Injecting regulations into cosmetic medicine

Cosmetic procedures quite often receive bad press; they’re seen as unbridled vanity and something to be frowned upon (if you can still frown, that is). But the industry drivers are far more complex than simple vanity. Society rewards attractiveness in both obvious and subtle ways. Little in our social existence is truly immune from the…

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Facebook – friend or foe?

It’s hard to remember life without social media. I saw my first computer in high school – it was the size of a fridge and didn’t have a keyboard. We had to use cards to enter data. We excitedly programmed it to write “happy birthday” and “school is boring” over and over. We weren’t quite…

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Enlisting psychology in the fight against terrorism

We are in the midst of a wave of soul searching trying to understand the Lindt Café siege in Sydney. In a sense we’ve been collectively holding our breaths for years wondering if Australia would ever fall victim to a terrorist act. Terrorism has many definitions but by and large usually refers to the use…

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KPIs for your life

Anyone who’s worked in a big organisation will know about KPIs – key performance indicators. Numbers to measure how the organisation is functioning. We have dozens in hospitals – time from arrival to discharge, infection rate, falls rate, seclusions rate, sick leave rates etc, etc. They annoy some people who claim they’re “too simplistic” or…

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How well do you know your own feelings?

A patient screamed, “I’m not angry.” Another on finding out about their partners infidelity claimed “I’m not jealous, just disappointed.” And they believed it, at least in the heat of the moment. But were they right? I’m pretty good at recognising the emotional states of others, but pretty poor when it comes to myself. Not…

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Comedians and mental illness – is there a link?

The coroner has now released preliminary findings confirming that Robin Williams died by suicide. Mixed with the eulogies and grief over the loss of such a talented comedian, his family, friends, fans and admirers are starting to ask why? In particular, we are trying to understand how a man who could be so funny and…

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When AIDS came to town

Next week the 20th International AIDS Conference comes to Melbourne (starting July 20). This will be the biggest medical conference ever held in Australia. President Bill Clinton and Sir Bob Geldof are attending. So are about 12,000 advocates, consumers, carers, scientists and health care workers. The ramifications of big events usually take decades to become…

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Political lies, white lies and damned lies

Lying has been in the news this week. Apparently some politicians, somewhere, made all sorts of claims prior to an election, and then did the opposite after the election. Go figure. Lying is ubiquitous. According to this study humans tell about two lies per day. Women are more likely to lie to protect someone’s feelings…

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