The new podcast “This Pathological Life” hosted by Steve Davis, a seasoned radio interviewer and podcaster, asks in the first episode,
“Travis, why do we need a podcast called “This Pathological Life?”
Dr Travis Brown responds, “Every disease has its own story to tell, and we’re going to tell them.”
“This Pathological Life”, brings to life the spectrum of general pathology topics by delving into each through the lens of historical aspects of disease, community impact of chronic illness, study or research threads, and topical areas of interest.
This Pathological Life is an inspired collaboration between Clinpath Pathology’s General Pathologist Dr Travis Brown and Steve Davis and is produced by Clinpath Pathology in South Australia.
The podcast includes episodes relevant to the subject of medicine as the hosts aim to inspire and educate practitioners and students alike. Why? Well, as 70% of medical decisions rely on pathology results and 100% of cancer diagnoses are made by pathology tests, it’s the backbone of the medical profession which can be examined under a microscope.
In the very first episode, Dr Travis Brown says,
“What I’m hoping is that this podcast explores the evolution of Pathology from historical perspectives to the current day understanding. This may be about a disease or an event or a person.”
From Clinpath’s perspective, the naming of This Pathological Life fits well within the phrasing of one of the world's top podcasts - This American Life - and could trigger memories from Aussie culture with Roy and HG's own ‘This Sporting Life’.
Steve Davis says, “The "This" puts ‘pathological life under the microscope’.”
The podcast series will share episodes such as ‘A pox on both your houses.’ about small pox; ‘A pathological addiction' and quite simply, ‘What is pathology anyway?’ a general overview about pathology which brings to life the study of disease.
Dr Travis Brown is a General Pathologist who enjoys working in the fields of Biochemistry, Microbiology, Anatomical Pathology, and Haematology.
However, when topics heat up and the team need further technical theory, Steve and Travis share the podcast microphone with their learned friends, who have specialist’s expertise and knowledge to discuss and share insights.
This educational approach benefits our medical practitioner community, as these specific episodes have gained self-reporting RACGP CDP points.
In their first episode series, Steve and Travis have interviewed the likes of Dr Craig James, Dr Nicholas Myles, Dr Bradley Webster, Dr Devika Thomas, Dr Nicole Sladden, as well as Dr Fergus Whitehead, Clinpath’s CEO.
Steve and Travis have interviewed and captured the thoughts of celebrated local GP, Dr Troye Wallett, and many have shared audio of their thoughts and views for podcast interjecting snippets.
However, the collaborations don’t end there.
With music by artists Dr Johnny Karanicolas and Cate Dyer from Sonic Footprints, the commissioned sound has enhanced the ambience and backdrop mood to each episode.
Countless hours of Google research have resulted in snippets of footage and voices that have added a richness to the overall storytelling of each episode.
External organisations such as the National Scottish Theatre have shared snippets of prose, and a local Irish woman, Fidelma McCorry, has helped with readings.
OMNY Podcast Playlist: https://omny.fm/shows/this-pathological-life/playlists/podcast
Clinpath Website: https://www.clinpath.com.au/about-us/podcast-this-pathological-life/
Episode One | This Pathological Life
Pathology is by definition: the study of disease. Pathology is about understanding.
Episode Two | Anatomy of a Pandemic
Through the prism of COVID-19 and epidemiology, we examine different epidemics and pandemics throughout history. In the last twenty years, there have been three outbreaks of Coronavirus (MERS, SARS, and COVID-19) but only COVID-19 reached pandemic status. The question must be asked as to why?
Episode Three | Black Tumour
This podcast includes an interview with Dr Craig James MBBS (Hons), FRCPA, AACD and this section of the podcast conducted by Dr Craig James is eligible for 1 RACGP CPD point – self reporting.
In the 19th Century there was an increasing numbers of Black Tumours reported in medical literature - described as Melanose in 1806 when Rene Laennec published that the Blackness of these tumours was not related to black carbon deposits found in the lungs of patients upon autopsy. By mid 20th Century, a more evidence based approach was taken. Today, through molecular biology advances, we know genetic mutations are important in the genesis of tumours such as melanoma.
Episode Four | A Pox On Both Your Houses
The eradication of Smallpox: an unmatched medical triumph. Smallpox was a devastating disease described as the scourge of the world. The Variola virus was responsible for countless deaths from antiquity to the twentieth century and left most survivors with lifelong scars. Using Variolation, a primitive form of vaccination, our ancestors attempted to blunt the full force of Smallpox infections. However, it wasn’t until the twentieth century and using modern day vaccination techniques that we were able to achieve a monumental milestone and eradicate this disease.
Episode Five | A Pathological Addiction to Catering
An outbreak of Typhoid occurred 1906 in a wealthy family in Oyster Bay, New York. Typically, a disease of ‘deprived’ people, investigators concluded that the source must have been contaminated water or freshwater clams. However, in 1907, another wealthy family in Manhattan, New York also had an outbreak. One investigator, George Soper, identified the link: it was the Cook. Mary Mallon, a.k.a. Typhoid Mary, was found to have worked for 8 different families between 1900-1907; 7 of these families experienced cases of typhoid. Mary was sent into isolation for 2 years and confirmed as a healthy carrier of the bacteria Salmonella typhi but reoffended within 3 months of release. This is the story of the villain Typhoid Mary vs the tragedy of Mary Mallon.
Episode Six | Blue Bleeding
This podcast includes an interview with Dr Nicholas Myles regarding our current understanding of Haemophilia A, Haemophilia B, von Willebrand disease, and platelet disorders nd this section of the podcast is eligible for 1 RACGP CPD point – self reporting.
Haemophilia, also known as the Royal Disease (specifically Haemophilia B), is an X-linked coagulation disorder that the Heir to the Throne Alexei Romanov inherited in the early 1900’s. However, in 1926 a Finnish physician by the name of Erik von Willebrand identified a family with a bleeding disorder with an Autosomal Dominant pattern of inheritance. This was later named von Willebrand Disease (vWD) is now known to be the most common inherited form of bleeding disease worldwide.
Episode Seven | A Seminal Problem
This podcast includes an interview with Dr Bradley Webster, Histopathologist specialising in Uropathology and Lymphoid Pathology and this section of the podcast is eligible for 1 RACGP CPD point – self reporting.
With further experimentation, he was able to demonstrate that Prostate Cancer maintained its normal hormone regulation for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1966. Prostate cancer is one of the most common male malignancies but most men will die with it rather than from it. The role of pathology is to determine how to detect this cancer and identify the clinical significance of the findings.
Episode Eight | An undisolvable problem: Mesothelioma
This podcast includes an interview with Dr Fergus Whitehead.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral composed of silk-like soft flexible fibres that are resistant to fire, heat, electricity, and chemical damage. Known from antiquity as a miracle product and believed to possess magical powers, there was only one problem; it’s toxic to humans. Inhaled fibres are responsible for diseases including asbestosis (pulmonary fibrosis), lung cancer, and mesothelioma. However, the long latency period between exposure and disease development paved the way for numerous examples of unconscionable conduct from Asbestos manufacturers in modern times.
Episode Nine | Transitional Crossroads
This episode includes interviews with Dr Devika Thomas and Dr Nicole Sladden and this section of the podcast is eligible for 1 RACGP CPD point – self reporting.
Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their sex assigned at birth. Until recently, these people have too often fallen into the ‘too hard’ category when dealing with their health, disease, and illness – and there are many reasons for this. However, it is imperative that we find a satisfactory solution to adhere to one of the core foundations of pathology: to provide the best care to our patients. In this podcast, we explore the challenges Pathology organisations like Clinpath face in order to best serve our trans patients and examine what we know about the biological changes they go through during and after their transition.
Episode Ten | Origin Stories
Everyone has a story…
Pathology is medicine. The day-to-day challenges and opportunities in pathology are mixed and varied.
Often, very much like the journey of Pathologists into Pathology, the queries can take many different pathways.
Bio Dr Travis Brown
Qualifications: B. COM/B. COMP, B. SCI (MED SCI), MBBS, FRCPA
Areas Of Interest: Information Technology and Pathology informatics Speciality: General Pathology
Relevant podcast links
Episode notes, references and learning objectives, available online with each episode.
Clinpath Pathology is a highly respected, well established private pathology practice, providing laboratory services to general practitioners, specialists, private hospitals, and aged care facilities in Adelaide, South Australia.