Mastering Intensive Care 004 with Neil Orford

In this Mastering Intensive Care podcast, Assoc Prof Neil Orford from University Hospital Geelong in Geelong, Australia describes how he has had to learn key leadership skills, how he values and now teaches communication skills, how he works on his overall life balance and how he has developed an interest in writing.

Neil discusses how he ended up studying medicine after considering being a vet and a mathematician; how he uses regular reflection to optimise his life balance, concentrating on understanding the number of major projects he is involved in at any one time; how he needed to find good leadership training once he became an ICU director in his 30s

Assoc Prof Neil Orford discusses how important skilled communication is and how he has become involved in a communication program which amongst other things uses professional actors; how communication skills can be used in all areas of life; the key characteristics of good clinicians; how he interacts with other team-members on a ward round; use of mobile phones on ward rounds and how important a regular presence in the ICU is.

The interview concludes with a discussion of Neil’s interest in writing, how he penned an opinion piece for the local newspaper and how this was received, where he is aiming at with his writing, and how writing gives him some release from the other aspects of his job. Neil guesses that his colleagues would consider him to be a caring leader and after listening to this excellent interview most listeners are likely to agree.

My genuine hope with the Mastering Intensive Care podcast is to inspire and empower you to bring your best self to the ICU by listening to the perspectives of such thought-provoking guests as Wes Ely. I passionately believe we can all get better, both as carers and as people, so we can do our absolute best for those patients whose lives are truly in our hands.

Feel free to leave a comment on the Facebook “mastering intensive care” page, on the LITFL episode page, on Twitter using #masteringintensivecare, or by sending me an email at andrewATmasteringintensivecare.com.

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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