Bio

A ’94 graduate of the Sydney University veterinary school, I also completed an honours year in pharmacology,  seeding interests in imaging, cardiology and critical thinking. Academia and teaching was tempting, but my frustration with the creative straight-jacket of scientific writing limited my publications to three.

Lucky enough to get my clinical grounding in large multi-vet referral hospitals in Sydney, I worked within supportive teams of GPs and specialists. While participating in most aspects of high-end small animal medicine, I was somewhat cloistered and didn’t really challenge myself until moving into the rarefied world of the veterinary locum adapting a more academic approach to the real world, and understanding the compromises demanded by personal inexperience, limited finances and sub-optimal hospital equipment.

I’ve prostituted myself to industry, representing them in the media, writing copy, enduring marketing staff, and investigating adverse events involving their products. Unable to sustain the moral dissonance required for a career in animal research or industry, I have never strayed far from the clinic.

Rather than just leaving me feeling dirty, industry-time sparked an interest in ethics:  not only animal welfare, but also how the profession conducts itself, the information we share, and that which we may withhold. Putting this into practise, I served on the UNSW Animal Care and Ethics Committee, monitoring the plight of lab animals.

Cursed with an overly curious mind, I have not specialised or limited my focus to one branch of the information tree. My reading palate is broad, extending from veterinary and human medicine to popular science, psychology and sustainability. Vets also have greater insight into the diseases with which they have personal experience, and in this regard mine are in patella luxation, pneumonia, osteoarthritis, immune-mediated polyarthropathy, immunosuppression and food allergy.

More recently I have spent time working with Vets Beyond Borders, on a street dog project in Indonesia. This experience has had profound and some unexpected effects on my outlook: on infectious disease, and preventative medicine.

Other beliefs of note include: utilitarianism; organic gardening; the virtues of a simple life; the value of social capital; climate change; resource peaks; extra-terrestrial life; and that the bicycle can save the world. More on my personal philosophies of medicine here.

3 Responses to “Bio”

  1. jeff levy says:

    hi there dr
    i work at a shelter that caters for sick and abandoned animals

    we often have to break open, sealed vials of medication and this renders the sterility null and void, and presumably shortens the shelf life of the medication

    can you advise as to what the shelf life is for vet medications in sealed vials?

    do they have to be subsequently refrigerated even if they typcially dont have to be, before opening?

    all best wishes
    hope to hear from you
    jeff

  2. karen says:

    Thank you!!!! You are amazing! I am so grateful that we have people like you in the world. God bless you!!!

  3. admin says:

    hi there, sorry this response is so long coming, ive been trying to survive a mid life crisis. it depends on whether youre considering degradation (oxidation, evaporation etc) eg insecticides, vs microbial contamination for sterile products, and would vary from 1 day to many weeks, depending on how cleanly opened, handled and stored, and each unique agent.

    that said, many clinicians will crack sterile vials and continue to use, preferably the entire volume drawn up into sterile syringe, then dosed from there, for up to a week. Many multidose vials are proported to be ‘sterile’ but are used over many months and kept on the shelf! We are often more blase about microbial contamination if its an antibiotic, SQ admin, and more paranoid if its an IV or intraarticular product or immunosuppressive agent.

    Insecticides are still effective over many months if stored with minimal oxygen and light exposure.

    hope this helps, may be too non-specific
    cheers

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