My personal artistic journey has been through improvisational theatre.
Over the last twenty years, I've had the tremendous good fortune to have performed with and learnt from many inspiring people in this field, which has shaped my thinking about decision making, stories, and how people interact.

In my other work ("in my day job" as we actors say) I'm a medical practitioner. I teach and supervise junior medical practitioners, hopefully encouraging them along the path to good habits and good practice, and protecting them from some of the difficulties which attach to this profession.

I've written, directed, and performed in a lot of shows over the years, at usual places like Melbourne's Comedy Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe; and unusual places like Seattle and Austin, Texas. *

Comedy is a great training ground. A creative frame of mind requires openness to ideas, and a casual approach to your own dignity. At the same time, you have to remain self-critical, and be prepared to change stuff, especially if the instant feedback you get from the audience points you to that realisation. Performing overseas is a really good eye-opener. I've levelled up that way a few times.

About half way through my medical career, it dawned on me that the way doctors treated each other wasn't perfect. Ok, that actually dawned on me during medical school, but in 2005 it dawned on me that I could do something about it.

My focus switched to teaching, mentoring... providing leadership within my field. There's a lot to be done! Over the years, I've become one of the "go-to" people in the area, and I'm often asked to share my expertise on this topic with others in the state.

Both of these journeys have given me insight into looking at things from an outsider's perspective, the art of managing bright people who still manage to do strange things, and the never-ending  battle to behave with courage in a risk-adverse industry - because medicine and art are always changing, and to cope with change, you have to (sensibly! carefully!) embrace risk.

Hopefully some of my ideas are worth spreading, and will generate ideas or questions in others.



* Clearly, this is written from the perspective of an Australian.