Dr Bambi Rakhel Ward

Medical Education Consultant|Author & Speaker

Category: Books

Medical humanities and more NT photos

I’m back home this week before heading off to the Gold Coast for a national Medical Educators’ conference. I’ve been given the honour of co-facilitating a one day forum for Medical Educators and Indigenous Cultural Educators. I will also be presenting a workshop on one of my favourite topics: ‘Using medical humanities to build empathy in doctors’.

This brings me to the book of the week: ‘all the beginnings: a queer autobiography of the body’ by Quinn Eades. Quinn, who created this book as part of a PhD in creative writing, writes poignantly about many experiences from a patient’s point of view, including being a new mother, having a hysterectomy, and the journey of having a twisted ovary being diagnosed…..eventually.  The book also contains several traumatic life events experienced by Quinn, whilst identifying as a ‘she’.  Quinn now identifies as a transman who has begun transitioning since the book was published. I admire Quinn’s courage, his incredible resilience, and willingness to show his vulnerability.

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Writing, beanies and another NT visit

I’ve been busy working on the second draft of a memoir about my spiritual journey. I’m trying to get as much done as I can before heading off on my monthly work visit to Alice Springs next week. Cutting out sections that took blood, sweat and tears to write can be excruciating, but it needs to be done. ‘Kill your darlings’, as the saying for authors goes. It also helps to have a mentor, as well as deadlines, self-imposed or otherwise.

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been working as a Medical Educator training doctors to become General Practitioners for the Northern Territory’s General Practice Training Education (NTGPE) program since 2009.

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My Revamped Blog

I’m finally back home after having time for work and pleasure in the wonderful Northern Territory.

I’m looking forward to celebrating my birthday this week…..it’s not a special birthday in the traditional sense, but I’m turning the age of the last two digits of the year I was born in, so it feels very special to me.

I’ve also been reflecting on my current blog, and how it’s going. Given that I have a multitude of interests, I’ve decided to experiment for a while and try a few regular features. These may include links to someone else’s blog, photos of books I’ve bought or am reading, a recommendation of a cultural activity, conference or festival, and something or someone that has inspired me.

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The Power of Poetry

A few weeks ago I came across an article about a new and unique initiative in a Western Australian hospital, where poetry is being used to provide medical and hospital staff members with respite from the pressures and stress of their work. One of the program’s aims is to enable staff to ‘find a fountain of renewal and rejuvenation in the middle of a busy hospital day.’

I’ve always been more interested in stories than poetry. Perhaps the uninspiring way in which poetry was taught in my secondary school English classes had something to do with it. Nevertheless, the article piqued my curiosity. I read on.

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My Favourite Books

How many of you collect lists of book recommendations?

I do. As of this year, I now have a dedicated book in which I note the book’s name, title and who recommended it. When the reading pile on my bedside table gets low, I have a readymade selection of books to choose from.

Several years ago I asked my birthday party guests to bring along a list of their ten favourite books. Only four people obliged out of about fifty people, but the ones who did gave their lists much thought. I then decided to create my own list of favourite books, and the list was published in a newsletter under the title of ‘Holiday Reading: Some Suggestions’.

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An Inspiring Collaboration

The highlight of my almost daily cultural experiences in Melbourne last week was seeing the play ‘Bright World’ at Theatreworks in St.Kilda. I was fortunate to win two free tickets to see it, but I was planning to see it anyway. The play is a collaboration between two female playwrights – Elise Hearst and Andrea James. They both star in the production and play multiple characters (including themselves).

The play was inspirational, especially because of the way it modelled a cross-cultural collaboration. Elise is a Melbourne-based Jewish woman whose Austrian paternal grandparents escaped the Nazis in 1938. Andrea is a Sydney based great-great-niece of William Cooper – a Yorta Yorta Aboriginal activist who led a groundbreaking protest over the Nazis’ treatment of Jews in Europe after Kristallnacht in 1938. During the protest, William Cooper and supporters of the Aboriginal Advancement League marched to the doors of Melbourne’s German Consulate. What makes the protest even more remarkable to me is that it was done at a time when Aboriginal people were experiencing immense persecution themselves. They didn’t even have voting rights.

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The lure of the Northern Territory

A few days ago my husband and I took our grandchildren to Chesterfield Farm so they could experience a sense of farm life and get toIMG_7223 interact with some animals. We watched cows being milked, learnt that pigs are as intelligent as four year children(!), and were able to feed and pat some of the animals. It was heartwarming to watch my one and a half year old grandson pat the rabbits with such tenderness and love.

One of the highlights was taking a tractor ride around the property. We saw many different animals, including turkeys, peacocks, ducks, geese, camels, sheep, goats, cockatoos, baby mice, rabbits, chickens, llamas and deer.

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Thoughts on Writing

bird_by_birdI’ve just finished reading a book by Anne Lamott called ‘Bird by bird: some instructions on writing and life’. I know that many of you who read my blog are writers, avid readers or both, so I’ve decided to share some quotes from the book that really resonated with me. I even marked them in pencil (which is something I normally don’t do in a book).

Here they are:

‘Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do – the actual act of writing – turns out to be the best part. It’s like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward’.

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The still soft voice within

Do you ever connect with your still small voice within? It can be really easy to ignore, especially in our noisy distracted world.

I’ve found that when I listen to my inner voice, (or my intuition), things tend to run smoothly. They flow. Synchronicities happen. I feel aligned to my Higher Self.

However if I ignore my inner voice, I usually regret it because things become chaotic and hard to cope with.


Genie’s memoir

I recently read a heart warming book about being true to one’s self. ‘My 15 Grandmothers’ is a true story about the author, Genie Milgrom, who had the courage to listen to her inner voice, even when everyone in her family were telling her she was wasting her time.

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Ramblings of a Writer.

Welcome to my blog, where I talk about a lot of different topics that interest me…..including books, spirituality, writing, and more!

So join me for some virtual chocolate, some yummy cheese and a cuppa. My favourites are dark chocolate truffles, milk chocolate circles with hundreds and thousands on top (Sprinkles), and blue vein cheese (not altogether!), with a cup of peppermint tea.

I’m a young Grandma based in Melbourne, Australia. How young? Well, I’ll leave that to your imagination.  All I’ll say is that I first became a Grandma in my early fifties. It’s a juggling act because I work pretty much full time, and I’m also writing a memoir about my spiritual journey.

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