Making life and work fun

Making life and work fun (including ward rounds) – Mastering Intensive Care 068 with David Tuxen

In this episode the focus is on our Intensive Care friends in the UK and what they are going through right now with COVID-19.

This episode features Professor David Tuxen, a pioneer of Intensive Care in Australia, who recently retired after 38 years at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. David trained in both respiratory and intensive care medicine, and became the Alfred’s ICU Director at a young age. He led the development of one of Australia’s first mega-ICUs before standing down after over 20 years as Director to re-energise his passion for teaching and research.

David is a Professor at Monash University, still works as an intensivist at Albury Hospital and previously served in leadership roles including President of ANZICS and Chairman of the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Foundation. He is globally renowned for his teaching and research on many aspects of mechanical ventilation.

David was my first ICU Director, and he rapidly became, and remains, a wise, enthusiastic and long-standing mentor to me. I have particularly admired his excellent clinical skills and specifically his attention to detail so I am thrilled he agreed to appear on the podcast.

Given many people in Australia and New Zealand know David by his nickname “Tux” it shouldn’t surprise you to know that David likes to have fun and bring humour to most occasions. In this episode, David’s principle message is not to be serious at all times during a day at work, and to keep up an active social life, including with colleagues, in the periods between work.

David delivers a lot of other great advice in this episode, as he talks about topics including:

  • Becoming an ICU Director at a young age
  • The changes he’s witnessed over his career
  • Which patients we sometimes over-treat in our ICUs
  • Resolving differing opinions about patient prognoses
  • The value of thorough physical examination in ICU
  • Building rapport with families, especially for end of life conversations
  • His experience in being filmed for a reality TV series
  • Communicating with patient’s families
  • Ward round teaching
  • Tips for presenting a good talk
  • The differences between working in a tertiary and a regional centre ICU
  • What he thinks best maintains his wellbeing
  • The toll of work on his family life

Tux has led a high-achieving, well-respected and clinically-orientated career. It’s a great privilege to have him on the podcast. I hope you will enjoy listening to David Tuxen.

Further reading and listening

Dr Andrew Davies MBBS FRACP FCIC. Intensivist/researcher at Frankston Hospital, Melbourne. Aiming to bring my best self to work & life. | Mastering Intensive Care | New Normal project |

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