Medical Jellybeans with @TheTopEnd

Jellybeans. Conversations with Care. The Jellybeans started here and are now also hosted on (The Original) & This is the complete collection. Sometimes containing more controversial offerings.

One of the stories behind the genesis of Jellybeanery.


What are Jellybeans? Why are Jellybeans?

Oli Flower of fame asked me and I came up with this answer.

I think of them as bright multi coloured moles growing on the face of the whole FOAMed thing.

No, I shouldn’t say that.

I think of them as humorous asides with people on the sidelines of the whole extended medical family.

No that’s not it.

Actually I don’t really think of them at all.

I don’t prepare for them, I don’t edit them, I don’t plan. I have a phone, one tiny microphone and a personality disorder.

Really the whole thing came about because on a good day I find everyone interesting.

(Admittedly there are other days when I don’t want to talk to anyone.)

Everyone has a story worth telling. Paramedics, nurses, pilots, reiki masters, physiotherapists, doctors and normal people.

Ive got a few too.

Here’s a little story.

I worked with Minh Le Cong (previously @rfdsdoc now @ketaminh ) for the last two years in the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Cairns.

Many people may find this hard to believe but Minh is actually a real person. Not a normal person but a real one nonetheless.

Contrary to the commonly held opinion Minh does have an off switch. It doesn’t seem to work but it is there. How he manages to fit that much tweeting into his waking hours is beyond me. Then there’s all that Google Plus stuff, the SMACCery and the PHARMing, never mind the Flying, the Doctoring and the fathering. Seriously; the guy is a one man FOAM tsunami.

One day I was doing what I do best; lying in a hammock in a remote aboriginal community. Minh called (skype-d), he had been threatening to record me for his podcast and we were supposed to discuss an interesting remote paediatric multi-trauma case I had flown to recently on Cape York.

We started talking and then Matt MacPartlin called Minh too (skype) and there followed 80 plus minutes of laughing and jabbering and tangential non-sense. I enjoyed being in the conversation but we never even got to the case! I said to Minh at the end that he ought to brutally edit it or just delete it. He didn’t. It went up on in full. That’s Minh.

Months later at SMACC in the wee small hours and after many fine wines and ales Cliff Reid (of Cliff Reid fame) told me I was involved in “the worst podcast ever”.

That’s quite an achievement!

I think Cliff Reid is right about almost everything so I took this opinion as seriously as any Karaoke bar conversation can be taken.

In fact the 10 minutes of conversation shouted over a Nancy Sinatra backing track with Cliff Reid contained many more gems than I produced in the 80 minute podcast he was irretrievably scarred by! (hmmmmmmm)

Cliff wanted to hear about the crushed kids in the middle of nowhere and listened to the whole thing. At the end he was none the wiser.

I hate that feeling, although that’s how I felt after Fellini’s “8 1/2” so it’s a love/hate thing.

My only talents are; “Has a funny accent. Talks too fast.”

So I came to the conclusion that if I’m going to not get to the point lets not get to that point as quickly as possible. I can only take so much of myself so why would anyone else want to listen to excess me?

Jellybeans are not medical education. There are no model exam answers or clinical pearls in there.

The interesting parts of the conversations are always uttered by the other people I’m chatting to.

They are brief bite size moments with interesting people doing interesting stuff in interesting places. It’s not the stuff of text books. It is more like “1001Arabian Nights”.

The people I talk to everyday are inspirational. So I’ve recorded a few of them.

Humans are fascinating. The jobs we do are, at their best, the best jobs in the world.

I don’t have enough life to waste any of it doing something I don’t love. like Scheherezade I am keenly aware that every night could be my last. ( )

Surely any one doing what we do would be aware of this.

Enjoy what you do. If you don’t enjoy it, change something.

Most Jellybeans involve people who have changed things. Change is good.

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This entry was posted on March 26, 2014 by in Uncategorized.

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