Dr Simon Madin (Class of 1977)

One that really stands out for me was at the end of our training and I’ll retell it as I remember it.  I was in the class of 1977.  That was 40 years ago now but I have never forgotten this most important piece of teaching I received at the Austin.

On our very last day as students at the Austin, our Professor of Medicine, the late Austin Doyle, called us all together in the small lecture theatre.  He said: "I have something very important to discuss with you.  Shortly you will be doctors."  He then put this question to us.  "What are the three most important things you must do to ensure a successful career in medicine?"  Students responded with answers such as: “Place the patient’s head at a 45 degree angle to observe the JVP”, or, “Use the bell of your stethoscope to listen for diastolic murmurs".  He said: “No, no, no.  "I’ll tell you the three most important attributes of a successful doctor.  Number one: communication.  Number two: communication.  Number three: communication!”

In my nearly 40 years of practicing medicine I’ve never forgotten this important piece of advice.  It has helped me enormously and held me in good stead throughout my career.  I’ve also passed this sage advice on to the many students and registrars I have had the privilege to teach over the years.

This is an example of what was so inspirational about the Austin Clinical School.  We weren’t just taught clinical medicine, we were also taught how to be good doctors.

Dr Simon Madin
Class of 1977