I spent my childhood in Victoria before moving to Adelaide to study medicine. I graduated from Flinders University in 1984 and commenced general medical practice in Adelaide in 1985. I was one of the principle doctors at Morphettville Medical Centre for over 20 years. In 2012, I moved to Melbourne to join my new partner, Jenny, and re-established myself as a GP.
I have experience in most areas of general practice including: sporting and musculoskeletal conditions, skin conditions, diabetes, heart disease, sexual health and travel medicine. My special area of interest and expertise is nutrition and lifestyle medicine, particularly in relation to treating chronic disease.
I have always strived to keep my medical knowledge up to date and to extend my expertise across the full range of general medical practice. However, I also try to live a balanced lifestyle and I enjoy my sporting activities and other recreation, and therefore I do not have time to maintain up to date, in depth knowledge across all areas of medicine. For example, I not do: shared obstetric care, HIV medications, surgery other than minor skin procedures, treat opiate and benzodiazepine dependence, or provide treatment in hospitals. I do not provide home visits or nursing home visits although I do provide Telehealth consultations on a limited basis.
My interest in nutrition began in medical school when I learnt that many of the diseases that were thought of as age-related, genetic or random were strongly linked to diet and other lifestyle factors.
Furthermore, the dietary patterns that were associated with heart disease were the same as those for diabetes, hypertension, bowel diseases and breast and prostate cancers. My personal response was to change my own diet to one based mostly on minimally refined plant-based foods. This seemed to work well as I began to perform well in distance running and triathlon events.
I was involved with the Pritikin Health Association in the late 1980’s before completing a Graduate Diploma in Human Nutrition at Deakin University in 1993. In 2010, I teamed up with my research librarian partner, Jenny, and began following the latest developments in the mainly USA based whole foods, plant-based movement. This was not some fad, these researchers and doctors were working from a solid base of published research and clinical experience.
I soon realised that I had underestimated the effectiveness of a whole foods, plant-based diet for treating chronic diseases rather than just for prevention.
I wish to make the point that I do not consider myself an alternative or integrative medicine practitioner. I prescribe conventional pharmaceuticals when I consider that the benefits outweigh the adverse effects. I fully support childhood immunisation and other public health measures such as iodised salt, and I only recommend lifestyle measures which are broadly supported by medical research. I prescribe very few nutritional supplements and even less natural medicines, other than whole plant foods.
I understand that diet is a personal and often very emotive subject and that my role is to inform patients of this therapeutic option. Meaningful change requires shared decision making and a patient centred approach and I endeavour to support this.