Seen and Heard: Media and Podcasts

The Faculty organises regular media training sessions throughout the year. Please email MMS communications manager Liz Lopez if you'd like your name on the list for future sessions.

Seen and heard

Why are women ignored by medical research?
Pursuit, 7 March 2020

Professor Kate Leslie, from the Centre for Critical Care writes on the invisibility of women in funding and clinical trial guidelines and barriers preventing women's participation in research. "In the increasingly competitive environment for research grants, researchers would make more effort to include women if their funding truly depended on it." (Also check out outgoing head of Biomedical Sciences Professor Fabienne Mackay's article on gender bias in the peer review process).

Are we overusing chemoradiotherapy in some bowel cancers?
Pursuit, 23 February 2020Professor Ian Hayes (Department of Medical Education) co-wrote with Dr Jeanette Reece. "Given the potential for severe side effects from chemoradiotherapy in rectal cancer cases, including chronic bowel and sexual dysfunction, as well as the wider cost of treatment, our results are an opportunity to open up a discussion on when to use chemoradiotherapy before early stage lower rectal cancer surgery."

The Genomic Jigsaw of Cancer
Pursuit, 11 February 2020

Professor Sean Grimmond (Department of Clinical Pathology/ Centre for Cancer Research) on the $6 million Cancer of Unmet Need Initiative, a partnership between the University and Illumina, one of the world's leading biotech companies. "While the overall outlook for people with cancer has almost doubled in recent decades, this initiative targets those classes of cancers that have not seen these improved outcomes."

Simple Ways to Support People Dealing with Traumatic Events
Pursuit 8 January 2020

Professor Meaghan O'Donnell (Phoenix Australia/ Department of Psychiatry) offers research-backed advice on relating to people affected by trauma. 
"Don't offer advice, just listen and reflect back what you've heard."

The Conversation Hour: the Doctor Shortage in regional Victoria
ABC Radio Melbourne, Monday 17 February  (starts at 54'55")

Medical students are being trained in regional towns with the intention that they will stay and work once they've graduated. Is that the answer to the doctor shortage and what else could help fix the issue? "In the General Practice sphere, we are going to have crisis in the next decade if we don't make plans for that now," warns Professor Julian Wright, Head of our Department of Rural Health.

Radiotherapy – miscarriage and STIs 
RRR FM, 16 February 2020 (tune in at 16'00")

Dr Jade Bilardi (Department of General Practice) was interviewed on her research on health and social support after miscarriage and called for participants in a new study (  She advises healthcare professionals: "We need to acknowledge that loss… that's as simple as saying I'm so sorry for your loss. Those few words mean so much".
DGP colleague Professor Meredith Temple-Smith spoke on the rise of drug-resistant gonorrhoea and the intrusive, painful treatments of the pre-antibiotic era.

Here's How We Can Eliminate Cervical Cancer in Under 2 Decades
Healthline Mon 10 February

Dr Alex Polyakov (Dept Obstetrics and Gynaecology) comments on a paper that claims increased HPV screening could wipe out cervical cancer. "The biggest obstacles to this optimistic scenario are barriers to both vaccination and Pap smear screening … There is also an active anti-vaccination movement in some parts of the community, which is strongly opposed to HPV vaccination."

Ice fuels Melbourne hospital ED attacks
4 February 2020,, Canberra Times.

Professor George Braitberg (Centre for Critical Care) on the first study to quantify attacks on staff by ED patients using methamphetamines. "This is a growing problem and needs to be approached with a different model of care where emergency, mental health, addiction and allied health clinicians work together in the same space, to provide the best care for these patients". Also: Unimelb media release, and Nine Network.

Thousands of Queenslanders have Blood Tests Mislabelled
12 December 2020, Brisbane Times

Professor David Story, Deputy Director of the Centre for Critical Care, says the rollout of electronic medical records could be a contributing factor in the incidence of mislabelled blood vials in the QLD health system.

Fitbit for the brain helping Aussies with epilepsy
Herald-Sun, 20 Feb 2020

Professor Mark Cook and colleagues have developed a "Fitbit for the brain" — an implantable device to monitor epileptic seizures and warn patients of impending episodes. "We've recently had some interest from private donors, which would potentially let us take this overseas to manufacture it. But if we could get an Australian manufacturer on-board we could put it into people very quickly and keep the know-how and jobs we've generated in Australia".

The Med Ed Source podcast, hosted by the Department of Medical Education's Brett Vaughan, is back for a new 2020 season. The first episode features Victor Lee, Director of Emergency Medicine at Austin Health on rater cognition.