Issue 6
Tuesday, 04 August 2020
Charles Darwin University
E-news
From left: Aunty Bilawara Lee, Vicki Kerrigan and Her Honour the Honourable Vicki O’Halloran AO at the Ask the Specialist podcast launch
From left: Aunty Bilawara Lee, Vicki Kerrigan and Her Honour the Honourable Vicki O’Halloran AO at the Ask the Specialist podcast launch

Podcasts for Top End doctors go global

By Patrick Nelson

A Northern Territory podcast to inspire better healthcare has gone global with listeners on nearly every continent since its launch in Darwin five weeks ago. 

Menzies School of Health Research PhD candidate and lead podcast creator Vicki Kerrigan said that while most listeners were in Australia, “Ask the Specialist” had been heard in Uganda, China, Sweden, Israel, Turkey, Brazil, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“There have been about 4000 downloads, which is pretty darn good for a little podcast created in the NT. It suggests that the content has relevance beyond our primary audience of medical doctors in the Top End,” Ms Kerrigan said.

“Feedback indicates the messages are applicable to anyone in a cultural environment in the NT working with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.”

The seven 20-minute episodes answer doctors’ questions about working with Aboriginal patients in Top End hospitals and offer ideas to improve the delivery of culturally respectful care.

Ms Kerrigan said that the “Informed Consent” podcast had influenced at least one medical doctor in the NT to change their practice.

“Sometimes informed consent can be difficult to navigate, especially if there is a language barrier or someone feels disempowered, perhaps by racism for example,” she said. “Essentially the doctor is engaging the patient in a number of conversations and offering them a lot more time.”

The series was developed in collaboration with the Top End Health Service, and Larrakia Elder Aunty Bilawara Lee, Tiwi Elder Pirrawayingi Puruntatameri and Yolŋu leader Rarrtjiwuy Melanie Herdman, who brought their knowledge, understanding and authority to the resource.

The podcasts:
Episode 1: Get to know your patient
Episode 2: Communicating with your patient
Episode 3: Communicating with interpreters and your patient
Episode 4: Patient-centered care
Episode 5: Informed consent
Episode 6: Recognising and addressing racism
Episode 7: Perspectives on health and wellbeing

How to listen: W: menzies.edu.au/askthespecialist