A few years ago I was looking after an elderly woman in the emergency department who had suffered a stroke. She was aphasic — unable to understand speech or create comprehensible sentences. I explained to her family what had happened to her. Then her daughter asked me a question for which I hadn’t prepared an answer:
“What does it feel like to have a stroke?”
The answer to this question is not taught in medical school. I could call on a few vague recollections from some of Oliver Sacks‘ books, but the place I directed her to was TED.com and a talk by the neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor. Taylor wrote a book titled My Stroke of Insight based on her own experience of a hemorrhagic stroke. The fusion of her objective scientific approach with her personal, subjective internal adventure gives an incredible unique insight into the effect of an intracerebral hemorrhage on the human mind.
After finishing his medical degree at the University of Auckland, he continued post-graduate training in New Zealand as well as Australia’s Northern Territory, Perth and Melbourne. He has completed fellowship training in both intensive care medicine and emergency medicine, as well as post-graduate training in biochemistry, clinical toxicology, clinical epidemiology, and health professional education.
He is actively involved in in using translational simulation to improve patient care and the design of processes and systems at Alfred Health. He coordinates the Alfred ICU’s education and simulation programmes and runs the unit’s education website, INTENSIVE. He created the ‘Critically Ill Airway’ course and teaches on numerous courses around the world. He is one of the founders of the FOAM movement (Free Open-Access Medical education) and is co-creator of litfl.com, the RAGE podcast, the Resuscitology course, and the SMACC conference.
His one great achievement is being the father of two amazing children.
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