Dr. Jeremy (@thebowtiedoctor) is a General Practitioner in Sydney's Inner West. He is also a RACGP Fellowship Examiner and the current Club Doctor for the rugby union team Wests Harbour Rugby Pirates. Before pursuing to become a doctor, he used to be a performing concert cellist.
What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted in your life? (Feel free to give specific brands/models).
A few years ago I picked up a Sunbeam Blender On The Go for about $20 at Kmart. I've used it almost everyday since for quick juices or smoothies. With the long hours of work, I find it allows me to make sure I always have some kind of nutrients in me.
What is the funniest thing that has happened (to you or witnessed) in your job?
I'm sure if you ask my colleagues, they would say everything about me is comical. However, one funny thing that stays in my memory was one time when a patient was required to do a stool sample. On returning from the bathroom with the specimen container, she said "maybe next time you should give a bigger container, here's the rest of it". To which, she produced a piece of poo in her hand.
Favourite guilty pleasure after a stressful day at work?
After a stressful day, I like to just switch my mind off. My current guilty pleasure is to play Animal Crossing on the Nintendo Switch.
How has a failure (or apparent failure) set you up for later success? Do you have a "favourite failure" of yours?
I've always had the mindset that we can only become better from learning from our mistakes. My "favourite failure" would have to be just missing out on the marks after high school to go straight into medicine. This taught me to really value what it means to be a doctor and to always strive to be the best doctor I can be. Even now as an established GP, I always remind myself to never settle for mediocre when treating my patients.
If you have a billboard for all other healthcare professionals out there with any message, what would it say? (It can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)
"Rest, but never quit". That's my personal motto which I've lived by since young. I incorporate that both in my personal life, and my attitude when trying to find a diagnosis or treatment for a patient. Another quote which I follow is "when you want to succeed, as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful" (Eric Thomas); and the classic "live to work, don't work to live".
What is an unusual habit or (conventionally considered to be) absurd thing that you do/love (may or may not be related to your discipline/practice)?
A habit that I do which I presume is unusual to most (but may not be), is wearing a bowtie everyday at work, which I've done now for almost 10 years. It started off as a fashionable joke, but became a reminder that if I make an effort to dress up, it would keep me motivated and positive for the day. (Unfortunately, with COVID19 and infection control, I have not been able to wear my bowties lately).
In the last 5 years, what new belief, behaviour or habit that has most improved your life (may or may not be related to your discipline/practice)?
Meditation. This has been a big influence in my personal and working life, as it has taught me to slow down, particularly when living in the fast and hectic pace of Sydney.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven student? What advice should they ignore?
My one advice is to make sure you love whatever you choose to do. That way you know you're doing it for the right reasons. Subsequently, I would ignore anyone who tells you that you're not good enough.
What bad recommendations do you hear in your area of expertise that you would want to correct the most?
You do not need antibiotics for a viral infection! Antibiotics are for bacteria, not viruses.
In the last 5 years, what have you become better at saying "no" to? What new realizations helped?
I'm still learning to say no to my wife, but I have definitely learnt to say no to working late hours. This developed after realising if I don't look after myself with a better work/life balance, I wouldn't be able to look after my patients.
When you feel overwhelmed or lost focus temporarily, what do you do? (What questions do you ask yourself to get back on track?)
On top of meditation and deep breathing to re-centre myself, I recollect myself by going to the gym and working out regularly. In a specific overwhelming moment, I remember why I started whatever journey I'm on.
What is your best or your favourite achievement in your career so far?
My favourite career achievement has been opening my own medical practice. In so doing, it has allowed me to create a work environment on values that I believe in.
Jeremy completed his medical degree at the University of Queensland following which, he returned to NSW to work at Liverpool Hospital. He continued his medical training in the field of General Practice in medical centres around NSW, and subsequently obtained his Fellowship in General Practice. He is a keen advocate of furthering medical education and training and is currently a Fellowship Examiner for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and a member of the NSW RACGP New Fellows Committee. He was previously a Board Director at GPSynergy.
Jeremy has special interests in Family Medicine and Sports Medicine. He currently holds a Diploma in Child Health and sees children regularly in the practice. He is a regular speaker at events where he attends with his helper – a miniature skeleton model named “Mr Bones” – to entertain and educate kids. He is an accredited Antenatal Shared Care doctor with all Sydney based hospitals.
Having completed a Graduate Certificate in Sports Medicine, Jeremy is continuing his studies in a Masters in Sports Medicine. He has a love for all things sports and fitness. It’s common to see him out at a local rugby game or training at the local gym. He is the current Club Doctor for the Wests Harbour Rugby Pirates.