NorDocs, the Northern Rivers group of doctors that discusses local medical matters on its FaceBook page, is holding its first forum on 30 June at UCRH, Lismore, opposite Lismore Base Hospital. The forum will run from midday to 6 pm and will be followed by an informal dinner at a local watering hole.

The conference is based on the Unconference format where many of the delegates are also the presenters. This format provides the flexibility for participants to present and discuss matters that are of interest to them. These may be small items or short lived issues that would not normally attract the attention of larger medical organisations like Primary Health Networks or Local Hospital Districts.

“Diagnosis creep” conjures up an image of a final year medical student on the far end of the spectrum, sounding a bit like cousin “bracket creep”, much beloved by economists and politicians alike.

In November 2017 the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association took over from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and issued new guidelines that changed the classification of hypertension.

North Coast Radiology group has recently released some resources to improve and streamline general practitioner ordering of radiological investigations.

The online forms for magnetic resonance imaging and bone densitometry specify the MBS item number for approved procedures. This is more efficient and makes it clear at the time of the request whether the investigation will be Medicare rebatable or not.

The MRI request form asks for a recent eGFR if the patient has renal impairment and also reminds the user of the absolute contraindications (cardiac pacemakers) and relative contraindications (Intracranial aneurysm clips, intraocular foreign bodies, metallic implants (including cochlear) & extreme claustrophobia) for the procedure.

In late January the newly formed Men and Women in Medicine groups held a dinner for new residents of the Lismore Base Hospital. David Glendenning and and Marissa Barker, GP registrar organisers for the meeting, give their accounts of the night.

Following the success of the meeting, the Women’s group is holding a dinner at 6.30 pm on Thursday 26 April at Miss Lizzy’s.

The Women’s group celebrates the diverse and strong female medical representation in the Richmond Valley area and aims to create support and connections with other female doctors.

Interested doctors can register by emailing Dr Julia Chiu at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 23 April or seeing further details on the NorDocs Facebook Page

This article was first published by Dr Jane Barker in January on To Medicine with Love.

This article is written in response to a recent report on Alcohol and Cancer published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and asks whether we, as physicians, have difficulty talking honestly about alcohol with our patients, because of our own attitudes towards it.

It is not unimaginable that bottles of Château Mouton Rothschild, which once bore the artwork of Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso, might one day be required to have plain packaging and images of oesophageal cancer or a cirrhotic liver. (1)

So concludes a lead article in a recent edition of the Lancet, reporting on a newly published statement on alcohol and cancer from the American Society of Clinical Oncologists or ASCO. (2)