dr Faruque graduated with an MBBS (Hons 1) degree from UNSW, obtaining prizes in anatomy and microbiology. He finished basic surgical training after obtaining the prize for the highest score for the FRACS part 1. He has also been awarded a Master of Surgery.

Dr Faruque was the first Australian surgeon to undertake a post-FRACS head and neck cancer surgery fellowship in Cambridge University Hospital. He now treats public adult and children through Westmead Hospital and the area health service and private through Norwest, Westmead Private and Macquarie University Hospital.

Dr Faruque has an active interest in teaching and research in ENT/Head and Neck, having completed a masters in surgical education and has been involved in over 40 peer reviewed publications and abstracts.

Dr Faruque has even been educated in 7 countries (4 continents) and enjoys dune bashing in deserts and falconeering!

Music credits

Opening and closing themes by Jordan D. Peterson, otherwise known as Ehsan Farshid and Lily Chen.


You Are All On A Different Mario Kart Track

Medicine is a health industry subset that deals with patient welfare. It involves a collective contribution to further the overall state of human wellbeing.

Therefore, medicine is not about zero-sum competition.

Everyone is chugging along an individual life pursuit. Their aim is simply finish the race. They are assured to place 1st/1 player in any case. The point is to make that result as glorious and complete as possible.

There is no race for 1st, 2nd or even 8th place against others. Instead, realise that everyone is racing along a different track.

Some people will be specialists, all of varying kinds. Others will pursue a different path. Others might even leave the field of their own accord. In the grand scheme of things, everyone’s final result is very, very different.

You can’t even carry that many shells. If you have more than you need and it would go to waste anyway, why not contribute it to a passing player who could use the help?

You are living life and defining success by your own standards, partially informed by society but mostly determined by your own meaning of what matters.

People might seem to be lapping you because you genuinely are terrible at what you do, in which case you really should step up your gameplay. But it could alternatively be because you’re racing on completely different terms.

Know where you’re heading, at least vaguely, and drive bullishly towards it. You don’t need to drag anyone else down on the way, because they’re not even relevant to you, not to mention the fact that would be really quite uncouth.

Instead, help out those whom you encounter when you can. Know that they’re heading towards their own paradise destination and it’s most likely to be rather different from yours.

There is no competition. There is enough success and good health to go around for everyone. There is enough positive potential in the world for everyone to prosper, so let others experience the maximum of your generosity while there’s the chance. Just like money, you can’t take kindness with you beyond the grave. Except for what is actually offered in real life, the unused excess is useless.

Don’t let your friends become enemies. Don’t let the downtrodden suffer because you were too self-absorbed to assist them.

Race your own race with yourself and help others along the way. Then everyone wins as much as possible.

Recommended Reading

  1. Peterson, J.B.. 2018, 12 rules for life: an antidote for chaos, Allen Lane, London, UK.

Podcast 026: Dermatology With Dr Pablo Fernández-Peñas

Skin is good. Skin is great. Skin is important to every person, especially when it comes to quality of life.

In this episode, Professor Pablo talks about why dermatology is extremely exciting and matters as a specialty.


About the guest speaker

Dr Pablo Fernández-Peñas is Professor in Dermatology at the University of Sydney, Head of the Department of Dermatology at Westmead Hospital and Director of the Centre for Translational Skin Research in Sydney, Australia. Previously, he was Staff Specialist (Dermatology) at Hospital Universitario de la Princesa, Clinical Professor at the Universidad Autonoma in Madrid, Spain and Head of Research at the Skin and Cancer Foundation Australia.

Since 2007, Professor Pablo has expanded clinical, research and education services in Western Sydney. He opened the Dermatology Comprehensive Clinical Centre at Westmead Hospital and set up the Dermatology Clinical Trials and Research Unit, participating in 40+ clinical trials.

Professor Pablo’s main fields of interest are oncodermatology, immunology, quality of life, and information technologies. He has 180+ publications in peer review journals.

As well as being a passionate teacher and researcher, Professor Pablo’s hobbies include bushwalking, travelling and music.

Music credits

Opening and closing themes by Lily Chen.

Podcast 025: Anaesthetics Nursing With Pete Kelly

Nursing and doctoring are hearty friends who hold hands while prancing off into the sunset. Together, their teamwork is something that can make health care great. Long live patient welfare!

In this episode, Pete talks about what nursing involves, different types of nursing and how nurses and doctors can work together to make a better patient experience.


About the guest speaker

Pete Kelly has been nursing for 17 years – with 16 of those in anaesthetic nursing. His passion for patient care in the perianaesthetic field is backed up by his involvement in research and education, specifically pertaining to difficult airway management and trauma anaesthesia.

Pete is keen to see the field of anaesthetic nursing grow with the addition of skills and responsibilities.

Additional credits

Maniacal laughter by Justin “Purple J” Lambert, Stan “Disapproving Head Shake” Domeshok, German “German Dave” Dave and Anushka “Gate Opener” Wikramanayake.

Fan feedback by Justin “Purple J” Lambert, Stan “Disapproving Head Shake” Domeshok, German “German Dave” Dave, Anushka “Gate Opener” Wikramanayake, Katie “Spanish Influenza” Honan and Sal “Moral Support” Yeung.

Music credits

Opening and closing jingles by Katie “Spanish Influenza” Honan.

Backing music by Lily Chen.

Management Of COPD

It’s always the greatest when mnemonics match the thing they’re relating to.

Even if it does involve a couple of extra Ps.


Inhaled Corticosteroids if FEV1>50% with 2+ exacerbations/year and a short course of systemic corticosteroids for severe exacerbations

Home Oxygen and oxygen during exacerbations to maintain SpO2 at 88-92%

Prevention with smoking cessation and immunisations against influenza and pneumococcus

Physical activity

Pulmonary rehabilitation

Penicillin, meaning amoxycillin or the non-penicillin doxycycline for severe exacerbations

Inhaled bronchoDilators


  1. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In: eTG complete [Internet]. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited (eTG July 2018 edition); 2015 Mar.

Light’s Criteria For Pleural Effusions

If any of the following conditions are met, it is an exudate, full of protein and turbid, unclear fluid. Think malignancy or certain infections.

Light’s Criteria

  1. Pleural fluid protein / serum protein > 0.5
  2. Pleural fluid LDH / serum LDH > 0.6
  3. Pleural fluid LDH > 2/3 x upper limit of normal serum LDH

Memory Aid

  • Pleural
    • Criterion 1 = protein
    • Criterion 2 = LDH
    • Criterion 3 = LDH again
  • Increasing numbers
    • 0.5
    • 0.6
    • 0.666666 to infinity


  1. MDCalc. (2018). Light’s Criteria for Exudative Effusions. [online] Available at: https://www.mdcalc.com/lights-criteria-exudative-effusions [Accessed 14 Sep. 2018].
  2. Exeter Clinical Laboratory International. (2018). Transudate or Exudate / Blood Sciences Test. [online] Available at: https://www.exeterlaboratory.com/test/transudate-or-exudate/ [Accessed 14 Sep. 2018].