In this CCIM podcast interview series, health writer & journalist Andrew Bracey sits down with some fascinating doctors to chat about how they’re seeking out their own creative professional paths and enriching their personal and professional lives along the way.

We hear from doctors who are also authors, med-tech entrepreneurs, innovators, film makers, acclaimed musicians, founders of successful business, advocates for their profession and educational leaders - people who are expanding their horizons by taking charge of their careers.


Tony Chu is a Medical Doctor (University of Sydney) with diverse creative interests. He is an award-winning director-producer who has made over 35 short films. Within the film  industry, Tony is well-known as the Head of NAFA [Networking Action for Filmmakers & Actors] which he founded in 2002 and Festival Director of Show-Fest International for ten years. He is also an accomplished actor (“Packed to the Rafters”, “Wild Boys”) and professional screenwriter. Interested in connecting with other doctors with creative pursuits, Tony was the Founder/ President of the Creative Doctors Network and Festival Director of Doc Art Festival for four years.


Sonia Henry is in her early thirties and lives and works in Sydney as a doctor. When she’s not being a medic she devotes her spare time to writing and has been published in Kevin MD (America’s leading physician blog), SMHThe Australian Medical Students Journal, and has scientific publications in the ANZ Journal of Surgery.  Her most widely-read article was an anonymous piece about the stress of medical training and was shared more than 20,000 times and republished widely around the world. Sonia’s debut novel is a darkly funny, sad and inspiring novel about the brutal world of medical training and will be published in mid-2019.


Dr Vijay Paul & Dr Nishanth Krishnananthan are the Co-CEOs of Vantari VR, Virtual Reality for Healthcare. Their technology provides transformative applications for Doctors and Patients as they bring to life medical imaging and the human body. A little bit about these medtech entrepreneurs... Vijay has over 7 years of clinical experience working as an MD primarily in Emergency Medicine, leading teams in high pressure situations everyday. Nishanth is a Surgical doctor in Australia, with experience in Medicine and Surgery in both metropolitan and rural hospitals.


Dinesh was the first quadriplegic medical intern in Queensland, and the second person to graduate medical school with quadriplegia in Australia.

Dinesh earned a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), prior to completing his Doctor of Medicine (MD) at the Griffith University. He has completed an Advanced Clerkship in Radiology at the Harvard University. Halfway through medical school, he was involved in a catastrophic motor vehicle accident that caused a cervical spinal cord injury.
As a result of his injury and experiences, Dinesh has been an advocate for inclusivity in medicine and the workplace generally. He is a founding member of Doctors with Disabilities Australia.

Dinesh is currently a resident medical officer at the Gold Coast University Hospital. He is a lecturer at the Griffith University and adjunct research fellow at the Menzies Health Institute of Queensland. He has research interests in spinal cord injury, particularly with novel rehabilitation techniques.

Dinesh is the Gold Coast University Hospital’s representative in the Australian Medical Association Queensland’s Council of Doctors in Training. He is a member of the scientific advisory committee of the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation, adjunct member of Gold Coast Orthopaedic Research and Education Alliance (GCORE), and member of the Ambassador Council at the Hopkins Centre.

Dinesh was the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service’s Junior Doctor of the Year in 2018. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2019.


Having studied Physiotherapy, Physiology and Anatomy in addition to his medical studies, Mitch is registered as a both a Medical doctor and Physiotherapist. His areas of interest are diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation, with a particular interest in musculoskeletal injury. Mitch also consults a broad range of athletes on nutrition, training and bike fit from his unique perspective as a former professional triathlete (12 years) and physiologist.

Mitch holds the World Record for 24hr endurance cycling. The 24 hour is considered the pinnacle of endurance cycling and is an event that most get the opportunity to attempt only once in a lifetime. In the lead up to his attempt, he'd already successfully broken the 12 hour endurance cycling world record with a ride of 492km which taught him a lot of lessons but also proved to himself that he had what it takes to attempt the 24 hour.

Mitch has some really fascinating insights from a personal perspective, but also a medical standpoint about what he and his research partner have to share from the physiological data and observations they logged, compiled and examined along the way.


The founder of crazysocks4docs movement. Dr. Geoff Toogood is a Cardiologist and specialist consulting Aviation Cardiologist who has practiced for 20 years on the Mornington Peninsula. He has held The Director of Cardiology position at Frankston Hospital and is a Fellow of the College of Physicians, Cardiac Society and the prestigious Heart Rhythm Society.
He has lived experience of both depression and anxiety. He faced stigma and discrimination at many levels and was determined that once recovered he would create awareness movement to break down the stigma faced by health professionals. He wants to reduce Doctors suicide round the world.


In this episode we speak with Melbourne doctor, author and speaker Lucy Desmond who is spearheading a project titled "Beauty Within Medicine” - it's aimed at changing the way we teach medicine through a series of beautifully designed and illustrated infographic textbooks that she and her team hope will provide more engaging resources for medical students that also reflect the diversity of our modern society.
As Lucy explains in this episode, early on in her own medical training, it occurred to her that the range of human bodies used as the basis of her anatomy education was pretty much limited to – in her words – skinny young anglo-saxon males – and that it seemed to her that a lot more could be done to prepare modern doctors for the much more diverse range of human bodies they would ultimately be confronted with throughout their careers.
With the first text in Beauty Within Medicine series is currently on track to be released later this year, Lucy spoke about how she has been able to find the time to work on this project, some of the push back she’s received as a junior doctor challenging the way medical education is delivered, and why she feels it is so important for her to put her money where her mouth is on this issue.


Recorded live on the CCIM 2019 stage, this episode features the conversation between CCIM Chief of Pod, Andrew Bracey and Dr Philip Nitschke that kicked off Day 2 of the event.
Philip Nitschke is a passionate activist, author, former physician and founder and director of the pro-euthanasia group Exit International. He campaigned successfully to have a legal euthanasia law passed in the Northern Territory and assisted four people in ending their lives before the law was overturned. He was the first doctor in the world to administer a legal, voluntary, lethal injection, after which the patient activated the syringe using a computer.
In 2015, Philip burned his medical practising certificate in response to what he saw as onerous conditions that violated his right to free speech, imposed on him by the Medical Board of Australia.
This conversation focuses less on Philip's belief around an individual's right to die and more in depth at an interesting medical career that went against the largest governing bodies. It delves into the drivers and barriers to follow a passion or standing by your convictions.


Dr Preeya Alexander is a GP based in Richmond, Melbourne with a passion for all things ‘prevention’ in medicine. She also works as a medical educator at Eastern Victoria GP Training where she assists in the education of training GPs. Preeya is a regular commentator on lifestyle publications, Mamamia and The Grace Tales and is often called in as an expert for Channel 7’s morning program, Sunrise.


After gaining his medical degree in 2008, Vyom Sharma completed specialist training and currently works as a General Practitioner. However alongside his clinical work, he has carved out a career in show business. As a magician and mentalist, he has performed live stage shows at the Sydney Opera House, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and was a grand finalist on Australia’s Got Talent. He enjoys engaging in health and science communication. He is a regular Guest Lecturer at Monash University’s school of biological sciences, writes op-eds on health issues and is a regular host on RRR radio station.


Dr Michael Bonning is a practicing GP who works in Sydney for Loxley Health and is Chief Medical Officer for Inspired Adventures. He is also Medical Director of a US tech start-up, Dermasensor and has split his time between Australia and Sydney since 2017. Prior to that he was a medical officer in the Royal Australian Navy deploying overseas to the Middle East, South East Asia, the Mediterranean and off Australia’s northern borders. He is the current Chair of the AMA (NSW) and a Director of GP Synergy. He has previously led the Australian Medical Students’ Association and the AMA Council of Doctors in Training and been a Director of Beyond Blue. Once, just for fun he was a partner in a healthcare consulting firm.


Sara is an Occupational and Aviation Medicine Specialist, kiwi born and bred but now living in the colder part of Australia (Snowy Mountains) with her husband and two teenage children. She is currently Group Medical Officer at Virgin Australia Airlines, but previously has held roles as Senior Medical Officer at Air New Zealand, and Senior Medical Officer at CASA. She has lived in the hotter parts of Australia (Broken Hill) on two occasions, early on as a doctor with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. It was here she began working hand in hand with pilots and so began a career in and love of aviation medicine. She has been a CAA/CASA pilot Medical examiner for nearly 20 years.


Dr. Mikaela Seymour graduated Griffith University in 2015, and has been participating in medical volunteering in Papua New Guinea ever since. As an unaccredited general surgery registrar, her passions are surgery in low resource environments and combatting communicable disease. Working with Queensland Rural Medical Education (QRME) she assists in the administration of the PNG health Project Orienteering Medical students to work in developing health care systems. In her spare time, she sits on the Qld council of doctors in training, and serves with the Australian Army as a reservist medical officer.
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Andrew Bracey

Health Writer & Journalist

After more than a decade working as a political journalist and managing editor at various industry focused health publications, Andrew is now digging deep into the issues affecting the CCIM community.

He’ll be sharing these stories and interviews through the CCIM podcast series and the CCIM blog.

For CCIM podcast or interview related enquiries Andrew can be reached via hello@creativecareersinmedicine.com

These podcasts are a co-production between Creative Careers In Medicine and Embrace Creative.

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