I read a book called ‘The Coming Plague‘ when I was in medical school. It was fascinating. It formed a picture of the world in my mind as a bubbling soup of seething micro-organisms waiting for the right circumstances to break out, to come forth and multiply – at our expense. It also introduced me to the many ways that we have tried to fight back, where we’ve gone wrong, and how we may fight back in the future.
Laurie Garrett speaking at TED at the time of the avian influenza scare in 2007, tells us of the problems that face us in dealing with a severe pandemic and some of the lessons we can learn from the 1918 Spanish influenza epidemic.
We have moved on since this talk. Hopefully the world is more prepared. Fortunately the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus appears to cause an illness more like seasonal influenza than the severe illnesses of avian and 1918 Spanish influenza.
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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