Dr Ranjana Srivastava, an oncologist who this year was awarded an OAM for her contribution to medicine, was sponsored by BHS, GICS and St John of God hospital to visit Ballarat and talk about patient doctor communication.
Held at the Yacht Club, on a beautiful Friday evening, a wide ranging audience (community members, specialists, GP's, nurses, allied health, trainee doctors, palliative care professionals and administrators) of 104 attended.
Ranjana's talk was extremely provoking - providing examples of very ill patients who were 'caught up' in the complex systems of hospitals, and in the hand off from one healthcare professional to another. She also talked about research and personal experience indicating that some cancer patients do not wish to hear about their prognosis. However she asked health professionals to take courage and to have those difficult conversations - rather than leaving it to the coordinating doctor. Mr David Deutscher, ensured a lively debate on topics ranging from euthanasia to advice for junior doctors, by moderating questions from the floor. In closing the evening, a cancer survivor also took the opportunity to offer advice about communication - "Be present with your patient, and be kind".
Thanks to all for your support of this event.