Dr Ben Bravery started life as a zoologist, working to save animals from extinction across the globe. Though at 28-years-old, he was diagnosed with bowel cancer and confronted with the prospect of his own destruction. Ben’s journey from scientist to cancer patient, and now to psychiatry trainee is documented in his memoir The Patient Doctor. On the topics of compassion, system design, and medical education, Ben speaks with the conviction of someone who has lived on both sides of the doctor patient relationship. In this episode of Psych Matters, Ben is in conversation with Dr Elizabeth Moore and Dr Ollie Robertson; it is equal parts storytelling and education that appeals to anyone with an interest in life, not simply medicine or psychiatry.
Dr Ben Bravery, originally a zoologist and science communicator, worked for the Australian and Chinese governments before being diagnosed with colorectal cancer at age twenty-eight. After undergoing eighteen months of cancer treatment, Ben decided on a career change. He became a doctor in 2018 and is now undertaking training in psychiatry. Ben volunteers, advocates, writes and speaks about colorectal cancer, living with cancer, cancer in young adults, medicine and medical education, and is committed to advocating for change in Australia's healthcare system. His memoir, called The Patient Doctor, was published in July 2022.
Dr Elizabeth Moore is the Coordinator General of the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing and the President elect of the RANZCP.
Dr Ollie Robertson is a psychiatry trainee, and host of The Thought Broadcast from Australasian Psychiatry
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